Emily’s notes from this episode:
It started at home
- The idea of positive choices was set up for me by my parents when I was born.
- They had the resources and abilities to take care of me and guide me in the right direction.
- My parents were ready to find ways where there weren’t ways yet.
- My elder brothers never treated me any different.
- When we started in Pittsford schools, there were no ramps. My mother told them it was necessary. It wasn’t a demand, she showed them the benefits.
- When my mother passed, I had focus issues so when I went back to work, I had to deal with one customer at a time.
- I watched a friend pass away from cancer so I got myself involved in the American Cancer Society.
- In Guilford College, I wasn’t quite ready for an environment without supervision which I had growing up. I went back to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) and got my degree in social work.
Words of advice
- There are only certain things that you have control over.
- If you’re beating your head against a wall trying to make a change and it’s not going anywhere, it’s time to choose another battle.
- Take the time to make positive choices in your medical situation.
- If you have one relationship that can be repaired, take the time to work on it.
- As a community, we need to stop thinking that any child born without ten fingers and ten toes can’t be the perfect child that you want.
Engage more in social works
- I decided to make a change to honor my mother and get involved with some organizations. One of them is the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Going back to my roots of my social work training, I plan to help a group called Rocovery Fitness that focuses on people who have had substance abuse issues.
Book that inspired him:
Strong in the broken places by Max Cleland
About Pete Boulay:
Pete Boulay is a shining example that anything is possible when you are committed to making things better for yourself and for your community. Pete had congenital bilateral amputation at an early age of four. From ramps in his school to hand controls for driving, Pete always finds a way to get where he wants to go. His parents fostered a can-do attitude since he was small and this nurtured his awareness and sense of responsibility to help others.
Pete has a degree in Social Work from Rochester Institute of Technology. After college, he worked at Huther Doyle in Rochester, NY where they help people overcome substance abuse. He has raised $17,000 for the American Cancer Society and is an active motivational speaker for years now.
Currently, he works at a major communications company as Fiber Optic Service Tech. He is 49 years old and lives with his wife and two dogs in Henrietta, NY.
“I encourage people to find something, they’re passionate in. That one thing, outside of your day to day work, that will help someone else and just run with it.” – Peter Boulay
How to reach Pete Boulay
- Voiceovers by Jim Sidoti.