The DSAWM staff sat down a few weeks ago to interview our new Self Advocate Intern Eric Willinger.
Tell us about yourself, Eric.
I’m so cute!
Haha, and confident!
Yes! I am from Grand Rapids and live with my mom and dad. I have three brothers and one sister and am an uncle to my sister’s two boys. I graduated from Northview High School in 2006 and from 2006-2008 I went to Calvin College.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like word searches, bowling, watching sports, going to the movies, and traveling. I LOVE pop and eating hot dogs and french fries. At home, I help my mom with chores like doing the laundry, and I really like listening to Disney music. I also work at the Alpine Culver’s.
What do you do at Culver’s?
I’m a runner. I get lots of tips, sometimes $20 a week!
That’s awesome! And what made you want to work at DSAWM?
My friend Nate asked me. I like working with Nate a lot, even though he needs to shave! It makes me happy. I also like working with Victoria. She is happy, talented, and smiles a lot.
What sort of things do you do at DSAWM as the Self Advocate Intern?
I help prepare mailings, clean and tidy up, write thank you notes, and do artwork for events. I also help with advocacy presentations. Last month, Nate and I gave a presentation for Artists Creating Together. I thought the presentation went really good. I wasn’t nervous and had fun meeting new friends and people. I want to partner with Nate for more presentations in the future. Maybe I can bring some of my friends to help!
That’s a great idea, Eric! Are you enjoying working for DSAWM at the new SOMI center?
Yeah! I’m so happy to make money! I want to make more money, maybe $800 or $900 a week, but I enjoy getting a paycheck. I really like the lockers and old high school look of the SOMI center, but working can sometimes be hard with all the construction and noise.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I want to take a trip, maybe to Washington DC or Disney World in Florida. I really want to go to a MSU football game and this summer I hope to go to Camp Sunshine. Eventually, I want to learn to drive and would like to get married one day.
Those are excellent goals to strive for. What would you say to someone who is reading this and has goals like yours?
I would say hi, and good luck to everyone! Go out and make great friends because they will make you happy and can help you accomplish your goals.