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February 7, 2010

SAFETY: Determined teen takes on tough task in rural area



St. Mary’s has a media center at the school, and Solomon has become technology savvy. Today’s communication technology is even better for deaf people, according to Crowley.

“He’s determined. That’s part of his makeup,” Crowley said. “His mom is supportive. Despite the distance, she’s here.”

Sheriff James Voutour assigned Preisch and Haseley to the meeting to support Solomon’s effort.

“We were contacted by James, and he is a very determined young man,” Preisch said. “It’s a big challenge, because it’s a rural community that doesn’t have a huge crime rate. It’s difficult to get people to get together and pull together. It’s a big undertaking for him, but he’s continued to strive and make it happen.

“For a teenage boy to want to do this, to get involved and not to get discouraged is very impressive,” Preisch said. “It’s a challenge, but he gets across to you what he wants.”

Haseley, who is in charge of community services, noted that other neighborhood groups are centered in a 1-mile area. Solomon hopes to garner neighbors from a wide area.

“He’s got a much tougher job than any of these. He’s going to continue. He’s going to make it work. James is going in the right direction,” Haseley said. “He has a goal. He wants to help the community and he’s not letting his disability stop him from what he wants getting done, done.”

Solomon, his mother and his sister, Amanda, 21, work on the project at home. They will run their ideas by neighbor Andrea Santos, the wife of a state trooper.

“He works very, very hard for the program,” Santos said. “He’s really an awesome kid. He really is very enthusiastic about it. He keeps trudging. He doesn’t get discouraged easily at all.”

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