Our Stories

More than anything else, Main Street is a collection of people with amazing stories to tell. Each month we profile a new story of one of our members.

Danny, Nicol, Ethan and Jack Copeland

The Copeland Family’s Story

Main Street is the vision of Jillian and Scott Copeland whose son, Nicolas, has developmental disabilities. Nicolas, now 17, began having seizures at the age of 8 months. While his seizures are currently controlled, Nicolas’ neurological diagnosis creates global challenges as a young adult. After successfully founding the highly-regarded Diener School 10 years ago to fill the unmet need for children with… Read more »

Main Street members Cynthia Zapata and family.

Cynthia’s Story

Cynthia Zapata wears many hats – she is a Program Specialist at Montgomery County’s Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), the mother of three and a committed sibling to her brother, Tony, who has a developmental disability. Tony and parents, Rolando and Asunta, live with Cynthia, her husband, Marc, and her youngest daughter, Angelina. The Zapata family moved… Read more »

Jillian and Dara

Dara’s Story

When I think of idealism brought to life with love, joy, creativity, commitment, purpose and unity, I think of Main Street! My connection to Main Street is through my lifelong friendship and sisterhood with Main Street’s Founder, Jillian Copeland. I have known and loved her since she was 5 days old! Her big sister, Stacey,… Read more »

Leroy and Jillian at the Main Street construction site

Leroy’s Story

My name is Leroy Price and I have been a licensed electrician for over 25 years. Presently I work with Hawkins Electric Service, Inc. I am working on the Main Street building as a licensed electrician. In this role, I have the opportunity to work with a team of dedicated co-workers committed to producing a… Read more »

Karen Leggett, daughter Nadia and husband Tharwat in Egypt

Karen’s Story

Every time I pick up my bright orange Main Street Connect tote bag, I am reminded of all that bag represents – for our family and especially for our Montgomery County community. My daughter, Nadia, has been my partner in advocacy all her life. She has testified before the Montgomery County Council, presented at Parent… Read more »

Main Street member Jessica Lipsher and family

Lisa and Jessica’s Story

While I enjoy many different roles, the one I am most proud of is being a special needs parent and coach. I am Lisa Benjamin Lipsher and I feel very lucky to have a family that includes my husband Bob, our two daughters Jessica and Catherine and (of course) our Portuguese Water Dog Bentley. A… Read more »

Ben’s Story

When asked to describe his future, Ben will tell you this: “When I am an adult, I am going to live on Main Street. I will have three dogs – Noah, Joey and Leo. I will live with a friend. In the morning I will go to Rockville Town Center to get coffee. I will… Read more »

Katie’s Story

When I learned about Main Street, I joined not once, but twice. And it was not a mistake! I wanted a family membership and also a professional membership. As a parent of a thirteen-year-old with autism, I was already involved with many organizations for families like ours, and it was at one of these organizations… Read more »

Justin’s Story

Hi. My name is Justin Salzberg and I am 20 years old. I have an older brother, Noah, and a younger sister, Ally. I am a member of Main Street and graduating Ivymount and Thomas Edison School of Technology in late May/June of this year. Recently I took a train to Charlottesville, VA, all by… Read more »

Nick’s Story

Nicholas has always been a cheerful guy with a great sense of humor. Even as a toddler with no language, he made people smile with his big eyes and floppy brown curls. Getting Nick properly diagnosed, effectively treated and appropriately educated was a challenge. It took nine months for a neurologist to diagnose his seizure… Read more »

Jeni’s Story

My son, Mattie, was born with a rare neuromuscular disease. As a result of this condition, he often spent many months at a time in the hospital. This is not a typical (or ideal) setting for any person – especially children and young adults who are learning about life and the world, and who are… Read more »

