James Tolbert was injured in 2001. Since his injury James has worn multiple hats from substitute teacher, to working at the Department of Labor, to helping adults with job placement and writing resumes to exercising and playing sports.
Let’s read some fun facts about James below!
Occupation: Career Employment Specialist
Level Of Injury: C5/C6 Partial
Siblings: Two Sisters
Children: No children.
Current Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Tell us about the work you do and how you get started: I started as a substitute teacher for 5 years and then began working as a Career Specialist with adults. Later I was offered a position working with youth between the ages of 15-24 assisting them with obtaining their GED, employment opportunities and empowering them.
What motivated you to become a youth mentor? Being a substitute teacher and seeing the help the youth needed. In my town there are not many programs that assist the youth with transitioning to adults and helping them find employment. After the Department of Labor and working with the adults I saw the need.
Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to or admire and why: I admire my disability community. I look at people on social media and my friends and their life experiences – that motivates me to do my best.
Do you own a car? Drive? What’s your set-up? Yes, I use my strong leg for the gas and brakes.
How did you get into sports: I was tricked into playing sports. I was actually going to watch some people play Wheelchair Rugby and then I was asked to join. I started playing and next thing I was on the team. LOL. I have also been playing tennis for 3 years. Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Rugby are my favorite sport.
Do you have a hobby? Playing Tennis and I also enjoy watching Netflix
Hidden Talents: Baker
Favorite Films: Color Purple
Favorite Music: Sia – Unstoppable
Short-term Goal: I would like to receive my certification in Peer Support and also to learn how to get off the floor.
Long-term Goal: My plan is just to continue going strong. Once one goal is completed I ask myself, What’s next for me to conquer?
Anything else you want to tell us: Look at the glass half full, not empty. When you have achieved one thing remember to achieve something else.