Our Stories

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Our Stories2020-07-29T12:22:26-04:00

More than anything else, Main Street is a community of people with powerful stories to tell. Learn about the story of Jillian and Scott Copeland and of other families who have joined the Main Street movement. To meet the Main Street staff, visit our team page.

The Copeland Family’s Story

May 22nd, 2020|Categories: Our Stories|

Main Street is the vision of Jillian and Scott Copeland whose son, Nicolas, has developmental disabilities. Nicolas, now 21, 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 social and educational challenges, Jillian turned her attention [...]

Cynthia’s Story

April 1st, 2020|Categories: Our Stories|

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 to the U.S. from Bolivia when Cynthia was a young child and now reside in Silver [...]

Dara’s Story

January 1st, 2020|Categories: Our Stories|

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, was my lifelong best friend. I also had the honor of working with Jillian when [...]

Leroy’s Story

November 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 quality and safe product. I have a good working relationship with all my fellow team [...]

Karen’s Story

October 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 Academies and conferences and been an ever-ready source of information at our annual Transitioning Youth [...]

Lisa and Jessica’s Story

July 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 few years ago, Jessica and I were asked to share our thoughts on growing up [...]

Ben’s Story

June 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 take the metro to my job at the GAP. I will have lots of friends. [...]

Katie’s Story

May 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 where I first heard Jillian Copeland speak about Main Street. Even though my son Ben [...]

Justin’s Story

April 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 myself for the first time to see my brother at college and had an awesome [...]

Nick’s Story

March 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 disorder at age two. And, he wasn’t officially diagnosed with autism until age eight. In [...]

Jeni’s Story

February 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 in need of peers and community. Mattie was lucky though. In addition to having his [...]

The Eure Family’s Story

January 1st, 2019|Categories: Our Stories|

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 from Walter Johnson High School, Stephen attended the Community Careers and Connections program targeting travel [...]

Noah’s Story

October 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 how to live independently. I am responsible for cooking dinner for myself and my roommates [...]

Kelley’s Story

September 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 many doctor appointments and evaluations, we learned that he might not be on the typical [...]

Marjorie’s Story

August 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 the next, yet trying to balance promoting change with acceptance. During those early years, I [...]

Nmandi’s Story

July 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 someone that can hold a conversation and engage verbally with others. Nmandi is currently in the [...]

The Bogasky Family’s Story

June 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 diagnosis, there has never been a prognosis. So, all the doctors could tell us was, [...]

David’s Story

April 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 many obstacles and barriers in order for my goals and dreams to come true. I [...]

Yelena’s Story

March 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 years. In my job, I work hard and like the customers and my co-workers. I [...]

Adam’s Story

February 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 the Katherine Thomas School high school in Rockville. For 5 years I attended Montgomery College [...]

Nancy’s Story

January 1st, 2018|Categories: Our Stories|

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 Mason University’s LIFE program), works (at NDSS), independently uses public transportation and is very active [...]

The Edwards Family’s Story

December 1st, 2017|Categories: Our Stories|

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 schedules revolve around his needs. Eric now shares an apartment near Rockville Town Center and [...]

Jess’ Story

October 1st, 2017|Categories: Our Stories|

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 syndrome. Jess spent her early years in Montgomery County Public Schools, where she was fully [...]

Spencer’s Story

September 1st, 2017|Categories: Our Stories|

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 calls this part of his life Chapter 1. Spencer's hard work has paid off. He is [...]

Corey’s Story

August 1st, 2017|Categories: Our Stories|

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 birthday parties, psych evaluations, IEPs, lots of meetings with public school teachers and administrators. Over the [...]