ADEN Podcast Series

Listen to the new ADEN podcast!

Introducing the American Dream Employment Network Podcast Series!

This podcast series will introduce you to the power of the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) in helping individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits return to work or begin working for the first time.

Listen to the Podcast

You’ll hear from both ADEN participants and providers about their experiences with the Ticket to Work program, including topics like:

  • The history and mission of ADEN
  • Breaking down barriers to employment
  • Paths to financial independence
  • Job search skills
  • Using Work Incentives
  • Transitioning off benefits
  • Career counseling
  • Success stories
  • And more!

Episode Guide

Click to learn more about each podcast episode and its featured guest!

In this episode…

The American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) podcast introduces the employment service designed to help individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits return to work. Discover the history and mission behind ADEN, an innovative nationwide network of employment service providers. You’ll also learn how ADEN’s model as a national administrative employment network under Social Security’s Ticket to Work program helps break down barriers to employment for beneficiaries.

Featured Guests: Mary Lynn ReVoir & Kevin Nickerson, Co-Founders and Co-Directors, American Dream Employment Network

Mary Lynn ReVoir is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the American Dream Employment Network, a division of National Disability Institute (NDI). Mary Lynn has more than 40 years of experience developing and operating programs to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. Tapping into eight years of experience working in the public workforce system, and as a nationally recognized subject matter expert on Ticket to Work, Mary Lynn joined the NDI Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Technical Assistance Team as the ticket coordinator for two years. Prior to working with the DEI Technical Assistance Team, Mary Lynn held leadership positions with the Iowa public workforce system as State Lead Disability Navigator and the state workforce Ticket to Work program. For 18 years, she served as Executive Director of a private disability services provider in Iowa and developed innovative service programs for children and adults with disabilities. She is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin and a Certified Work Incentive Practitioner from Cornell University. In her spare time, Mary Lynn enjoys canoeing in all seasons, yoga and listening to blues music.

Kevin Nickerson is a nationally recognized expert on the effective implementation of Employment Networks (ENs) within the public workforce system, as well as a formerly Certified Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC), now Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor (CPWIC). With 30 years of experience helping SSA disability beneficiaries in achieving self-sufficiency, and more than two decades of experience operating a successful Employment Network, Kevin employed this experience as the Disability Resource Coordinator State Lead for NYS under their Round 1 Disability Employment Initiative. He now works for National Disability Institute as ADEN Co-Director, serving as a catalyst supporting strategies that enhance the financial capability of individuals with disabilities. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. When not focused on the work of NDI, you’ll find Kevin restoring vintage arcade machines and other artifacts from the past.

In this episode…

This episode features a conversation with Aron Gerson, who shares his journey of returning to full-time work after receiving Social Security disability benefits. Aron describes the challenges of living on a fixed income and his motivation to gain financial independence. He credits ADEN for guiding him through the Ticket to Work program and teaching him job search skills that led to his current role in the Connecticut Department of Social Services. Aron also offers advice on disclosing a disability, utilizing work incentives, and persevering throughout the transition off benefits.

Featured Guest: Barbara Green, Ticket to Work/Disability Resource Coordinator, Workforce Alliance

Barbara has been involved with the Ticket to Work program and has been a Disability Resource Coordinator for the Workforce Alliance since 2017. Barbara worked with Youth, connecting individuals with disabilities to employment and training opportunities through the four American Job Centers in the South-Central regions of Connecticut. Workforce Alliance is a Member of the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) and Barbara manages Employment Network services helping SSA disability beneficiaries return to work through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program.

Barbara has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Psychology from Elmira College and a graduate certificate in Training and Development from Fairfield University. In June 2018, Barbara completed Cornell University’s Work Incentive Planning and Utilization training. As an ADEN member, she continues to practice as a Certified Work Incentive Practitioner providing benefits counseling and employment support services to Social Security beneficiaries through the Ticket to Work program.

In this episode…

This episode features a conversation with Ian Foley, a certified rehabilitation counselor who shares his personal and professional journey of assisting individuals with disabilities in returning to work. Ian discusses his experience living with a visual impairment, the challenges it presented in his own career, and how it enables him to empathize with ADEN participants. He explains the rewarding aspects of guiding clients through the Ticket to Work program as an ADEN provider, including long-term career counseling, benefits advisement, and witnessing their success. He also offers advice on building a steady ADEN business and encourages employment service providers to consider this autonomous, flexible work.

Featured Guest: Ian Foley, ADEN Member

Ian Foley has been an ADEN member since early 2018. From Buffalo, NY, Ian is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and is certified both as a Work Incentives Practitioner and Veterans Work Incentives Practitioner from Cornell’s ILR School. Ian comes to ADEN with decades of experience in behavioral health, supervision of staff, job readiness and placement, vocational evaluation, and benefits advisement to participants. Legally blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, Ian has adjusted to diminishing vision and utilized Social Security’s work incentives and safety nets as he built his Employment Network (EN) business with the support of ADEN staff and leadership. Ian’s participants benefit from Ian’s hands-on experience with work incentives and the return-to-work process, inspiring and motivating them to reach their own goals. In his free time, Ian enjoys the outdoors as he hikes, bikes, skis, and kayaks across scenic Western New York. Ian also enjoys archery, cooking, barbecuing and frequenting live music venues around Buffalo.

In this episode…

On this inspirational episode of the American Dream Employment Network podcast, host Kevin Nickerson has an uplifting conversation with Paul Guerreso, an engineer who rebuilt his life and career after suffering a devastating spinal injury. Paul shares his incredible journey of healing and determination to return to full-time employment, crediting resources like Social Security disability benefits and the support of his job coach for making his comeback possible. Now working on NASA’s Artemis project to send astronauts back to the moon, Paul offers encouragement and advice for other disability beneficiaries seeking their own path back to work, urging them to persist through setbacks because with the right mindset and support system, their professional dreams can still be achieved..

Featured Guest: Paul Guerreso, ADEN Participant

In this episode…

In this episode, you’ll hear from Rebecca Blaine as she shares her journey of transitioning back to work after overcoming stage 3 cancer and Lynch Syndrome while on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). With help from the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) and the Ticket to Work program, Rebecca successfully returned to work as an executive field agent for the American Kennel Club. Despite initial setbacks and challenges, Rebecca’s determination, along with the support of her family, friends, and ADEN, allowed her to achieve financial stability and even purchase a home. Her story serves as an encouragement to others on SSDI, showing that self-sufficiency is possible with the right support and resources.

Featured Guest: Rebecca Blaine, ADEN Participant



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