On November 15, 2018, hip members and staff gathered at the Fort Lee Recreation Center for the Annual meeting. Following a light supper arranged by the Hudson staff there was a short business meeting at which the Board of Trustees were sworn in for their new terms and the Annual Report for the 2017 Program year was distributed.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was a moving and inspirational presentation by Victor Muniz. The 31 year old from Kearny shared his experience as a spinal cord injury survivor citing the various physical, employment and social barriers that he encountered over the nine years following his injury. Through it all hip was able to advocate for him and provide encouragement as he navigated the various social service agencies.
Things began to turn around for Victor in 2015 when he completed a training program to become a dispatcher and was later hired as a Security Systems Operator for the Hudson County Department of Corrections. He has recently taken delivery on his modified van which enables him to follow the flexible schedule of the job and it offers the freedom to travel around with his new wife Laura.
Everyone at the meeting was moved by Victor’s story and his willingness to share his journey as a peer support person.