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Vista Student Wins Scholarship

Vista student Dillon Dean-Frazier hopes to inspire others with disabilities to follow their dreams

A disability does not define a person: That’s the message Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center student Dillon Dean-Frazier emphasized in the letter that won him a $2,000 scholarship from BD Remodeling & Restoration, a residential architecture firm with offices in Connecticut and New York.

Despite being diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological movement disorder, Dillon strives to live life to the fullest. No goal is too big for him, whether it’s playing sports, performing on stage in musical productions, holding various internship positions or successfully utilizing public transportation to travel around the community.

“No matter what my goals are, I know that if I work hard, I will accomplish what I set out to do,” said Dillon, of Old Lyme. “I do not let my dystonia define me.”

One of Dillon’s ultimate goals is to become an independent member of the shoreline community. This is what he works toward every day at Vista, where he learns valuable employment skills and life skills. Outside the classroom, he serves as an elected member of Vista’s Student Advisory Council.

Dillon makes the most of his spare time by staying active through sports, including wheelchair basketball, softball and soccer. He also enjoys the performing arts. Among his stage credits, Dillon has performed in Legally Blonde, The Pirates of Penzance and the Vista Arts Center production of The Wizard of Oz.

Having won the scholarship, Dillon hopes his story will inspire others with disabilities to follow in his “tread marks” toward the path of their own dreams.

“You have to push for what you want. You can’t just sit back, relax and let it come to you,” Dillon said. “The goals that you set, you’ve got to make them bigger than life. That’s what I’ve been doing; I’ve been pushing toward all my goals.”

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista is a nationally accredited community-based education program for individuals with disabilities.

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Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org.

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