Hello everyone! Paul Davis here, excited to be joining the team at One Step Beyond as the newest member of the Communications and Development staff. While I have been running around most of this week, I'm glad to have a moment now to properly introduce myself, and share about my background and first experiences here.
I'm joining you all as both a new hire and new resident of Arizona, having moved here about a month ago. I grew up in Missouri, where I studied political science as an undergraduate and went on to work at the state legislature. Over the years I have worked in public policy and community outreach for a diverse set of groups and communities. One thing many of the folks we worked with had in common was a need for real representation and support for their issues. I'm excited to now to be working for the empowerment and inclusion of those with Intellectual Disabilities, with an organization dedicated to helping them achieve their goals.
So I've been learning a lot this week – names, dates of interest, backgrounds, and all about what goes into the mission of One Step Beyond. In my tour of the facilities, I met with many of our enthusiastic and talented participants, as well as the professional staff guiding their efforts. I saw members engaged with courses in art, music, cooking, theater, fitness, and professional training, all while building their skills and confidence. While I already knew important work was being done here, I was blown away by the scope of opportunity. As I later had the privilege of sharing with city officials at a West Valley community event, the experiences offered here are diverse, rewarding, and unique.
I'm glad I had the moment to reflect, as this week reminded me of a quote I heard in passing. It was an older saying paraphrased by Robert Kennedy in his speeches, about the difference between seeing things as they are, and asking “why”, and dreaming of things that never were, and asking “why not?”. I know that many of the wonderful opportunities I see here, such as places for members to work, socialize, and grow as individuals, were probably not always available. I understand that there are still areas that cannot provide them. But as I've seen, that is no obstacle at all for people who are willing to take one step beyond those circumstances, whether that involves creating new and better services or defying limitations on one's own abilities. I'm deeply impressed with the work I've seen, and I look forward to being a part of it in days ahead.
Paul Davis is the Development and Communications Coordinator for One Step Beyond, Inc., and lives in the Phoenix area. Originally from Missouri, his background is in government and policy. When not in the office he is out enjoying the outdoors, and his interests include hiking, biking and guitar.