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Hayley’s Next Steps

One thing you notice about Hayley is her can-do attitude. She says, “It’s the greatest thing to do a challenge…just try. You can’t assume you won’t be good.”

Hayley Hess has been ice skating for more than a decade. She started skating after watching a friend. Within a year, she was competing and won first place, twice. She was 13 years old.

When Hayley talks about ice skating, she lights up. “It’s a beautiful sport to do…the breeze on my face, just feel the ice and it feels so good,” she says.

Hayley took a break from competing when she moved to Jacksonville to attend On Campus Transition (OCT). It was through the OCT program that Hayley was able to increase her education and begin to live independently. After OCT, Haley moved to The Arc Jacksonville Village. At The Village, Hayley feels safe and loves being surrounded by her friends.

Since moving to The Village, Hayley has returned to ice skating. She takes JTA transportation to the ice rink every week. “When I’m at the ice rink, people don’t know that I have a disability.”

In addition to ice skating, Hayley serves as an AmeriCorps member for The Arc Jacksonville and works at Top Golf in their Guest Services department.

She credits The Arc Jacksonville and the OCT program for much of her success, “Just imagine how unlucky I would have been if they (OCT) weren’t so supportive. I’m very thankful for the person that created The Arc. It was life-changing.”