30 Under 30 Honorees of 2000

Pick another year

Chylene Ward
Sales associate
Century 21 Advanta High Mile
Age: 
26

Selling inspiration

Chylene Ward knows a lot about the power of positive thinking. Confined to a wheelchair after breaking her back in a car accident when she was 16, she nevertheless went on to graduate from high school, have a son, and begin a career selling real estate.

“I’d heard that one of the top salespeople at Century 21 was in a wheelchair,” says Ward. “That inspired me.”

Today she’s the inspiration. Ward is president of the Coalition of Responsible Disabled, a nonprofit state organization that assists the disabled in retrofitting homes to allow personal independence and does advocacy work in the state legislature.

She has built a business that specializes in the housing needs of the disabled--finding them appropriate homes, lower-interest-rate mortgages, and downpayment help.

“About 80 percent of my business is with other disabled people,” says Ward. “I use full-body photos in all my marketing so that people can see I’m in a wheelchair. With my van and portable ramp, I can get myself and anyone else just about anywhere.”