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InterHab Outstanding Youth Award 2022

Rainbows’ Teenager Overcomes Challenges

When Seth Russell was announced as the recipient of InterHab’s Outstanding Youth Award for 2022, the teenager’s face broke into his familiar grin.  When Seth grins, his whole face lights up and he was positively beaming when he walked to the stage to accept his award.

Over the last two years 16-year-old Seth has had challenges to overcome, one of them being the loss of his mother. Seth will share his sadness, but always shares that his mother wants him to be happy and to keep doing great things.

Another challenge Seth is continuing to work through is dealing with regulating his emotions. The Rainbows’ Direct Support Professional that works with Seth three days a week provides him support to talk through his emotions and learn to problem solve. With the support of his DSP, Seth has learned at school if he has an issue to go to a teacher. On the bus, he brings his headphones to listen to music to self-calm.

He is also learning to take time away from siblings if he begins to feel angry or frustrated.

Seth has been a part of the Rainbows’ family from a young age. During his time at Rainbows, Seth has shown a tremendous amount of growth while participating in Camp Woodchuck and In-home services.

Seth touches the lives of everyone who has the opportunity to meet and develop a relationship with him. His camp staff, Direct Support Professional and all who know Seth are amazed at his positive attitude and how he lights up every room he enters.

Seth participated in one of Rainbows’ big events, Fashion Passion. At the event he showed his personality and wonderful dance moves with many other friends at the opening of the Fashion Show. He was a star and shined bright for the crowd. His smile melted the hearts of everyone watching.

It is exciting to see the accomplishments and growth that Seth has achieved in the past year. Seth began loading and unloading dishes last year with his Camp staff and now he is doing his own laundry and cooking with his current DSP. Seth cooks scrambled eggs and pancakes and is so proud of his progress toward a more independent life.

The most recent and significant accomplishment is Seth is now employed at McDonalds. He works 6 to 10 hours a week while attending school and playing sports. Seth enjoys having his own money he has earned and is proud of himself.

Those who know Seth could not be more thrilled and happy for him. Rainbows is grateful to be a part of Seth’s journey and we look forward to all the great things Seth will do in the future. He is a true shining star!

Seth lives with his with his father and two younger brothers.