FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A local man with a learning disability is going to great lengths to help other people like him live their best life.
Michael Lincoln, a St. Lucie County resident, teamed up with staff at Indian River State College and his Best Buddies group to help put on a screening of the film ‘Intelligent Lives’ to recognize Disability Awareness day.
According to Lincoln and IRSC staff, the film follows the lives of three adults with intellectual disabilities as they go through high school, college, and their careers.
“My goal is to fill this room up to capacity,” Lincoln told his Best Buddies group at their meeting Monday.
It was their final day to put all the finishing touches on their plan for the screening.
“I just want people to come with open hearts and to accept the message because honestly, it’s a good thing for people with special needs,” Lincoln said.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, St. Lucie County Fire Rescue, several police departments and representatives of the Special Olympics are among the groups who have RSVPd to the event.
“It feels good because it shows people care about people with special needs on the Treasure Coast.”
Lincoln has been an advocate for people with special needs and intellectual disabilities after going through his own struggles when he was under the watch of a state-issued guardian.
“It all comes back to my story when I was in a guardianship and I was mistreated and taken advantage of as a person with a disability,” Lincoln said.
With the help of a strong support group, he has won legal fights to allow him to live mostly independently, helping him make more of his own decisions.
He recently landed a new job as a state security guard.
“I never thought in a million dreams that I would be a security guard for the state and the fact that I accomplished that goal is a big deal,” Lincoln said.
His success is something he hopes will inspire other people with special needs.
The film, he hopes, will inspire the community to be more supportive of people like him.
"Anyone can do anything as long as they put their mind to it,” Lincoln said.
The screening begins at 3:30 at the Kight Center, or building ‘V’ at the Fort Pierce Indian River State College campus. It is free and open to the public.