Mickie never thought he would be a teacher. But he has spent the last four years showing others with vision loss how to make the most of their technology. He has fun every day as an Outlook Enrichment (Enrichment) adaptive technology trainer. It took some time to get here, but he feels like he’s where he’s supposed to be.
In 2006, Mickie lived in Lincoln, Neb. His associate’s degree from Southeast Community College in Lincoln started him down the computer programmer career path. But, not for the first time in his life, things weren’t quite going as planned.
Mickie was born totally blind and with hearing loss. The blindness never bothered him as much as the hearing loss did. Mickie’s high school dream job was in audio engineering. He wanted to be behind the scenes at a radio station. However, this dream sat just out of reach for him because of his hearing loss. He needed a new plan.
Mickie received his first computer in 1997. After spending some time wondering what to do with it, he decided to see what the computer could do. Mickie always enjoyed figuring out how things worked, so he applied the same mindset to mastering the computer.
Mickie found working with computers exciting, which led to him starting his programming classes. He thought this career path would work for him.
A random comment during one of Mickie’s math tutoring sessions in college stuck with him. While he attempted to fix his notetaker, the tutor mentioned teaching to Mickie. This made Mickie think. Maybe there’s something to this.
After some job searching, Mickie moved to Omaha to join Outlook Nebraska’s production team at the end of 2006. Making toilet paper was not his career goal, but earning a paycheck and making some friends satisfied him. Outlook was still growing, and the future seemed bright here.
In 2017, Mickie’s familiarity with using a MacBook computer was needed to help a program participant. At that moment, Mickie realized he could combine his love for technology and his ability to help others accomplish their goals. His tutor’s comment about teaching came back to him.
Mickie now shows Enrichment participants how to become self-sufficient on computers, smartphones, and other devices. Seeing a person learn something new makes Mickie smile every day.
Mickie always feels proud to get up and go to work every day. But he now says he has the perfect career.
Mickie purchased his first home in 2017. He loves spending time outside during nice weather with his dog, Skippy.
Mickie goes cross-country skiing in the winter whenever he can. Every January, he attends Ski For Light in South Dakota. This nonprofit hosts cross-country skiing events to show visually impaired people how to ski and to have fun in the snow.
If you meet Mickie, ask him about his sky diving trip in 2018. He loved it and plans to do it again.