Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Liz's Success as a Teacher's Assistant!

Liz's bubbly personality made her perfect candidate for teacher's assistant at YMCA Child Care! She's been working there for 5 years now and is a model employee. When first learning the job, her Choice Group counselors worked with her, taking the burden of training off of the employer. Improve your business on so many levels and work with The Choice Group on finding your next great employee!

Monday, September 19, 2016

David's Testimony

After a terrible accident, David is now needing to re-learn a lot of skills.  Working with his Choice Group counselor, he found a job he enjoys doing and receives all the support he needs with on-site job training and cognitive techniques to stay organized.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Isaiah Williams' Success Story!

Isaiah Williams was hired right out of his internship at Project SEARCH.  When first working as a Cafe Porter in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, he learned many essential job skills like interacting with coworkers and customers and following step by step directions, which really helped him in getting comfortable in his work environment and excel at his position!

After Isaiah was hired, he was asked to assist other Project SEARCH participants as a mentor.  He was the perfect candidate because he is very skilled and intuitive about what newer interns need work on and where they are succeeding.  His consistency and dependability make him an excellent natural support, teaching the valuable skills that are necessary to be a good employee.  Often times simple things like knowing when to take breaks, or not taking food from the cafeteria are skills not yet learned by young adults transitioning from high school into the workforce.

Isaiah loves his job and in his spare time goes to local Therapeutic Recreation to participate in their dance program!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

Gaining Real World Experience Through Supported Employment

One of the objectives of the Project SEARCH program is to give individuals without previous job experience an opportunity to build their resume with meaningful real-world skills.  Bridging the gap between educational services and adult services for young adults with disabilities is where Project SEARCH and The Choice Group have formed an advantageous partnership.  Our counselor, Rachel McGregor, is a transition counselor and Project SEARCH specialist and works very closely with many Norfolk Public School graduates who wish to apply for Project SEARCH internships.

When she first starts working with a client, Rachel is there from the very beginning of the internship application process.  She determines along with her client what positions may be a good fit to apply for, they work together during on-site job training and when the year-long internship is complete, Rachel helps her clients find stable employment.  Katara Rodgers, one of Rachel’s recent clients, is no exception!

Katara entered the Project SEARCH program in September of 2014.  Working for SODEXO at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in southwestern Virginia as a Trayline operator.  Rachel was there through the original job training when Katara decided that position wasn’t the right one for her.  They worked together, along with SODEXO on finding her another position as a dishwasher that supported the Trayline.

Throughout her internship, Rachel was there for Katara during on-site training.  They worked together on breaking down tasks into smaller steps.  Katara learned how to accept constructive criticism from management, following instructions and getting used to a professional environment with other individuals.  Having no previous job experience out of high school, she found that this job was a great match for her!  She gets along with all of her coworkers and loves getting the job done.  Katara was officially hired on staff in April of 2015!

Rachel continues to work with Katara on a monthly basis through Follow-Along services.  Gaining real-world work experience through these programs and supported employment is integral in guaranteeing these young adults a successful transition from educational to adult services.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Jasmine's Success Story

Jasmine is just like any fun-loving young woman.  She loves shopping, sports (basketball in particular), watching movies and listening to music. When it came to real world job experience, Jasmine expected a lot from herself— she wanted to work.  When Rachel McGregor of The Choice Group started working with her, she applied for a Project SEARCH internship at Sentara General Hospital and got a position in the dish room of their cafeteria.  She loved it!

She found that at work there was always a task to be done in the dish room at Sentara and it often became fast paced!  Jasmine has a bright personality, loves to tell jokes and goof off, which didn’t always go over well in the classroom, but her energy translated into an enthusiastic work ethic during her Project SEARCH internship.

During her internship, she learned patience.  Being a hard worker she learned to complete tasks in their proper steps as well as patience when working with others.  She also learned how to take public transit to work!  By the time her internship was completed, Jasmine loved working in the dish room.  Unfortunately, Sentara was undergoing renovations and couldn’t hire her on full time after her internship period was over.  That’s where Rachel came in.

In addition to helping her Project SEARCH clients apply for internships, providing on-site training, and follow-up services, Rachel is out in the community finding opportunities for these talented young interns.  Rachel and Jasmine found a great opportunity working with SODEXO at the local Children’s Hospital doing what she loved.  She has been working for Sodexo in the dish room since April of this year and loves her job!