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Edward Mitchell’s Journey to Financial Security

July 8, 2021

Photo of Edward Mitchell with his mother and father at an awards ceremony.

Edward Mitchell knows from his own experiences that obtaining information about financial resources for people with disabilities isn’t easy. After a hit and run car accident that left him with a spinal cord injury when he was 17 years old, he has had considerable educational and community success, but continues to educate himself and others about resources that can be used to increase financial security.

Edward graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Lane College, a private historically Black college, and went on to get his master’s in business administration (MBA) from Union University. He works part-time as an Independent Living Specialist with the Jackson Independent Living Center and also serves as the Fan Relations Coordinator for the Jackson Generals minor league baseball team. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a member of the National Black MBA Association. On March 29th of this year, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee appointed Edward to a three-year term as a member of the Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Despite his significant achievements and work skills, he has been forced to take part-time employment at reduced salaries in order to maintain benefits and needed nursing support. However, Edward is focused on moving into full-time employment. Towards that end, he works with a benefits advisor to learn more about work incentives and supports through the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program.

Also, Edward’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account allows him to save money without penalizing him or jeopardizing his benefits. He likes that it gives him control over his finances and increases his independence. Edward wants to join his more financially independent, non-disabled friends by moving out of his parents’ house and buying his own home. He recently fulfilled one of his ABLE goals by purchasing an accessible van which gives him much needed autonomy.

Because Edward knows how important it is to share financial resources with the disability community, he serves as an ABLE National Resource Center Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Ambassador. In this role, he educates people with disabilities about their financial savings options. He works to increase the number of people in the BIPOC community who hold tax-advantaged ABLE savings accounts that help them fund disability-related expenses.