The Eure Family’s Story

Stephen, our friendly 25-year-old son, first received services from Montgomery County Infant and Toddlers and the Preschool Education Program. Later, he spent many years in early intervention at home learning within an Applied Behavior Analysis program. Stephen has overcome many challenges including significant language delays so he now often speaks in full sentences. Upon graduating… Read more »

Noah’s Story

My name is Noah Miller. I graduated from the Katherine Thomas High School in June and I am currently a freshman in the Mason LIFE Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I love college so far. I live on campus in a suite with three roommates and a residential advisor. I am learning… Read more »

Kelley’s Story

When I learned about Main Street, I breathed a sigh of relief. You see, I am a mother of two active, young boys, ages 4 and 6, and my eldest is a differently wired kid. When he was 18 months old, he wasn’t babbling and starting to talk like the other babies we knew. After… Read more »

Marjorie’s Story

When I first heard about Main Street, I felt incredibly touched by everything it stands for. I have been involved in the special needs community in many capacities over the years – first and foremost, as a mom. Like so many others I navigated the world of early intervention, followed by chasing one symptom after… Read more »

Nmandi’s Story

Nmandi, our amazing 20-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was 3 years old. She spent so many years doing ABA at home as well as being in preschool full-time. She was the hardest working child we had ever known! Her hard work paid off as she went from almost zero receptive and expressive language to… Read more »

The Bogasky Family’s Story

Our life with John has been the journey of a lifetime. We first learned he would need extra help when he was just a few months old. While we saw all the doctors then and now, John has never had a diagnosis. He doesn’t have a known condition – he just has symptoms. Without a… Read more »

David’s Story

My name is David Godoy and I was born with cerebral palsy in Ecuador in South America. I came to the United States for better education and better opportunities with my mom and sisters in 1995, and my father joined us later in 1998. Living with cerebral palsy is not easy but not impossible. I overcome… Read more »

Yelena’s Story

My name is Yelena Simpson. I graduated from the Katherine Thomas School with a high school diploma and attended Montgomery College for two years, graduating with a certificate. I have had several different jobs and internships. I work part time at a wonderful Italian restaurant as a busser/server and have been for the past five… Read more »

Adam’s Story

I was born on July 17, 1988. I’m on the autism spectrum. When I was growing up I went to 6 special needs schools. During high school, I had an internship doing office work, like answering phones, filing papers, entering data in Excel, etc. In 2008, another student and I were the first graduates from… Read more »

Nancy’s Story

I have both a personal and a professional interest in Main Street. I am the proud mother of Adrian, a 28 year old with Down syndrome who expects to live an adult life that compares to that of his brother, Gabriel. Adrian is doing pretty well in that regard: he has gone to college (George… Read more »

The Edwards Family’s Story

We are so happy to have found Main Street as it will fill a big gap in what we can currently provide for our son Eric, 25, who is on the Autism Spectrum. We are a three-generation household. Eric’s grandfather, now 101 years old, moved into our home in Takoma Park in 2011 and our… Read more »

Jess’ Story

The eldest of our four children, Jess, is 28 years old. She works two jobs (in a nursery school and an assisted living facility) and participates in Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and ArtStream. Jess is hardworking, creative, funny, stubborn as heck, and at the center of many of our family decisions. Also, Jess has Down… Read more »

Main Street member Spencer sitting at a table

Spencer’s Story

Living independently, with whatever supports are needed, is the vision of Spencer Jacobs who has developmental disabilities. Spencer, now 26, began having difficulty at age 15 months with language declines among other developmental challenges. This snowballed into multiple special ed programs as well as numerous doctors, speech therapists, OTs, PTs, tutors, and home helpers, just to name a few. Spencer… Read more »

Corey’s Story

Once upon a time, there was a family of a mother, father, sister and brother.  Pretty normal stuff right?  Well, it might have been— but we learned early on that our son, Corey, had many developmental challenges. From his first diagnosis we knew life would be anything but normal. For us, normal meant speech therapists, OT, PT, tutors, not being invited to… Read more »