Zumyah, second from left, walks to the Mercer
playground guided by “Larry,” her long cane.
SHAKER LIFE | FALL 2017 53
Mark Levin is hopeful about Nathan’s prospects after his final year at Shaker. In preparation for his future, Nathan’s education has
included transition services, a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that facilitate the student’s movement to
life after school. During the school year, Nathan spends his mornings at the High School in the Resource Room and then afternoons
at the Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium, where he receives workforce preparation and job training.
“I do the shredding and the golf tees,” says Nathan, which means he shreds paper and also counts golf tees into bags of 25,
which are destined for sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods. On Fridays and during the summers, he volunteers at Jewish Family Service
Association, selling challah and servicing vending machines.
“I want Nathan to be a good citizen. I don’t know what that’s going to look like or how he’ll make his contribution, but it’s
still the goal,” his father says.
And as Ronda Thorpe watches her granddaughter transition through adolescence and eventually, through high school, her
goals for Zumyah are no different than any other parent. “I want her to continue to grow into that beautiful young lady that she’s
becoming and I want her to know that she can give it her best,” Thorpe says.
“Success is relative,” explains Palda. “There are some people who would define success as the number of obstacles someone
has to overcome to achieve it. And that’s always a consideration for children with learning differences.” SL