Meet James Campbell, Executive Director CSI VA
James joined the CSI Team in February of 2013 as the Executive Director. He came to us from North Carolina where he had extensive experience with disabled youth, and individuals with mental health and intellectual and development disabilities.
We asked James, “How did you become a champion for people with disabilities?”
Here’s his answer: “I identified my purpose and passion while visiting and observing my wife working with children and adults with disabilities in schools, employment and community settings. Witnessing the joy and happiness she experienced, while supporting people with disabilities in achieving their visions and goals, made it obvious that I needed to make a career change.
Weeks later, my newly discovered purpose and passion were tested. As a head coach of a youth football team, I recall two parents walking towards me, beside them was a smiling, tall, and strong- looking young man. As the young man got closer, I noticed his walk was a bit awkward and he was holding his right arm close to his body. He had cerebral palsy. The parents stated, “You’re our last hope, we’ve been everywhere. Our son has always had the goal of playing football; will you give him an opportunity?” I quickly turned to the young man and began a dialogue, which informed me that he was passionate about playing football, so I said yes, but dealt with some upset assistant coaches, parents and commissioner. During his first practice, we focused on his strengths. His upper body strength was better than anyone on the team, he loved physical contact, was quick off the ball and a disruptive force. After assessing his strengths, we concluded he would be our starting nose tackle. He was a dominant force on the field and a pleasure to be around off the field. He was just like all his teammates and coaches, each having abilities and disabilities.”
James is already advancing CSI’s mission to help make the impossible, possible. He recently helped 12 people to transition from 4-person group homes to share living homes with non-disabled roommates. Just like the young man in James’ story, CSI thrives on helping people achieve their vision and goals, providing solutions for others who think the possible is impossible.