Friday, January 25, 2019

Anthony and His Accomplishments




Anthony Lane was one of Nancy McNamara’s first clients upon starting her employment with The Choice Group almost sixyears ago. Anthony was transferred to Nancy while receivingfollow-along services from Ericka Neville, her manager at The Choice Group. Anthony and Nancy have been working together since April of 2013 after Ericka found him a job working at a local Walmart. Anthony interviewed at the Walmart in Franklin and was hired immediately. They loved how friendly and personable Anthony was and found him to be a perfect fit for their store! Anthony is very easy-going and always focused on the task at hand. He looks for additional work after he completes each task because he likes to stay ahead of the game. Anthony’s coworkers often comment on how reliable and helpful he is. He works well with others on his team and is always there to lend a helping hand. Anthony does what is expected of him and his managers speak very highly of him. Nancy monitors Anthony’s work stability and assists him with negotiating his schedule when needed.
Anthony has successfully maintained his position at Walmart for almost six years now and has received the Associate of the Month recognition on two occasions. Along with being awarded Associate of the Month he has also received an award and plaque for his hard work. Anthony has been recognized for assisting his coworkers by helping customers carry merchandise to their cars on multiple occasions even though this is not in his job description.
Anthony stated that he used to be depressed because he felt like he could not do things when he attended Paul D Camp because classwork was difficult for him, but now knows that he can be successful at what he does.
Anthony is a Maintenance Associate and is responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping the sales floor, taking out the trash both inside and outside, and occasionally assisting customers. Whatever the task assigned, Anthony completes it with a smile and determination to meet his employer’s requests. Anthony is in follow-along services and Nancy continues to check in with him and his managers monthly to ensure he continues to succeed.
Anthony has grown in his current role by being able to advocate for himself and go to management to address concerns or needs on his own. Anthony has improved his social skills and his ability to feel comfortable interacting with others working at Walmart and plans to continue working there.
In his free time Anthony enjoys building different vehicles out of Legos as well as playing online games such as Destiny. He enjoys going on walks when he has the time and likes to be outdoors.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sports enthusiast Austin finds full-time work among the Athletes

Rachel Brand began working with Austin Cicero one year ago, although, Austin has been with his current employer since April of 2013. Austin completed three internships through Project SEARCH Williamsburg that allowed him to explore his interests and ultimately lead him to his current position. Austin is organized, friendly and an all-around team player which are perfect skills for his position as an equipment assistant for William and Mary Athletics. Austin works hard to remember all of the staff and players by name and always brings a cheerful smile with him to work. 
When Austin became full-time he had to learn many additional duties which Rachel was able to assist him in learning. Austin quickly learned all of his new duties and excelled in them. Being such a positive influence he was invited to be a guest speaker at the Project SEARCH graduation in 2017. This was a huge achievement and honor for him! Austin is a testament to the program’s success as he has been happily employed for almost six years. His supervisors are very happy with him and all that he has accomplished. He has a great reputation with the student athletes and his co-workers. 
When Austin began working for William and Mary Athletics he was a part-time employee but is now working full-time for his employer. Austin’s duties include washing the uniforms for all campus sports as well as towels and other lines. He is responsible for folding and delivering clean laundry as well as restocking the locker room fridges. Austin sets up the fields before games and assists with equipment deliveries before the games. 
Rachel continues to support him with Follow Along services. This includes checking in with him and his supervisor when needed to make sure everything continues to go smoothly. 
Austin has shown so much improvement since beginning in 2013 and has earned every second of his full-time promotion. He has proven himself to be reliable and hardworking. Austin takes pride in his position and frequently goes the extra mile. 
Austin fits perfectly in with his employer because he is a lover of sports. He has gotten to meet several famous athletes and coaches while being employed at William and Mary. In his free time he loves to visit his family in New York City and has dreams of one day becoming a firefighter!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Samantha, the girl on fire with a passion to do her best!


