Dreams Do Come True

By Jonny Thomas Emeron (with help by Judy Warth, Iowa's UCEDD)

July 31, 2017

As we know, employment plays a key role in someone's sense of well-being. Jobs are how most people maintain independence, solidify community inclusion, and create economic security for themselves and their families. Community employment is a primary goal of Iowa's UCEDD.

 Jonny Thomas Emeron is a 19 year old man with Asperger's, high functioning autism, depression, anxiety, a sensory integration disorder and a delightfully wicked sense of humor and a passion for Zelda.  He is participating in a transition program through the Iowa City Community School District.  Jonny works at Wild Bill's Coffee Shop at the University of Iowa's School of Social Work.  https://clas.uiowa.edu/socialwork/resources/wild-bills-coffeeshop

Jonny's Milk Bar has always been my life's dream.  I've always had a deep connection with the legend of Zelda.  The Milk Bar first appeared in Majora's Mask game.  The whole idea of being so creative and connected with legend of Zelda excited me.  I did research on the internet about milk bars.  They were out there but they were really just deli's that made milk shakes.  I wanted to do the real thing.  For all those years, I experimented and made concoctions at home.

Finally I saw my chance.  There was an opening at Wild Bill's Coffee Shop which would give me many of the skills I needed to open my Milk Bar.  During the interview, my new boss was thrilled with the idea.  I wanted to begin working on it right away.  But they needed some time to get ready for it.  So I worked for almost a year.   And then it happened.  One day a potential donor came to visit Wild Bill's.  I came to a reception to meet the man.  Something struck me and I blurted out everything about the milk bar.  This donor was thrilled to hear my plan, my dream and how many years I'd had this dream.  He loved it!  He was head over heels!

It was not too long after that my boss asked me to begin to implement my plan.  I decided what kinds of milk and what flavors to have. I researched the brands of flavors, got signs made and the milk bar opened.  On the first day, I talked to everyone who came in about my dream.  Most people got chocolate milk, a few strawberry milk and a couple vanilla bean and raspberry.  The risky tried the raspberry chocolate!  Some people said it tasted like a milk shake!  We sold more milk than coffee that day!  My dream came true.  I am excited to see how business picks up this fall when we reopen and the students come back.

Besides delicious milk, Jonny's milk bar proves that dreams and fantasies can come true.  If you really love that dream with all your heart and chase that dream and never give up, no matter how long it takes, no matter what trials you have to go through, that dream can come true.  The feel of it coming true is not something that can be described in the English language and is something everyone should feel at least once in their life.  It does not matter how crazy or ridiculous it sounds or if people laugh at it, you should never give up on it.  Never!  I know it may sound like a fairy tale.  Who said fairy tales and fantasies cannot come true?  Right?