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Mute teenager walks miles to find a job

Posted: 10:34 PM, Jul 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-11 15:16:25Z

FORT MYERS, Fla., -- Macandi Lovell, 19, can't speak because of medication that has been locked in his respiratory system for over a year. Now, he says he walks miles a day looking for a job that will help him earn the money to get a car and the surgery he needs. 

Fox 4 gave Lovell a dry-erase board so that he could write down his answers. 

"I was let go because of me being mute," wrote Lovell explaining his experiences in the workplace. "I think I’m not making enough, just from working at restaurants I need to be able to afford a vehicle.”

Lovell says he's been walking around with a letter explaining his situation to several businesses in Fort Myers. He says he's applied to 17 different places. 

A stranger saw him walking and posted of photo of him and the letter to Facebook . The post went viral with nearly 200 comments of people posting job offers. 

“I felt outstanding to see each person reaching out to giving options to where I need to get a career at." wrote Lovell. 

The Lee County of Remarkable Citizens (LARC) says they have built a training program for disability persons. 

“Through our experiences we’ve seen individuals with disabilities with the proper training and the proper support be real high performers in the work place," explained LARC Executive Director, Kevin Lewis. 

Lewis says through workshops and consistent communication between their clients and employers, they've seen more jobs become available for those with disabilities. 

“I think there’s increasing awareness that what we used to think of people with disabilities are now people with capabilities.” 

Lovell says he's trying to earn the money to get the surgery he needs. If you would like to help Lovell, reach Pamela Jenkins, Director of Community Services at LARC at pamelajenkins@larcleecounty.org or call 239-334-6285.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the LARC program, visit their website at  https://larcleecounty.org/