Community

Marysville's Dwoskin advocates for fellow people with disabilities

Preston Dwoskin - Courtesy Photo
Preston Dwoskin
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

MARYSVILLE — At the age of 20, Preston Dwoskin has already accomplished a host of goals on a statewide scale, while also living with hearing and developmental disabilities, and even as his hearing continues to go down from its current level of 67 percent, he’s setting his bar of accomplishment ever higher.

Dwoskin has visited Olympia as part of the Arc of Snohomish County’s leadership development program and spoken to the media about how the governor’s proposed budget could impact people with disabilities. With two relatives who have served as legislators, one on the state level and the other in Washington, D.C., he’s proud to carry on what he sees as a family tradition, and he’s advocated strongly on behalf of people with disabilities.

“I’m working to get special education to become just education,” Dwoskin said. “Rather than pulling students apart, everyone deserves to be treated equally. Because of the House bill that was passed in 2007, I was allowed to graduate from Marysville-Pilchuck High School with my peers in 2010.”

In addition to volunteering to feed the homeless, coaching and refereeing various youth sports, and emceeing the Marysville YMCA’s annual breakdancing contests, Dwoskin impressed Kelly Church, the parent/family coalition coordinator for the Arc of Snohomish County, by stepping up to lead and motivate the more than 60 members of its legislative advocacy workshop in Olympia last month. She cited the two days and three nights that he worked with her and the Developmental Disabilities Council, from Dec. 1-3 in the capitol, on developing position statements on retaining available respite care for family members, as well as Medicaid services for those with disabilities.

“Preston has been a real blessing to our leadership development program,” Church said. “He is a real go-getter and a true leader in our community.”

Jim Strickland taught Dwoskin in the Marysville School District’s Life Skills program. As Dwoskin has progressed to enrolling in the 18-21 Transition Opportunities program and Everett Community College, Strickland has observed that his former pupil has never been content to stay in the background.

“He gravitates toward the spotlight and leadership roles,” Strickland said. “He has high aspirations and a real can-do attitude, so I can’t wait to see how he continues to make his mark in years to come.”

Dwoskin’s volunteer work with Jon Nehring’s mayoral campaign this past fall has inspired him to seek elective office himself, most likely with a run for a Marysville City Council seat within the next five years. Dwoskin had met Nehring through local youth sports, and was impressed by how the incumbent mayor “listens to your whole idea” during conversations.

“I also like his buzz-cut and the way he acts in the community,” Dwoskin said.

“Preston’s passion for life and community service is a real inspiration,” Nehring said. “Something that really seems to define his character is his passion for building a sense of community spirit. While he knows that doesn’t mean getting all people behind a single idea or plan, it does mean building relationships in the community to improve the lives of others, and cultivating natural leaders who can then go out and inspire effective community groups working together on projects that serve the community.”

Dwoskin will be speaking to the Marysville School District’s Special Education PTSA during their meeting in the Marysville Library on Thursday, Jan. 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“I’m not just going to spend my time sitting around,” Dwoskin said. “I enjoy helping other people.”

 

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