NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
By Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Dillon Maestrejuan is a prolific storyteller, and he is turning a passion for photography into a promising career path with assistance from Nevada Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).
Dillon, who has cerebral palsy that affects his mobility, dexterity and speech, started working with Nevada VR through his high school in rural Winnemucca, Nevada.
After learning about Dillon’s interests, which include hunting, off-roading, photography and staying active in his community, his VR counselor, Michael Adragna, facilitated a work experience at the local newspaper, The Humboldt Sun.
Adragna assisted Dillon in getting the assistive technology he needed to succeed on the job. This assistive technology included equipment to not only hone his photography skills but also coordinate assignments with the paper’s editor and interact with people at the community events he covered.
The paper published several of Dillon’s photos during his work experience, and one accompanied a front-page feature on Winnemucca’s annual festival celebrating the region’s rich Basque heritage.
Dillon now works part-time as a freelancer for the paper. This employment arrangement allows him the flexibility to set his own schedule while earning income and building his portfolio while still in high school.
Last year, the paper assigned Dillon to photograph the school’s graduation ceremony. Of course, someone else will need to do the honors when it’s Dillon’s time to cross the stage, which he is on track to do this year.
Visit VR Nevada’s website for more information about vocational rehabilitation services in Nevada
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