Brighter Futures Celebration 2022

Aired November 29, 2022


Each fall, Easterseals Redwood recognizes inspiring individuals who have achieved success and a community member who has made a difference to the people we serve.


As part of the broadcast, Easterseals Redwood highlights individuals as their Brighter Futures Awardees.

Celebrating #BreakthroughMoments on the Journey to Employment

Join us as we honor Easterseals Redwood clients who successfully navigated life’s barriers to achieve employment and one outstanding community partner committed to creating economic opportunities for those served by Easterseals Redwood. In case you missed it, our 2022 celebration will be re-airing at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, 2022, on WCPO 9!

Meet our 2022 Brighter Futures Awardees.

Shelley Lozier (West Chester, OH)
Independence Awardee

Shelley Lozier found the perfect job as a courtesy clerk at Kroger. Shelley is a true “people person” and she thrives on interacting with customers.

Shelley graduated from the Project Search and Project Life programs, which prepares young people with disabilities to find their place in the workforce. Kroger hired her as a courtesy clerk – a perfect match with her upbeat personality and strong work ethic.

Shelley not only loves her job, she exceeds at it — bagging groceries, pushing huge stacks of shopping carts, cleaning the store, and returning items to the shelves. She has overcome the challenges of a disability and found a job that suits her personality and abilities.

Shelley is known by her co-workers and customers as a “bright light” and she brings joy to everyone she meets. Her repeat customers come back to her checkout line for her jokes and her smile. Outside of work has many interests, and she’s a talented piano player (she plays by ear!).

“Shelley is one of the hardest workers we have,” says her store manager. “She always pushes herself to go above and beyond, and we love having her on our team.”

Stephon Martin (Cincinnati, OH)
Upward Mobility Awardee

The day Stephon Martin got out of prison he came to Building Value with the desire to work. He had spent his time thinking about past mistakes and planning a new course for his life after prison. He earned multiple construction certifications during his second stint in prison, but finding employment after incarceration proved difficult.

Building Value, a social enterprise of Easterseals Redwood, looks beyond the labels like “criminal”, and saw Stephon’s leadership potential and his commitment to help others avoid the same mistakes he made.

Once at Building Value, Stephon picked up new skills at a blazing pace and completed the 12-week training program in just six weeks. Before long, Stephon was a de facto crew lead. His talent, presence and drive made it inevitable he would grow into a leadership role when given the chance.

With his skills, Stephon could have worked anywhere after completing the program. But he chose to come back to Building Value, forgoing making more money at a big construction company, because he wanted to continue leading and mentoring.
Less than two years later, he has become a crew lead whose passion resonates with our trainees, and he goes above and beyondlet them know they have a secure support system. His mentorship of young men and women is the greatest gift he provides for Building Value.

Jessica Habermehl (Morning View, KY)
Upward Mobility Awardee

Jessica’s entire world changed when she was in a terrible car accident. Her car was totaled and because she missed work, she was dismissed from her job the same day. The Navy veteran and mother of four was without a job and transportation in an instant.

A shaken but determined Jessica knew she needed to reach out for help, so she turned to Easterseals Military & Veteran services. Jessica had the desire to work, but just needed some support to get back on her feet.

Jessica had joined the Navy at the young age of 17, acing the ASVAB military entrance exam. Always a high achiever, Jessica worked her way up to E-3 Seaman, but her Navy career abruptly ended with a ‘medical discharge’ due to severe postpartum depression after the birth of her first child.

At Easterseals Redwood, we turn no veteran away, regardless of discharge status. Our team of job developers, all veterans themselves, saw Jessica’s qualifications – not just her discharge status – and knew that she could go anywhere. Despite the continuous setbacks, Jessica has forged ahead and landed a new job. She now works for the State of Kentucky, and has rapidly moved up to a position where she helps people get jobs. “I love that now I’m the one who can help people get back on their feet.”