Harley Martinez: Shining the Light of Excellence

Harley Martinez started working at Lighthouse right after high school.  He is one of the eight students working through Lighthouse’s Student Transition Program which helps young individuals with disabilities (ages 14-21) transition into the workforce.

Like many young people starting their first job, working was an adjustment for Harley.  He first started working in the Vocational Training Program (VTP) in the Lighthouse building where he assembled fire kits. Focusing on his job did not come easy at first. There were plenty of distractions in the bustling building—co-workers, staff and visitors.

But through the consistent encouragement of Program Specialist Bob Zajac and Supervisor Dena Soders, Harley learned the tools of focusing on his projects.  Two years later, Harley works with meticulous accuracy and improved focus which will help him in his career.

Bob Zajac praises him, “Harley has come a long way. He has grown in focus…Does outstanding work.”

His supervisor Dena agrees and describes Harley as “having a good personality, comical and his work as accurate.”  In addition to growing in work skills, Harley also started opening up with his co-workers and his sense of humor—a dry wit—emerged.

Harley and his friend, Dustin at LVS

Harley works in the VTP two days a week, but his favorite job is going out with Community Participation Services (CPS) for Meals on Wheels. While delivering, Harley enjoys engaging in banter with his co-worker Bradley.  He also finds satisfaction in checking off each home from the list.  When asked about how many stops he makes for Meals on Wheels, Harley gives an accurate answer: “10 to 15 stops per day.”

One thing that is evident is Harley likes to count.  His Mom Denise Martinez remarks, “Harley likes to give the traffic report. He mentions if he saw an ambulance on the way to Lighthouse.”

Outside of Lighthouse, he enjoys watching crime shows, listening to music of all types and observing YouTube videos on cars and trucks. While watching car videos, he pauses to write down the exact make and models of the vehicles. When asked about a favorite movie, he says he wants to see Wonka.

His mother Denise remarks on his character, “Harley is meticulous. He writes down what he did all day. What he is going to do the next day. He likes to plan.”

Harley lives with his parents, his younger brother Chris as well as four dogs: three yorkies and one cavalier.  When he is at home, he takes care of the dogs and faithfully lets them out at 11am.  Although quiet, Harley enjoys people, being with his parents and going where they go.  His favorite food is cheese pizza from Sunoco.  Harley attends LCBC and has friends from church.

Harley also appreciates sports. In the summer, he plays basketball.  Sporting an Eagles beanie, Harley says, “I normally enjoy watching the Eagles but not this year…Maybe next year.” He also watches the Phillies. At Lighthouse, Harley can find plenty of other co-workers who root for the same teams.

Harley’s Mom Denise reflects about Lighthouse, “(He is) really are blessed to be at Lighthouse. He loves it.”  When asked about the favorite thing: “The people” The participants.”

– Emily Bauman, Marketing & Communications Assistant

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