Special needs Butler Tech teen helping seniors during important time

Butler Tech student Max Pierson is among the dozens of high school students working at key jobs during the ongoing coronavirus battle.

The 19-year-old is developmentally disabled and learning in the independent living transitional program – Project Life – conducted by Butler Tech.

And at a time when millions of Ohioans are working from home as part of coronavirus preventive measures, Pierson is working up to 12-hour shifts in a local retirement community through a job he earned with Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries.

Pierson has a heart for people and all the more so during these dire times, said Jacob Krause, a Butler Tech Project Life instructor.

“He is a young man who has overcome a lot and he has done so well at work he has gone from working a four-hour shift to 12 hours at times,” said Krause.

“Max takes such great pride in helping the residents at the senior center.”

Pierson’s work at the Mount Healthy Christian Village in Hamilton County involves many tasks, including delivering food, dish washing and janitorial tasks.

Pierson, who is also an accomplished bowler having competed in the Ohio high school tournament and finished in top 10 percent of participants when he was a sophomore, is working toward living independently in all ways, said his father, Greg Pierson.

“Eventually he wants to move out on his own,” he said.

A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for Butler Tech, said Pierson is just one example of the special needs program’s many success stories.

Huff said Pierson will stay a part of the Butler Tech program until he is ready to move on.

“Project LIFE is a transition program so he has deferred his diploma in order to complete two more years with Butler Tech in transition,” she said.

Pierson said working with the elderly, especially during a global pandemic, is much more than a job to him.

“It helps me a lot to know a lot of people lean on me. It makes me feel good but I would feel better if the coronavirus wasn’t around,” he said.

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