INDIANAPOLIS — A fierce defender of doing the right things. That’s how many who knew the late Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry described him.
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police said he was a class act, and that he was fair firm and consistent.
As Curry is laid to rest this weekend, his program Different, Not Less will continue to change lives for years to come.
It all started about five years ago at the Marion County Prosecutor’s office when a young woman was struggling to jump-start a career meeting several obstacles. That's when she and the Curry, who died June 29, started the initiative.
“It was hard enough to find a job working in retail let alone something that my degree actually qualified me to do,” Natalie Miller said.
Miller was diagnosed with autism when she was four years old, but despite that she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Franklin College.
“Because I finished that degree, I naively assumed that people would just see that and wouldn’t be fixating so much on the autism label everywhere, but unfortunately I was wrong,” Miller said.
When her job search lead nowhere she decided to join the paralegal studies program at IUPUI, which led to an internship at the Marion County Prosecutors’ Office.
“I started my internship in January and was hired on in April,” Miller said. “One thing I really appreciated that with all the terrible luck I've had in the job hunt, this place actually saw me for what I could do as opposed to what I could not.”
When she told Curry, he wanted to do more not only for Miller but all Marion County residents. So, the duo created an Different, Not Less.
“Different, Not Less has really has two primary objectives which are to provide opportunities within our office specifically to individuals with disabilities and also to increase general disability activism within the Marion County area,” Miller said.
Miller said the message she hopes employers get from the initiative is this: "Though I do not agree with it in the slightest, I do understand the apprehension, but it's not as big a risk as a lot of people want to think it is,” Miller said. “I might have a few difficulties with it because of my autism, but I still try to do my best every single day to be the best paralegal I can and contribute to everyone's experience here in the best way possible, and there's so many of us with disabilities who are capable of doing that. We're just waiting for someone to give us that opportunity, and I'm very privileged with this office gave mine.”
She said she could talk about how grateful she is for Terry Curry all day long, but ends with this.
“Though my job hunt all on its own was very very unpleasant, I don't think I could have picked a happier ending for it because I ended up working for one of the single-best public servants I've ever met in my entire life and found an entire community of people who accept me for who I am as a result,” said Miller.
Services for Curry are scheduled to take place this weekend. Click here for information.