Timaron and Austin Sibanda
By Amelia Silberger
Ask Timaron what he likes most about his job, and he’ll tell you without hesitation: “Helping people.”
Timaron, 23, volunteers at The Children’s Inn at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, a home for children being treated for rare diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He began volunteering in late 2022, supported in his work by CORE Foundations at Kennedy Krieger Institute—a person-centered program within the Institute’s Neurodiversity at Work department focused on elevating growth, relationships and independence for those with intellectual disabilities.
“CORE Foundations supports a system that values and recognizes individuals with disabilities and focuses on bridging the gap between individuals with disabilities and employers,” says Austin Sibanda, a CORE Foundations community development specialist. “It allows employers to recognize individuals with disabilities and see that they have valuable skills to bring to the workplace.”
At The Inn, Timaron, who has a rare genetic condition, checks food expiration dates, sanitizes toys and walks The Inn’s therapy dog, Zilly. “I love everything I do,” he says, especially “the interaction with children and staff there.” He loves meeting everyone who comes to The Inn.
When Timaron and Sibanda met, they bonded instantly over their shared love for dogs—and for helping people.
Sibanda enjoys supporting and helping CORE Foundations community members like Timaron in reaching their full potential. “I’ve always had a passion for helping others, especially people in need,” he says.
In his free time, Timaron, who lives with his family in Potomac, Maryland, walks on trails, watches movies, travels and plays with his dog, Lulu. He’s also an avid baseball fan. This past summer, the Aberdeen IronBirds, a local Minor League Baseball team, invited Timaron to throw the first pitch at Neurodiversity at Work’s annual Night at the Ballpark, which raises awareness about the contributions individuals with intellectual disabilities bring to the workplace.
Timaron hopes to continue to learn new skills and become more independent. “My biggest accomplishment,” he says, “is doing a good job at The Inn and receiving praise for my work.”