I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors at Liberty, Montgomery County’s ARC agency for the past five plus years. I also have a middle aged sister who was born with a developmental disability and who now lives in one of the residences Liberty maintains in and around our community. Because of these experiences, I’m very aware of a small group of people among us who devote their professional lives to helping this special group of citizens improve the quality of their lives. Today’s Birthday Celebrant is one of those professionals. He also happens to be one of the most generally optimistic human beings I have ever met. After reading this post, you’ll understand why his optimism helps make him extremely good at his job.
Michael “Mickey” LaCoppola was born up-county in St. Johnsville, NY on October 15, 1969. He graduated from St. Johnsville Central School in 1987 and then got an Associates degree in Electrical Technology at Fulton Montgomery Community College. He also minored in psychology at FMCC and though he has proven to be a very “live wire” it would be that minor course of study that would turn out to be most important in his subsequent career.
Mickey began working at Liberty in 1990 and he’s been there ever since. Technically he’s an Employment Training Specialist but what he really does and does very well is get folks with special needs to believe in themselves. Each of us have had times in our lives when for one reason or another we’ve felt inadequate and out-of-place. Maybe you’re performing poorly or getting bullied in your school or workplace or perhaps having problems in a relationship and when you wake up in the morning you just know its going to be a bad day and all you want to do is pull the covers over your head and stay in bed. Now add a developmental disability to your list of challenges. Maybe you don’t talk, move or look like everyone else or it takes you longer to understand and master a task. What Mickey does is help these special people look forward to each new day and I absolutely love watching him in action…
If you would like to read the rest of my story about Mickey it will be included in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. You can now reserve a copy of this book and by doing so, also qualify for a significant discount off its list price. You won’t be asked to pay for the book now and you’ll be notified as soon as it becomes available. You can reserve your copy now using this on-line order form.
I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.
The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.