A positive mind is a powerful tool and a great attitude can help to overcome almost anything. Trevor Gocha lives with Williams Syndrome but that doesn’t slow this fun-loving and ambitious man.

Williams Syndrome is relatively unknown to many people. The genetic condition is characterized by medical issues and developmental delays. With those challenges also comes highly social personalities, outstanding verbal abilities and a great affinity for music.

Trevor recently decided to continue his education at Centralia College with math and reading classes. Photo courtesy: Trevor Gocha.

Trevor is a true success story. His life began in foster homes – a rough start for anyone. “I was in some nice foster homes but I was away from my family,” he says.

Trevor doesn’t remember his mother but still loves her very much. “It’s real emotional for me,” Trevor says. “I never got to meet my mom and that’s just not fair.”

He reunited with his aunts and sister in 2010 after twenty years of no contact. “She looks up to me as a brother,” Trevor says of his sibling. “She didn’t know who I was in foster care. Meeting my family was really nice because I didn’t get to see them for so long.”

Trevor has been one of the smiling faces at Grocery Outlet for the last 13 years. The tidy frozen food section is Trevor’s work. “They are nice people there,” he says. “I like working in different environments. It’s fun.” Trevor has many friends at work both as co-workers and customers. “My bosses, Michael and Nicole, are awesome,” he says.

Trevor participates in People First of Lewis County. “We do stuff for the community,” he says. “We like to go out and do fundraisers. I have a lot of friends there. It’s using our voice.” Photo courtesy: Trevor Gocha.

Michael Morgan, co-owner of Chehalis Grocery Outlet, appreciates Trevor’s great attitude. “Trevor comes to work each and every day with an abundance of both happiness and enthusiasm,” he says. “This exemplary work ethic aside, he takes great pride in providing direction to new staff, coaching those with whom he is training and matching these wonderful work traits with an endless joy that is infectious to all around him.”

Trevor recently expanded his skills and interests by joining The Southwest Washington Dance Center ballet. “I went to the Nutcracker performance and I decided it looked like they’re having fun out there so I wanted to do it too,” says Trevor.

He’s now in ballet and tap dance classes several times per week. He has performed twice and enjoys being on stage. “It was awesome doing that because you don’t get to do that every day,” Trevor shares. “The best part of being in ballet is being with people who really care about you and really help you.”

“I want to be good at music and be good at what my gifts are,” Trevor says. He sings and is learning to play the harmonica, drums and guitar. Photo courtesy: Trevor Gocha.

Special Olympics is another activity Trevor enjoys, although he admits he hasn’t played softball and basketball since he became involved in dance. He’s a familiar face during the Special Olympics Torch Run every year with local law enforcement agencies. He loves to run and his favorite sport is track. “It’s cool, being out there running with the torch,” he says. “We’re doing it for a good cause, The Special Olympics. The police officers are awesome because they help us out. It wouldn’t be without them; they make it happen.”

Trevor just returned from ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp in Nashville. The dual-purpose camp studies Williams Syndrome while providing music enrichment. Trevor really loves the new people he met there. “They’re happy like me,” he says. “A lot of them look like me with the same characteristics. We’re not different. We’re just the same.”

With his trademark grin, Trevor is gifted with a friendly spirit and a joyful perspective. Photo courtesy: Trevor Gocha.

Trevor also likes being part of the research. “The research people are fun,” he says. “They see how our brains work and how music makes us really happy. I think that is the point of music – so you can be happy.”

The campers write an original song each year and sing it on the famous Grand Ole Opry stage. “My time with friends and the counselors is really fun,” says Trevor. “But I really love being up on stage singing at The Grand Ole Opry. It’s just an honor to be there and be a part of that because it is something really, really special.”

Each year the camp offers participants the chance to rub shoulders with some of country music’s hottest stars. Trevor has met Wynonna, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge and others. “The Band Perry was my favorite,” he says. “Their music is so incredible and awesome,” he says. “I like all the other artists too. Meeting the country singers is the best part. Talking with them and asking questions about how they make their music and what they love about music is my favorite.”

Although his challenges are many, Trevor keeps a smile on his face. His laughter is contagious and his positive attitude enriches his life and the lives of those around him. His insightful and sunny outlook is inspiring. He’s a true example of how to live life to the fullest, regardless of the circumstances.

Trevor works hard to keep the frozen food section at Grocery Outlet organized. “Sometimes customers have bad attitudes, but you can’t get mad at them,” he says. “You have to show a good example at work.” Photo credit: Krysta Carper.

 

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