By Amy LaPerle
Vinny Aliries has been working side-by-side with the Rogue Community College’s maintainence department at Riverside since 2007, cleaning out the cigarette stands and picking up the discarded butts around campus.
The 41-year-old is part of Living Opportunities, a non-profit organization that subcontracts with RCC. The organization has been assisting the developmentally disabled and their families in Jackson County since 1974.
“Our mission is for folks with developmental disabilities to be able to ahve regular work, employers, live in the same residential areas and have the same opportunities that others in the community have,” said Jim Gochenour, Director of Development with Living Opportunities.
Aliries has worked closely with Dean Denison since the beginning of his career at RCC. Denison is one of the buildings and grounds maintainence workers at RCC’s Riverside campus.
Denison even made Aliries a tool to help him pick up cigarette butts that get stuck between the cracks in the sidewalk.
“Since I’ve been around Vinny these past few years I’ve picked up his habits, and even respond in his lingo when he’s not around,” Denison said.
Lisa Groble is one of Aliries’s job coaches who has been with him since her started at RCC.
“Vinny’s fun to work with,” Groble said. “He’s funny, proud of his work, his employers are happy to work with him. He does a great job.”
Aliries has accomplished many goals through Living Opportunities. He has his own apartment, and works a second job picking up golf balls at Stuart Meadows Gold Course.
The opinion is unanimous amongst Aliries’s friends in the maintainence department, his coaches and all those who know him.
“Loved everywhere,” Denison said.