Monday, February 25, 2019

From Intern to Employee: Ronique’s Story

Rachel McGregor began working with Ronique during her time in Project SEARCH in 2016. Ronique has been successfully employed at a local hospital in Norfolk since January of 2017. After completing her internship with her current employer through Project SEARCH they decided to hire her! Ronique works in Environmental Services at the hospital and does a wonderful job. Her attention to detail and time management skills have helped her succeed in her position. Ronique always follows her schedule when cleaning her areas and the departments have said that they can use Ronique as a time reference. They know the exact time because she is always right on time each day! Ronique did not need a lot of support because she picks up tasks so quickly and understands the expectations. Ronique is young, therefore working with The Choice Group and Project SEARCH has helped her find the opportunity to work in a great position that would typically be challenging to obtain for a young adult. Project SEARCH helped opened that door for Ronique to show off her skills and she is so grateful. Ronique has learned to become more independent and mature since beginning her work for the local hospital. She manages her schedule on her own, manages personal appointments, and helps to pay bills. Roniques daily tasks involve keeping the hospital clean. She sweeps, mops, sanitizes and empties trash cans as well as refills supplies in her departments. Rachel meets with Ronique and her manager to make sure she continues to be successful on the job. One of the main things Rachel does for Ronique is to help her understand and complete the required modules for the hospital each year. Working with Rachel encouraged Ronique to become more of an advocate for herself. She is a kind person who can get along with anyone. She has always been reserved and quiet, but is learning to speak up and advocate for herself in many situations. In her free time Ronique loves spending time with her family as well as shopping and picking out gifts for friends and family. She also has a great sense of humor and loves to make people laugh! Ronique is a huge supporter of Project SEARCH and always makes the interns feel welcome when they arrive at the hospital during their first week.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Jamalerri, The Grocery Store Guru.

Rachel McGregor began working with Jamalerri in the summer of 2014. He has been working in his current position since the summer of 2015. When the grocery store he was working at closed, he was picked up by another grocery store and has been working there beginning in the summer of 2018. In his initial job search, Jamalerri wanted an employer he was comfortable with. He had some work experience in a grocery store in high school and knew he enjoyed the environment. He worked in 3 different rotations while in Project SEARCH and learned what he enjoyed and did not enjoy about different jobs. Jamalerri went on a few interviews and was offered other positions, but did not feel those offers were right for him. Once he interviewed for the position at the grocery store and was offered the job, he knew it was the right job for him. Upon being offered the job at the grocery store, Jamalerri had to overcome some communication barriers. He had been issued an iPod to help with communication, but has since worked on his communication skills and does not need use the iPod at work. Jamalerri initially had trouble managing his transportation schedule, but has since mastered scheduling his rides to and from work. He also overcame some challenges with his uniform and wearing a store issued safety vest. He now has a vest that has been issued directly to him, which he is comfortable wearing. Jamalerri is very kind and great with customers. He is efficient and gets his work done without being asked.
"Jamalerri is an awesome employee" says Rachel. "His managers are very impressed with his work and have said that since Jamalerri is so dependable, he has been given more hours. His tasks at the grocery store include bagging groceries, collecting carts from the parking lot and re-shopping items in the store." The Choice Group checks on Jamalerri at least once a month in follow along services. They check in with him and his Manager to be sure that he is continuing to do a great job at work. Since Rachel started working with Jamalerri, she says “it is amazing how much he has grown. He is so much more responsible and mature. He handles his own schedule and transportation and has also improved with his speech and communication.” In his free time Jamalerri loves playing videos games and staying up to date on current events and the news. Jamalerri also enjoys spending time with his family.