2021 Independence Award Winner: Toby

President/CEO Clark Brekke awards Toby with a 2021 Independence Award.

Toby finds the good in every moment and moves forward through hard ones. If he has a difficult day, he tells himself “You are supposed to [have bad days] so you can tell a good day.”

Toby’s been trying to make the world a better place since childhood. He got an award for leadership when he started his own neighborhood recycling business during elementary school. This was long before the university and city started recycling.

Toby has been part of the Idaho Special Olympics for over 30 years. He is also an artist. His artwork is seen often at Moscow’s Artwalk.

Toby finds many ways to be a voice to people with disabilities. He has worked at the Idaho Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) for 20 years. He joined the City of Moscow mayor and Friendly Neighbors on a trip to Boise to advocate for better accessibility. Together, they asked state leaders for money to make the Moscow Senior Center and Friendship Hall easier to access. They were successful and were able to remodel both.

Toby is also a member of Partners in Policy Makers. As a member, he talks to Idaho legislators to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Helping people is important to Toby, so he became an officer at the Self Advocates Leadership Network (SALN). While there, he helped get money for a housing project for people with developmental disabilities.

Toby’s infectious laughter keeps his teammates at the Moscow Goodwill smiling. His coworkers love to work with him. In addition to Goodwill, Toby has worked in the maintenance department at the University of Idaho for 19 years.

Toby can do anything! He is the definition of independence. In March 2022, Goodwill was proud to award him a 2021 Independence Award.

Toby is increasing his hours at Goodwill. He has worked himself out of needing a job coach at U of I. He volunteers at the local food co-op. He was one of the artists featured in the Art Ability Art Show. Those artists get together as a group and work on a project regularly.

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