Brian Lucas is a young man with sky-high goals. At the age of 27 he has a resume that most people could only wish for. He is committed to do what is necessary to reach his ultimate goals of becoming a lawyer and a professional motivational speaker who encourages deaf citizens to improve their outreach relationships within their communities. Outreach, afterall, is what enabled him to connect with the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), and begin his path towards success.
Brian was initially referred to the DRS Joliet Office in 2001 while he was attending Tinley Park High School near Chicago, Illinois. He participated in the Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP), where he began learning work skills and planning for life after high school. Brian knew very early on that his partnership with DRS would lead to great success, primarily due to his relationship with his counselor, Mary Ann Rice. Mary Ann was able to assess the skills and abilities that Brian possessed. She knew that higher education was an appropriate goal for him, and in the summer of 2002 worked with him to initiate a goal of attending Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
Brian reports that the assistance he received from DRS while in college was very important to his current success. Says Brian, "I struggled through challenges at Gallaudet University for quite a while to accomplish my goals. Each time I took a step back DRS was there to advocate for me and back me up. Had it not been for DRS, the roadmaps to a career in Federal government would have been more difficult. Working with Maryann Rice motivated me to accomplish my goals. Her knowing sign language was a bonus to my motivation toward learning and living".
Brian graduated from Gallaudet University with a Business Administration degree in May '08. After graduation, Brian envisioned a career in public service and was hired by the United States Mint. At the United States Mint, he made many important contributions as an Administrative Assistant, directly supported the Acting Directors of the Workforce Solutions Department, and assisted leaders in maximizing the workplace culture.
In May 2010, Brian was offered a unique opportunity to work as an Equal Opportunity Assistant in the Office of Assistant Secretary Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a detail assignment, while still a United States Mint employee. He performed technical edits for Final Agency Decisions (FAD), reviewed and organized complaint files to ensure completeness for further processing, and prepared Certificates of Service for Director's approval signature. In September 2010, he was offered a career position and promotion at USDA to work for the Agency's Director of Civil Rights.
Outside of work Brian has used his leadership skills in various volunteer capacities such as the President of the Alumni Corporation Board of Delta Sigma Phi and participating as a special guest and keynote speaker at the Black History Month event through Gallaudet University. His counselor Mary Ann has been inspired by seeing him develop as an individual, a professional and a leader. "Brian did not allow obstacles to stand in his way. He worked hard and did what was required, and as a result he has been very successful". For Brian, the sky's the limit.
For more information about services for the deaf or hard of hearing please visit, Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
To learn more, call 1-877-761-9780 Voice, 1-866-264-2149 TTY, 1-866-588-0401 VP, or read about DRS's Services. Refer yourself or someone else for services using the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral.