Multiplying Good: Edward Mitchell
It’s time for Multiplying Good, an award given to people making a positive impact in the community. It’s in partnership with Leaders Credit Union.
Edward Mitchell is a local man who has overcame major obstacles, and is helping others do the same.
“What I admire most about him is, he’s so involved in helping others that he never stops to think about his own situation,” said Sandy Mitchell Jr., Edward Mitchell’s father.
Edward Mitchell is a man on a mission to help and advocate for people living with a disability because for him, the cause is personal.
“March 29, 2003, when I was a victim of a hit-and-run accident. I was struck by a truck and tossed into a cornfield,” Edward Mitchell said.
The incident left him paralyzed from the chest down, unable to walk and unable to fully use his arms and hands. He says that is the day his life took on a new purpose.
“I had to learn how to operate using a wheelchair, and it really changed from being an able-bodied person, to a disabled-body person and just really making the most of it,” Edward Mitchell said.
Edward Mitchell went on to graduate from college with a Bachelors and Master’s Degree. He learned how to drive a modified van on his own, and even testified before the U.S. Senate at their hearing to support the Economic Stability and Self-Sufficiency of Americans with Disabilities.
“It’s important to me, because no matter if you have a spinal cord injury or any type of injury, this doesn’t define you. This is just one roadblock that you can push through, one speed bump that you will get over,” Edward Mitchell said.
Now, as an independent living specialist for the Jackson Center for Independent Living, he is able to encourage people going through a similar journey. He even helps supply them with the necessary medical equipment.
“One of our mandates is that half of our staff and half of our board members have disabilities because it helps someone else with a disability to understand and to relate, and Edward is so good at that,” said JCIL Director Beth James.
“You know, people talk about their heroes. He is my hero,” Sandy Mitchell Jr. said.
He says his son inspires him to reach for his goals and lend a helping hand along the way.
“There is no ceiling. There is no limit, and I can’t wait to see what, what is going to happen next,” Sandy Mitchell Jr. said.
“I want to make other people’s experiences easier on them, so they don’t have to hit those speed bumps and they can get to their next goal,” Edward Mitchell said.
Edward Mitchell says he plans to buy a new wheelchair accessible van, save for a home and continue helping others reach their full potential.
You can nominate someone for the Multiplying Good Award here.