Showing posts from January, 2020

Jessica's Next Move

Jessica has been working in her position as a Coordinator at a state agency for more than a year and a half and is at the start of a career she hopes will make a significant impact on the world.  The Choice Group has had the honor of working alongside of Jessica as she has pursued, achieved, and advanced her career. Jessica has said since the beginning that she was committed to working in a field where she could help other people.   This year Jessica spoke at the Next Move’s Capable event as a keynote speaker and described the barriers she faced to complete high school, college and even graduate school.  She admits readily that she needed accommodations, and has since advocated for others to complete their educational dreams. Throughout her education, she demonstrated determination and the tenacity to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  And Jessica didn’t stop there because she is putting her degree to work in a

A “Superfly” Employee

When you walk into the Kroger in Martinsville, Virginia, there is a Courtesy Clerk who stands out in the front end.  He says hello to each customer coming and going, he is often dancing, and he always has a smile on his face.  Danny has been working for Kroger for almost 3 years and the love for his position is evident.  He puts his natural customer service skills to use during every shift while bagging groceries, retrieving merchandise, and pulling carts.   Before working at Kroger, his work history consisted of sheltered employment working below minimum wage.  Danny worked with his Vocational Counselor, Teresa Anderson, to try different jobs to see what he felt would be a good fit.  He then worked with his job coach to complete applications and interviews, which led to being hired by this employer.  Teresa helped him learn bagging techniques and handling the multi-tasking his position involves.  Danny also learned about parking lot safety, looking both ways as he crosses t

No Wasted Energy for Daniel G.

No Wasted Energy Sometimes arriving at a successful outcome includes some experiences that appear unsuccessful.  The truth is that all experiences are learning opportunities and better prepare us for the experience that will be successful.   Daniel’s first job working with his vocational counselor was at a fast-food restaurant.  The schedule included some afternoon shifts and the pace was fast, too fast.  Daniel experienced stress and migraines, understanding that he was not meeting the employer’s needs.  He and his vocational counselor, together with his counselor at the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, decided to look for another position. They found one at a local nursing facility working as a dietary aide.  Daniel started in September 2018 with consistent morning shifts, and has since transitioned to any shift.  He is one of the most valuable members of their team.  He feels supported and appreciated, and his associates genuinely care for him.  Par

Update on Akia

Kudos for Akia!! Akia and Mary Chris, her vocational counselor, continue to stay in touch.  On a recent visit to the employer’s site, Mary Chris learned that Akia had won a "Kudos Award" at work, and received a mug to commemorate the award.   Akia’s coworkers told Mary Chris about the award. They were happy for Akia, who was happy but shy about her significant accomplishment.  Akia continues to work as a dishwasher, and is currently in the process of training in other areas so she can work longer shifts and make a greater contribution to the team at Zoup! Congratulations to Akia for her award!! To read Akita's original story, check out our 5/13/19 blog post, "Akia is Zealous for Zoup"

Quality Assurance with a Smile!

Quality Assurance with a Smile     Through diligence and hard work by both Scott and his then job coach Kortney Cotton, Scott was able to secure employment with the Food Lion in Elkton, VA in early September 2019 as a Quality Assurance Specialist!        Scott has had continuous employment with Food Lion for four months now, usually working two, sometimes three, shifts a week.   Through his dedication and hard work, Scott has become a valuable team member to Food Lion, and says that he enjoys his job. Scott has a million-dollar smile which has engaged him with both co-workers and customers, he always works hard, he is punctual and reliable, he takes great pride in his work, and he epitomizes what a great employee should be!      Scott’s parents, community, and Job Coaches are proud of his accomplishments!

Meet Matthew!

Meet Matthew, a staff member of Aramark at James Madison University's dining hall, thanks to his hard work and the hard work of his counselor, Kortney. Kortney says Matthew's interest was primarily in customer service and working with the public.  After assessing Matthew's skills and interests they began job development practicing interview skills and applying to jobs in Waynesboro and Harrisonburg. Due to logistical complexity with transportation and geography where he lived and attended day support, they brainstormed potential options and locations. This took a team effort with Matthew, his parents, day support, and the case manager to plan a successful placement. Matthew has great communication skills and enjoys talking to the public. He is determined and motivated to reach personal goals.  Matthew attended several interviews to practice professionalism and appropriate communication during the interview process. After constructive criticism and coaching Matthew de