We are all put on this earth for a reason.
Sometimes it takes us a while to discover that reason.
As a 17-year old, Mark wouldn’t know his reason if it came up and hit him in the face.
So, it did.
Mark’s story begins SHOCKINGLY, and VIOLENTLY.
Join us for this very moving story of that begins with lost potential, victimhood, and worse.
There’s more to this story than you know…
Mark Minard is the author of “The Story of You: Transforming Adversity Into Adventure, Taking Your Dreams To The Next Level And Beyond.”
He is the owner and co-founder of DreamShine, which proudly serves individuals with special needs.
Mark is a husband to a beautiful wife and father of 5 children.
He is co-host of the Elevating Beyond Podcast.
Mark has family with special needs, and he previously worked in the special education field.
The name “DreamShine” just came to him one day; his book dives into this journey more.
At the age of 26, he saw a huge need in Ohio for something for individuals with special needs to have more options. At the time, the only thing available was institution-type facilities.
Mark spent a year researching the state rules and getting certified. The Governor’s Office contacted him and told him they didn’t want private programs disrupting their system.
“It was intimidating, but it really fueled our passion more”
“No matter what anyone wants to do in life, you face all different levels of adversity”
8.5 years later, the 2.5 acre DreamShine campus is running with a log home, wheelchair accessible lodge, pond, ball room dancing, job program, online store and more. There are 35 people there, as well as 14 staff.
In regards to his “why”, Mark feels God put it in his heart to speak up for these individuals that couldn’t advocate for themselves. He says this was enough to keep the passion, to suffer and have those sleepless nights when he went up against the State.
On the days that you’re feeling down, Mark recommends thinking of who you would be affecting if you gave up.
“Eventually, you’ll see the fruits for all the hard work you put in over the years”
Mark talks about a life-changing event that happened when he was 17 years old.
He woke up in a jail cell and didn’t know how he got there.
The left side of his face was bruised, his jaw was broken and his left eye socket fractured.
He discovered that he as picked up for a DUI the previous night, as well as getting beat up in a drive thru when he brushed into someone’s car.
“Rather than being the worst thing, I kind of started to realize it was a blessing”
The situation motivated him to turn his life around and go to college. He calls this a “continuous transformation”.
He recalls reading his first full book, and how it opened his mind up to a world of reading.
“Keep moving forward, one day at a time”
Mark has experience severe anxiety, feeling overwhelmed without having alcohol to numb himself.
“It was like I was trapped in my own head, my own thoughts. Everything was amplified and accelerated. I would overanalyze what people were thinking of me.”
He writes so much on fear now because he has fought it so much and still deals with it to this day.
“Where courage comes in is you’re feeling that fear, but you don’t let it stop you from the actual doing part”
Mark and his wife are an interracial couple, and he’s learned not to focus on what other people think.
“It’s all in our perspective, what we choose to focus on”
He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. He has learned to make his limitations his best weapon.
After college, Mark kept following the path he believed he was meant to be on.
“Just keep being the best you. Don’t connect it to a job or a position.”
Superhero: He-Man, then Batman
Video Game: Paperboy (for the old Nintendo Entertainment System)
“My book is not about me, it’s about you taking your dreams to the next level and beyond. Transform your adversity into advantage.”
INTERVIEW LINKS: www.MarkMinard.net