Today we’d like to introduce you to Troy Greisen.
Troy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have a lifelong calling and passion to work and volunteer and serve those with disabilities and special needs. It began in High school, with a close friend who had an accident that caused sudden brain trauma. He became involved in Special Education, and I was inspired. I then sought a degree in Special Ed, and through an internship, landed a job with Special Olympics. I worked my way up at the state, then National levels working with Special Olympics, then moved up to working at the Special Olympics International Headquarters. After several years of working to further develop Special Olympics in over 75 countries and build new programs across the world, including Afghanistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, and what is now the largest Special Olympics program in the world, India, I left the organization to settle back in the US, in Dallas, TX. My career devoted to working with those with special needs led me to where I am now, as President & CEO of Ability Connection, one of the largest nonprofits in the state serving comprehensive programs for children and adults with all types of physical and intellectual disabilities.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
At the end of the day, there is no greater feeling than knowing the work I do has gone in some small way toward serving this population with special needs. That is always satisfying. The struggles I see are not my own. Those are so insignificant compared to the struggles I see daily in the lives of those with disabilities. This segment of our population has been neglected, forgotten, and turned away, even abused and with great discrimination and prejudice, throughout world history. Still today, this population is left often unnoticed, uncared for, yet many of them remain our society’s most vulnerable and with the greatest needs. Seeing these struggles in some of the most remote and desolate places on earth, just drives me even further to help them achieve, become tolerated, accepted, and ultimately included, here in Dallas, Texas.
Please tell us about Ability Connection.
Ability Connection has been a leading charitable nonprofit and one of the largest in Texas serving children and adults with disabilities for over 60 years, beginning in 1954.
Our mission is to provide comprehensive life changing care, training and support services to children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities as they strive to achieve their highest level of independence and inclusion. We provide such services and medical and healthcare, residential group homes and assisted living, therapy such as occupational, speech, physical and other, respite, specialized before and after school care, and day training centers for adults with special needs providing much needed development toward independent living, health & fitness, community inclusion, education, and vocational training.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up in a small rural farm town in eastern Kansas. My father is a pastor (still today at 82 years old, same church I grew up in…). My favorite memories were summertime, riding bikes to the nearby lake, jumping off the cliffs, swimming and fishing in the lake, and playing a pick-up game of baseball afterwards.
- As a charitable nonprofit, our only “Pricing” is to seek donations. $25 can provide a single child with a disability the opportunity to experience life changing support for a day.
- Address: 8802 Harry Hines Blvd.,
Dallas, TX 75235
- Website: www.abilityconnection.org
- Phone: 214 247 4500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AbilityConnectionOrg/