“They still make fun of me.” – Eileen

If you’ve been to the Starbucks inside the Target at Coddingtown, you probably already know Eileen. Eileen is often found with markers in her hand busily working on her latest coloring project.

Eileen was born in 1964 with brain damage that caused a learning disability and hearing loss. As a child she grew up in Rohnert Park and was very shy. Ever since she was a little girl, people have called her retarded and slow. By the time she graduated from high school, Eileen says she’d overcome the constant ridicule. But despite time passing, she says it still hits her hard when she thinks about it. Especially because people still make fun of her. “It’s hard being the bigger person”, she admits.

On her own since 1986, she’s used to being alone and very proud that she took an Amtrak trip by herself. When asked what she does for fun, Eileen mentions playing the accordion and coloring. She’s got a talent for choosing bright colors and is the definition of resiliency.

Eileen