Sammie is an energetic young woman who loves to be around people. When she joined Community Partnerships’ Supported Employment program, she was a senior in high school and was eager to begin the next phase of her life.
Sammie was diagnosed with an intellectual disability when she was five years old. Despite the challenges she sometimes faced, Sammie was a successful student, attending Cross Categorical classes at Wake County Public Schools. She enrolled in the Occupational Course of Study program, where she began to learn the skills she would need to join the workforce. Not only a good student, Sammie also did well in other areas of life—particularly when it came to engaging with others and with her community.
In Community Partnerships’ Supported Employment program, Sammie focused on achieving her next goal—finding a job where she could build her work experience and tap into her enthusiasm and strong social skills. Each week she traveled throughout the community with her Employment Specialist, filling out applications and observing different work environments. “We needed to be sure that she would be given enough guidance so that she would be successful and build her self-esteem,” her parents say. “Yet, at the same time, she needed to be held accountable for her job performance. This is truly a balance.”
Eventually, Sammie found a job that was a perfect fit:a Courtesy Clerk position at Harris Teeter. Her Employment Specialist worked with her on the job until Sammie felt comfortable in her new role.
“Sammie has matured significantly and feels a sense of pride and confidence that wasn’t there before,” says her mother. “We’ve been given outstanding feedback and one of her managers asked if we could clone her because she does so well.” As a result of her job success Sammie is also learning basic banking and budgeting skills, depositing her paycheck and making good spending decisions.
“Community Partnerships and the Supported Employment program sincerely care about the well-being of the people they serve, making sure they’re in the right job, not just any job,” says Sammie’s mother. “I would absolutely recommend this program to others.”