The Cohesion Project profiles 3 diverse men who have 2 things in common 1. They all have CP. 2. They all kick ass on a regular basis.
Cerebral Palsy(CP), is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It’s caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development. "Cerebral" refers to the brain and "palsy" to muscle weakness/poor control. Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive (i.e. brain damage does not get worse); however, secondary conditions, such as muscle spasticity, can develop which may get better over time, get worse, or remain the same.
The Cohesion Project is a documentary that will profile three men from diverse backgrounds that basically have 2 things in common – 1. They all have CP. 2. They all kick ass on a regular basis. CP has manifested itself differently in Glenn Haerle, Josh Blue and Rich Donovan but it has not stopped them from plowing through life with a purpose to accomplish goals, spread positivity and have a damn good time doing it.
Glenn Haerle is a successful, beloved Special Education teacher in New Jersey. Glenn lived an active childhood, including a successful stint as a Little League pitcher, a few varsity letters in track in high school and a consistent love of hiking. After graduating from Montclair State College, Glenn worked for United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, where he learned quite a bit. Glenn recalls, “one of the main things I learned is that despite the fact that the clients had more physical ‘limitations’ than I, they seemed to have a better attitude about their situations than I did.” The attitude change motivated him to excel as a Developmental Specialist and he earned the 1997 UCP Adult Day Services Employee of the Year.
Glenn’s passion for hiking grew to replace his early love for sports and competition. He decided last year to tackle the highest peak in the Northeast – Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. He had many friends who joined him on the hike including college pals, colleagues, and his older brother, who always pushed him to push himself.
Josh Blue was born in Cameroon, grew up in Minnesota and honed his comedic skills at Evergreen State College in Washington State. While earning college credits performing his comedy at a café, Josh opened for a local band and quickly became the main draw. He proved time and time again that he could match verbal barbs with anyone. His good friend coined the phrase “reverse teasing” when describing Josh’s self-deprecation and unrelenting wit. He believes that humor is both an innate gift and finely tuned craft.
CP is a big part of his stand up and he pulls no punches as he relates his daily life and observations to his growing audience. Josh says that “CP is part of who I am and I wouldn’t change it if I could.” He is one of the country’s hottest comedians and winner of Season 4 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Josh is a member of the U.S. Paralympics Soccer Team and is currently crisscrossing the nation as part of his tour, providing his special take on life, CP and refusing to bow to any of the challenges he faces
Rich Donovan, born in Canada, was a successful VP at Merrill Lynch before founding IPS, a New York-based company delivering economic empowerment to people with disabilities. IPS has partnered with PepsiCo, Target and Goldman Sachs, among others to combat the negative viewpoints on disability and connect talented people with forward thinking executives.
He has earned a B.B.A. from Schulich School of Business at York University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Rich has earned numerous achievement awards in his quest to open minds to the amazing talented population of those with disabilities.
Rich provides insights into his world of navigating New York City and executive boardrooms throughout the country. His economic acumen and communication prowess has enabled him to be a force in the world of finance. He shares his views on traveling the “Alternate Path,” his term for figuring out how to reach specific goals without taking the given expected routes that have been taken for granted by most of society. He is also an avid sailor and a proud new father.
By addressing the arenas of Education, Entertainment and Economics, The Cohesion Project will explore society’s outlook on disability through these three diverse men with some fascinating, original perspectives, as they share their inspirational journeys.
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