- Number six in a series of featured Lambton College graduates or students -
Sarnia, ON, July 5, 2011 - Serenity is the order of the day at the Lambton College library.
Signs dot the walls of the spacious room detailing the library as a quiet zone.
“People are studying” the signs read.
But, that’s of little concern to Peter Frangis, as he excitedly talks about his passion for broadcast.
While many people may not be familiar with his name, Peter is the voice behind a number of local radio commercials.
In one, his deep baritone voice describes an upcoming fundraising gala over the radio airwaves. The 28-year-old has a booming voice that would turn most disc jockeys a little green with envy.
Peter’s thunderous voice echoes in a tiny study room in the library as he happily describes his work with Blackburn Radio.
”I write my own scripts and do research for radio commercials,” he beams with pride.
Recording commercials for the local radio stations is his number one priority, he says.
Peter used to be described as a person with potential, a computer whiz with a passion for television talk shows and broadcast media.
But today people use words like “talented” and “inspirational” when they talk about Peter.
Peter Frangis is autistic, a brain disorder that affects communication and social interaction.
But, that doesn’t hinder Peter’s career, he says.
“I’m a professional,” Peter says, his voice carrying throughout the library.
The library assistant glances his way.
“Peter, you must speak more quietly,” Peter’s mother Helen insists.
Peter is a graduate of Lambton College’s Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program.
The two-year modified program was designed for individuals with learning challenges, including autism. It provides students with an opportunity to enhance their academic skills through regular college classes, while developing vocational abilities through career-related, field placement experiences.
Following his graduation Peter discussed how he dreamed of working in broadcast in a 2008 interview with the local daily newspaper The Observer.
Months later his dream came true.
While some employers shy away from hiring people with autism, associating the brain disorder with verbal and violent outbursts, Blackburn Radio gave Peter his chance. Every Thursday of every week Peter makes his way to the radio station headquarters on London Road.
News Director Larry Gordon says Peter has been a model employee.
“He has an excellent voice,” Larry says, adding that Peter is also proficient at the production, research and writing aspects of the broadcast gig.
“It’s an excellent experience, not just for Peter but for the rest of us as well.”
Larry says Peter has an amazing ability to recall dates and facts and pull research together to help the broadcast news team.
“He’s a busy guy.”
Peter also hosted his own cable show on Cogeco called Plugged In, Out and About with Peter, that saw him interview people in the community on a host of wide-ranging topics.
He dreams about a return to television, perhaps hosting a variety or talk show where he could open up with a monologue or showcase his humourous side.
“I would like to be the next Jay Leno,” Peter says.
So stay tuned to that dial. It just may happen.
For more information about the Community Integration through Cooperative Education program at Lambton College, visit www.lambton.on.ca/CICE, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-541-2403.