NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Hardin Manhein scans and smiles, greets and guides, welcoming guests into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame.
But the 29-year-old is impressing crowds far beyond these legendary doors.
Manhein is a graduate of the Next Steps program at Vanderbilt, where students with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn life skills, while studying on-campus alongside traditional students.
He has Asperger's Syndrome, hired part-time four years ago.
"I don't feel like I do have a disability," said Manhein. "I feel just like a normal person. My family can see it, but in this world they don't see me as a person with a disability. They see me as a normal human."
Manhein's supervisor, DeeDee Ogrodny, says Hardin's so good, he went full-time with benefits this summer.
He does every position perfectly," said the senior guest relations manager. "He is great with the guests. He's always smiling. He's always up--even though he wins every trivia contest every Saturday."
Over the years Next Steps at Vanderbilt has grown from a two-year program to a four-year certificate program.
The goal is for students to learn how to live and work independently -- and ultimately become gainfully employed.
"I feel very grateful that people look up to me and say that I'm a hero for people with disabilities," Manhein added.
"I want to thank my supervisors for giving me the opportunity to work here. Without their support I don't think I could work in this great environment called the Country Music Hall of Fame. I feel like I can do anything. Like I can walk into that world and say here I am."
Next Steps at Vanderbilt, now a model for schools across the country, has 35 students and is currently taking applications.
Next year it will celebrate its 10th anniversary of inclusive higher education in Tennessee.