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John began his professional career as an Audio Visual Technician at Brooks College where he earned his first degree in Graphic Design and later worked at John Robert Powers acting and modeling agency in Agoura Hills, CA. Not long after, John was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. John then decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. During this time, he worked at the Employment Development Department as a Disability Insurance Program Representative and after that, joined the Mental Wellness Center as an Employment Specialist. As an Employment Specialist, John is responsible for helping clients obtain and sustain employment that is consistent with their vocational goals and recovery journey. This August, John went back to school to begin a graduate program in Education Studies with an emphasis on disabilities at California State University Channel Islands.

"Mental health matters because emotional and psychological states affect how we think, feel, and act. It helps to determine how we relate to others, handle stress, and make decisions. I believe that my personal experience in living with a disability help me understand, relate to, and help others. One of my favorite parts about this job is advocating for, educating, and supporting those who have disabilities and giving back to our community." - John Barlow II