Renaissance woman proves naysayers wrong while living her dreams

Elaine Houston & WNYT Staff
Created: August 20, 2020 05:03 PM

Jill McManus is a renaissance woman, having accomplished many things and living her dreams. However, the things she's succeeded in she did so after being told she couldn't.

McManus has known since she was a young child what she wanted to be a secretary for a career. However, she is half-deaf and has a learning disability. Throughout high school, the then Lansingburgh resident was told because she was different, a job like that was beyond her reach.


She proved them wrong, earned a degree in computers, and worked as that secretary for several years. Then she went back to school for culinary arts and worked at RPI for Sodexho.

She says the people at the Wildwood School have been instrumental in helping her realize her dreams. In fact, she has her own support system there. So when she wanted to learn sign language, they helped her get a job as an instructor there teaching others to sign, another dream come true.

She regularly proves her critics wrong as she's earned parts in theatrical plays and even has her own talk show on YouTube.

Hear the advice she has for others facing criticism from naysayers by watching the video of Elaine Houston's story.

MORE INFORMATION: Wildwood Programs

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