Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Joseph (Karate) Chops his Way Into a Career

Joseph (Karate) Chops his Way Into a Career

Joseph began working with his vocational counselor, Justin, beginning in June 2019. Together, they found Joseph an internship at Laughing Dragon Kung-Fu, a local martial arts studio, where he has been for 2 months now. While Justin was there to guide Joseph into finding employment, Joseph was the one who initially thought of pursing a position at the studio. After speaking with the manager of the studio, they got the green light for Joseph to start the internship! The manager informed them that everyone at the studio thought it was a great opportunity for Joseph to excel and use his skills to teach others.

In the beginning, Joseph had to work on his social skills when teaching the children at the studio, but has shown great improvement. Since beginning the internship at the studio Joseph's patience has increased tremendously and his motivation to work and help others has improved greatly as well. Joseph's determination to do well is one of his strengths that has allowed him to put his best foot first, regardless of his disability. He once told his vocational counselor and mother that he "is just as normal as anyone else and will show everyone just what he can do." His patience became a big strength for him, although at first it was hard to understand how to approach and or talk with younger children. With the support Joseph has received from Justin and others he was able to understand and learn how to address the children and it has proven to be a great fit.

Joseph's daily tasks at the studio include cleaning the Dojo before class, along with the bathrooms, as well as vacuuming, dusting and sweeping. He also teaches two different classes, both classes being for kids younger than he is, 13 years and under.

Although Joseph had to work on his patience at first, he has grown tremendously in his teaching skills. Justin continues to support Joseph by encouraging him to keep improving, and to remember to teach the children rather than just tell them what to do, a skill he has learned in this position. Rather than being quick to anger when he is not understood, Joseph has learned to take things slowly and repeat himself without getting upset. When Joseph is not working at the studio he enjoys playing video games and reading. Keep up the great work Joseph, and thank you Justin for submitting this client success story!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Nathan Finds Work at a Local Brewery

Nathan Finds Work at a Local Brewery

Nathan and his vocational counselor, Justin, began working together in April of this year. Nathan has currently been employed in his position for two months. Before finding Nathan work with his current employer, Justin and Nathan met weekly to determine the field in which Nathan would like to find employment. Together, they then completed several situational assessments to determine the best fit for Nathan. Nathan and Justin came to the realization that Nathan liked working in a warehouse environment, so they completed an application for Three Notch'd Brewery, and the client received and accepted the job offer.

Initially, Nathan had to overcome some obstacles like working on his pace at the job, multi-tasking, as well as working on communication. Although, this wasn't an issue for long, he is a very hardworking and determined person so he was able to quickly improve on his speed, communication and multi-tasking. Nathan is responsible for packaging 6, 12 and 24 packs, along with palletizing the finished product and multi-tasking between loading the empty cans, bottle tops, and packaging.

Justin continues to support Nathan with his employment by motivating him to try new things and to also try new ways to increase his speed on the job. He also continues to support him by communicating with Nathan and his managers to ensure that Nathan knows his managers also support him.

In his free time, Nathan enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, going on walks and watching television. Keep up the hard work, Nathan, and thank you to Justin for sharing this client success story!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Alex Bakes Her Way To Employment

Alex Bakes Her Way To Employment

Alex was referred to the Choice Group by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services in April 2016, and was paired with a Vocational Counselor. Alex had earned a diploma in 2016 from Ocean Lakes High School and participated in a Work Experience Program at the Oceana Commissary Bakery in Virginia Beach. She received assistance in applying for a paid position at the Commissary, and was hired as a Bakery Associate. Alex learned the position with help from her Vocational Counselor, and has worked part time for nearly three years, packaging portions of baked goods in support of the bakery.

Alex’s supervisor said that Alex does a good job, follows the rules regarding safety and proper procedures, and enjoys talking with her coworkers while she works. She receives high marks on evaluations from her supervisors, and her smile brightens the mood of all around her.

Alex has benefited from her supportive parents, helpful staff and management at the Oceana Commissary, and at 24 years old is moving toward independence. She has a second job as a helper in a local restaurant, which she enjoys as well.

Alex enjoys going to dances, visiting with family and friends, and is involved in many sports activities.  She participates in TOPS soccer two times a year and also does buddy basketball in the winter. She is also a member of an adult Capernaum young life group that meets once a week and a local ministry church group that also meets one day a week.  She works out, as well, with a personal trainer at home two days a week. We congratulate Alex on her accomplishments and her commitment to her work, social and personal activities!