I began working with Anna in the fall of 2011. Anna had been working at another job in retail but was not getting consistent hours so DARS agreed to refer her to The Choice Group to find another job. Anna has several younger nieces and nephews and decided that she would like to work around children. Anna was also active in Special Olympics so it was important for her to be able to continue participating in these activities during her free time.
While looking for a job, Anna and I met several times a month to talk to employers, submit applications, and attend interviews. Anna was always on time and followed through with everything I requested of her. Anna is also lucky to have a great support system at home and I made sure to keep Anna’s mom updated with our progress. Likewise, Anna’s mom would also pass along any suggestions she had or information that would help Anna be successful.
In March 2012, we were able to arrange an interview at One Life Fitness in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, VA. We met with Melissa, the Assistant Manager, to learn more about the position of a Kid’s Club Attendant. Anna was so excited when she got the job offer and began working there in April 2012! As part of her job requirements, she has to maintain a First Aid/CPR certification. She was very nervous about being able to pass this so I attended the course with her the first year. Every year since then, however, Anna has attended the course independently and successfully passed it all on her own!
At One Life Fitness Anna has to greet parents, remind them to sign in their children, help ease the children’s anxiety when their parent leaves to work out, engage the children in activities, and make sure the child leaves with the authorized parent. Anna really enjoys her job and says that working with the children is her favorite thing to do there. Anna especially likes holding the babies and playing with the younger children. Anna also says she is thankful for The Choice Group for helping her become successful in reaching her goals.
One Life Fitness really seems to ”get” Supported Employment. They have been great partners in helping Anna remain successful at her job. They take the time to meet with me every month when I stop by to visit Anna and also reach out to me if there is information I need to know to help Anna with her job. One Life Fitness has a been a great support for Anna and they treat her like family. Melissa and Paula, Anna’s supervisors, always compliment Anna’s punctuality, attendance, and dedication to her job.
I have enjoyed working with Anna and her family over the past five years. I am impressed with the growth and confidence I have seen in Anna and can’t wait to see what other accomplishments she will achieve in the future.
Manager -Hampton Roads