Mark Stockton is employed as a Garden Helper at Windmill Heights Garden Center located in Culpeper, VA where he has been working for about 9 months during the seasonal months. Mark and his Vocational Counselor have been working together, through The Choice Group, for a little over a year now.
Mark began support by trying out different job positions through services called Situational Assessments. Through the assessments, it was determined that he enjoyed working outside with his hands as he has previous experience as a farm hand. Mark received supports through DARS and the WiOA program that allowed him to pursue his interests of horticulture/lawn care through the WiOA internship. After Mark had completed an internship with WiOA, Windmill Heights Garden Center brought Mark back for part-time support completing lawn care and gardening tasks. Mark enjoys completing routine tasks and being outside in the cooler weather working, and also has a very direct and friendly style of communication that allows him to be approachable by many.
Some obstacles that Mark overcame were communication skills and learning to ask questions, as well as advocating for himself. Mark continued to build his endurance from 4 hours a week to 12 hours a week which allowed him to become more ambitious to make a goal to work full-time in the near future. Also, due to seasonal positions in lawn care, he overcame the question of "what do I do now for 3 months during the winter?". With some support from his Vocational Counselor, he began completing volunteer work in the local community during the winter months to maintain his endurance and communication skills. Mark has grown as an individual, as well as a member of his community, by persevering through multiple obstacles and continues to build his confidence of overcoming future obstacles.
Mark's job tasks include weekly lawn care, trash collection, customer services, and horticulture tasks of planting different plants as assigned. He continues to improve his communication skills and will ask questions directly when needing guidance. Mark has also gained more self-confidence in himself and takes pride in his work.
His Vocational Counselor supports Mark by discussing and practicing different communication methods that work for him. He has built his endurance by scheduling breaks at different times throughout his shifts, as well as advocating for task lists for each shift as a compensatory strategy to help him learn the routine of tasks.
Mark enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as volunteering in the community, when he is not working.