Wiley Roberson at Lilly Hill Baptist Church in Decatur
I am Decatur, now has it’s own website at http://www.iamdecatur.com This project is the result of a partnership between the Decatur Education Foundation, the Decatur Arts Alliance, and myself. Please visit the website to learn more. I am Decatur is an ongoing project and I will continue to post new portraits and stories over time.
Kurt VogeI’s interest in computers began when he was in the fifth grade. “When my teacher had a problem with a computer I was often the one to help resolve the issue. From there on my passion grew. For my senior project at Decatur High School I helped to hook up a computer lab at the Central Outreach and Advocacy Center at Central Presbyterian Church. I really enjoyed that not only because it incorporated my passion for computers and information technology, but it also gave me a chance to show the homeless guests that they had someone who cared about them.”
Kurt is enrolled in Excel (Expanding Career, Education and Leadership Opportunities) at Georgia Tech. Excel is an innovative four-year program for students with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities. Advocacy training is an important component of the curriculum and is an avenue Kurt wants to pursue.
Kurt was born with a congenital neurological disorder causing right-sided weakness. His unique life experiences as a result of living with a disability are what have inspired him to become an advocate. “I’m someone who wants to utilize my skills, talents, and passion to positively impact the lives and career prospects of those living with a disability. Everyone with a disability has a contribution to make and that contribution should not be discounted just because they have a disability. The contribution that they have to offer is just as important and meaningful as the contributions that people without disabilities make.”
Doug Taunton began working at McKinney’s Apothecary in 1968 while he was a pharmacy student. In 1978, Doug bought the pharmacy from Dr. Bill McKinney. McKinney had established the business in downtown Decatur in 1952, and to this day it remains the oldest operating pharmacy in the city.
“When I first came to Decatur in 1968, there were approximately 12 independent, family-owned drugstores in Decatur. Over the last 50 years, each one has gone out and been bought up by the big-box stores. We have seemingly continued to weather the storm.”
The success of McKinney’s Apothecary is a result of the personalized service all customers receive when they walk in the door. “I like to say, we are a country drugstore set off in the city. We enjoy getting to know people and hearing their stories. We’re happy with them and hurt with them when they have disasters in their family. When they get bad news about their health, we feel sad and try to be an encouragement. We know when a person needs an extra hug, or maybe a little joke. I think it’s getting to know people on a one-on-one basis that’s really kept McKinney’s here.”
Doug’s plans for the future of the pharmacy remain constant. “ We don’t wanna be any bigger. We don’t want any other locations. We wanna do our job where we are. You know the old saying, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ That’s what I’d like to do for the rest of my career.”