He needed a helping hand. He ended up offering one instead
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ewa Beach man is overcoming adversity with the help of Lanakila Disability Services and his own work ethic.
For the past three months, 51-year-old Marvin Jack has been getting training at the Hawaiian Railway Society.
“In my life, this the first time I’ve worked on the tracks,” said Jack. “I learned how to replace dice, keep the tracks in good condition, good running position for the train.”
Jack has almost no eyesight.
He came to Hawaii from Micronesia in 2017 as a referral patient hoping for eye surgery.
Jack learned doctors could not restore his sight and was introduced to Lanakila Disability Services, where it became clear that menial or custodial work wasn’t for him.
“We found that he was really interested in cars and automotive and working with heavy machinery,” said David Comfort, manager of Employment Services at Lanakila Pacific.
“We were working on a model, we got it started,” said Benjamin Dela Cruz, superintendent of operational equipment at the Hawaiian Railway Society.
“He was already telling us what was wrong with it [and] he was 15 feet away.”
Aside from working on the train tracks, Jack has been repairing picnic benches and train engines.
His mentor, Dela Cruz, said he’s always eager to learn new skills.
“We tell him what for do and he does it,” said Dela Cruz. “And when he’s pau, he’ll come looking for us.”
Jack got the news Friday that he is now a permanent employee at the railway. “I’m lucky these guys accept me to try to work with them and have the training with them,” said Jack.
Like the little engine that could, Jack shows anything is possible through hard work and optimism.
“Don’t be afraid, go out and do it,” said Jack. “If you want to do it, go and do it, don’t let anybody stop you.”
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