For Jason Evans, goal-orientation was not at the top of his priority list. He was focused on the bigger picture and what he wanted to achieve.
“For instance, I wanted to go to IUS so they said ‘ok let’s focus on these goals first,’” he said. “They (Rauch) taught me how to prioritize and focus on individual goals.”
Jason worked at Rauch for two years in the late ‘80s after working for Blue River Services.
“Rauch gave me more confidence in myself and a work ethic,” he said.
Jason uses this work ethic as a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics. This role requires Jason to give speeches around the country and state, although he said he’s terrified of speaking in public.
“I was so afraid, but that’s why I wanted to do it,” he said. “If I can help one person and answer their questions and help them and help get the message out about people with disabilities, then it’s worth it.”
Jason said he’s been involved with the Special Olympics since 1980 and it was the first place he felt he could be himself.
“I had previously been diagnosed with depression and then a learning disability—they didn’t really know what it was,” he said. “I didn’t realize until then (Special Olympics), ‘Hey, these people are like me.’”
Jason said his personal hero is Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics. He said he admires her for how much she cared about people with disabilities.
“We were already here, but she showed us to the world and the world had to pay attention to us,” he said.
On top of his position with the Special Olympics, Jason also worked for a company that built haunted houses across the country. Jason was required to build in them, act in them, and run them. He worked with them for 19 years.
Currently, Jason is the Shift Manager at Pizza Hut. He said his responsibilities include making dough, managing personnel, customer service, answering phones, and doing whatever needs to be done.
“There are a lot of different sides, but I like it,” he said. “I love the organizational and management.”
He’s been there for 18 years. Jason received the job a bit unconventionally. He had gone in for a personal pan pizza one day and the woman working leaned over the counter and asked if he wanted a job. He started the next day.
“It kind of dropped in my lap, but it’s been a good thing for me,” he said.
Jason said Rauch provided him with many skills he needed in order to have the job and life he has now, but he said one of the most important things Rauch gave him was a support system.
“They (friends) kept me on task a lot. If I had an episode or behavior, my friends would calm me down immediately,” he said. “It’s that Rauch support system.”
This support system is what he misses the most about Rauch. Jason said the moment he became extremely attached was the moment he decided to leave Rauch.
“When I couldn’t imagine leaving here, that’s when I knew I needed to leave,” he said. “I knew I’d become stagnant if I stayed.”
He said he has many goals for the future and that every day he learns about something new he wants to do. One goal is speaking at the World Games, while another is going back to school.
Jason said some customers at Pizza Hut have come to find out he worked at Rauch and ask ‘How could you be a client and now a manager at a restaurant?’ Jason says he simply replies, ‘Why not?’
“One thing I’ve learned in the real world—(there are) a lot of things you can learn, a lot more than even I thought I could do,” he said. “You don’t have to just sit here and not believe in yourself.”
Jason remains friends with many of the people he worked with at Rauch and enjoys coming back to visit.
“I still consider myself a client and always will because of everything they’ve done for me,” he said. “They’ve had a big impact on me.”
Donations to Rauch have always been a long-term investment, as demonstrated in Jason’s story. The services and support system that donor dollars have helped Rauch provide for over 60 years pay long-term dividends for those who receive them, their families, and our community. Now, we ask you to consider making a formal commitment of your future support of Rauch. Join the people who are part of our IMAGINE Giving Community through a gift to Rauch in your will or other estate plans. Visit rauchinc.org/giftplanning or call 812-981-4410 to learn more about long-term giving options.
This post is from guest blogger Darian Eswine--an English and journalism major from Franklin College interning with Rauch this summer.