Part of the Team sarah October 5, 2022

Part of the Team

Scott Holland finds success and a job he loves at UC

By Lisa Danford

Squeaking sneakers, crashing helmets, a crack of the bat, and cheers from the crowd. There’s a lot of excitement in live sports. But most fans don’t see the behind-the-scenes work. At the University of Cincinnati, Scott Holland plays a big role in creating that experience.

Holland, 24, has worked for UC Facilities for three years, working at games and helping set up and tear down equipment for fall, winter and spring sports.

“With my sports job, now I do more on my own with the team versus just being a helper,” he said. “My role is different because I’m working with people and have a lot more responsibilities.”

Holland found his dream job by taking critical steps along his employment journey, including his first job as a manager for his junior high’s football team. As his confidence blossomed, the skills he learned continued to benefit him throughout his career.

“Being the team manager enabled friends he had been with in school, in Boy Scouts and in church youth group to get to know Scott on a different level,” said his mom, Julie. “It also enabled Scott to be comfortable in a variety of situations.”

Holland continued as a team manager in high school, eventually adding varsity basketball to his sports management résumé. As graduation neared, Holland and his support team identified his interests and skills and began looking for workplaces that would be a good fit.

The timing was perfect—the University of Cincinnati just started a pilot program called the Collaboration for Employment and Education Synergy. It focused on helping students with disabilities transition out of high school and included internships on the university campus.

One of those internships—Aramark in the Centercourt dining hall—combined his strengths of an outgoing personality and positive attitude with his skills in executing multi-step directions. He still works at Aramark, maintaining the salad bar, being a stir-fry chef and making pizzas.

“I love my work and getting to meet new people,” Holland said. “I have received more training over time, which allows me to do more jobs.”

But he missed the excitement of sports and began networking. Holland connected with the University of Cincinnati’s athletic department through one of his fellow Mariemont football teammates. He learned valuable skills during internships with the football trainer and equipment manager, but the UC Facilities team was the best fit.

“Scott’s  uplifting  attitude  has  been   so infectious,” said Rebecca Michael, Coordinator for UC Athletic Facilities and Operations. “He never hesitates to make a friend in the athletic department and with event staff, and Scott always makes doing our job more fun.”

Holland works at the Clifton campus, and his family relocated to Blue Ash in 2018 so he could take the university shuttle and be more independent. He also has sports management jobs with Mariemont and Sycamore high schools.

“I have known Scott for 18 years and have been blessed to call him a friend! He is easily the most beloved member of our program, now in season 10 with Mariemont High School,” said Joe Veeneman, Mariemont assistant varsity football coach and Holland’s former teammate. “I could not imagine my playing, and now coaching career, without Scott in it. He has been a huge part of my life, as well as the hundreds of others who have been lucky to share a field or court with him over the years.”

Holland likes knowing he is contributing to the success of so many teams. He encourages other people with disabilities to learn about their interests and skills. Then, if they want a job, try to find workplaces that are a good fit.

“It’s fun and easy once  you are trained,” he said. “Follow directions, smile and make lots of friends.”

Scott is the inspiration for his father starting the Genesis at Work Foundation. Its mission is to find meaningful work for God’s children with special needs through an inspired faith-based approach that enriches the lives of those served and enriches the bottom-line for the businesses that support the foundation. Visit their website to learn more.

Young man outdoors wearing a black polo with University of Cincinnati logo
Photos by Amy Hayden and provided by the Holland family.