Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

School Mates Connect After 34 Years
January 24, 2005

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--It indeed is a small world.

Sunday's Sacramento Bee ran a story about two men who were connected by an event that happened 34 years ago and 400 miles away, and who lived entirely different lives until they were brought together again two months ago.

David Skinner teaches life skills to people with developmental disabilities living in Sacramento.

James Ervin, an artist whose paintings are currently on tour with a United Nations exhibit, is one of those people David serves.

When James was in seventh grade at Ralph J. Bunche Middle School in Compton, near Los Angeles, a gang of older boys beat him severely with baseball bats because he was "slow". He was left in a coma and nearly died.

David, it turns out, was in eighth grade at the same school at the time of the attack.

When David started working with James this past November, he thought there was something familiar about him. James thought the same about David.

"There's a feeling in my head," James said. "I keep remembering David when we were younger. We'll be talking, and I'll think, 'I've seen him before.'"

David said of James: "We're like brothers now."

"An artist's inspiration" (Sacramento Bee)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.