Rachel McGregor began working with Samantha Hasty in the summer of 2017 where she found work at a local navy base. Samantha started working with her current employer in the summer of last year. Samantha’s job tasks include wiping down tables, working in the dish room, interacting with guests, putting away clean dishes away, and maintain the dining area on the naval base. Samantha has made some major achievements working in her position including receiving a customer service award from her employer as well as gaining independence and confidence. 

Samantha has such a outgoing and friendly personality. Working in an atmosphere like the naval base allows her to communicate with many different people in a day. She is able to socialize and enjoy herself while working hard. Samantha began participating in Project SEARCH where she completed 3 internships in 3 different areas and discovered that she had a passion for food services. Samantha also took a cooking class to continue to learn new skills. When we saw that there was a position open on the navy base in food service, Samantha knew she wanted to apply. Samantha is great with communication, though she can get nervous when she is put on the spot. Rachel worked with Samantha on practicing interview questions and prepared her for the interview and what it might be like. She was able to find an employer who was very supportive and comfortable which made Samantha more relaxed while interviewing. On top of doing such an amazing job at the naval base she also keeps track of her own schedule and has awesome time management skills.

Rachel continues to support Samantha by checking in while she is working and touching base with the manager to make sure she is continuing to do a good job. She also helped Samantah get involved with outside resources such as Therapeutic Recreation, Special Olympics Bowling and Paratransit. 

Samantha is a big fan of the San Fransico 49ers. She loves to dance and hang out with friends and on Friday nights she enjoys bowling with them. Samantha is close with her family and loves to swim. One of her favorite things to do is spend time at her grandmothers senior living home and help run their bingo nights. Samantha's favorite song is "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys and she most definitely is a girl on fire doing amazing in her position at the naval base! 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friendship at the shipyard: Robert and Tyzeek's story



Robert and Tyzeek, friends and coworkers! 

Rachel McGregor began working with Tyzeek Gadson beginning in the summer of 2015 and Robert Sanchez the summer of 2011. Tyzeek has currently been employed loading navy ships with supplies going on 2 years and Robert for 5 years. Both clients began their employment search with an interest in materials management and completed internships in materials management while in Project SEARCH. Both Tyzeek and Robert excel in different aspects of their jobs because their strengths differ. Tyzeek is very strong physically and is able to lift a lot of heavy material, whereas Robert has good attention to detail and his visual and auditory skills help him to understand the process of loading the ships efficiently. Although, both young men work together to get the job done and support each other every step of the way. 

Both Tyzeek and Robert overcame obstacles during their time at Project SEARCH that helped them find their place in the workforce. Both clients worked on social skills as well as learning and understanding different methods of transportation around the community. Tyzeek and Robert have become close working together and now even carpool to and from work! 

Tyzeek and Robert both have excelled in their positions and learned so much from working in this field. Robert has received his 5 year certificate which is a great accomplishment for him. Tyzeek has excelled by becoming more independent at work and home. Both have learned to manage a variable schedule using a hotline to call in every night. Overall both Tyzeek and Robert have made great strides since starting work at the naval shipyard. When Robert started at Project SEARCH in 2011, he was very shy and reserved and had not know how to show initiative. Since completing Project SEARCH and working for 5 years on the navy base, Robert has been showing great communication skills and his manager has said that he demonstrates strong leadership skills when working with his coworkers. Robert is well respected by his coworkers and is considered a leader smong his team members. Since starting with Project SEARCH is 2015, Tyzeek has learned to stay focused during conversations, take initiative when learning new tasks, and is more aware of his surroundings. Tyzeek is very welcoming and really enjoys helping new employees become familiar with the unusual work environment.

While Robert and Tyzeek met working together on the navy base they quickly became good friends and share many of the same interests. Both Robert and Tyzeek participate in the Special Olympics bowling league where they enjoy Friday nights hanging out with friends. They both love football, though Tyzeek is a Redskins fan and Robert is a Viking fan. They both have extremely supportive families who have forged a friendship and now take turns managing the varied schedule by taking the young men to and from work. Working together and finding employment through The Choice Group has created a lifelong friendship for these young men and has helped them overcome many obstacles.