Life and Work Connections

Tom’s Triumph

December 1, 2011

Tom has worked hard for his independence. When he was hired for a full-time job with benefits, Tom realized the advantages of participating in BCFR’s Life & Work Connections program.

Tom had been meeting regularly with a Community Skills Specialist Martha Echols, at BCFR, who worked behind the scenes to support his success. A resident of one of BCFR’s supported living Tom had worked part-time for several years at Wal-Mart.

Last year, he set his vocational sights on a full-time job with benefits – and met his goal. Adjusting to full-time work on an early shift was a bit challenging at first.

“I usually start work at six in the morning,” Tom said. “It wasn’t easy getting used to the schedule.”

But he didn’t give up. Not surprisingly, Tom’s six-month evaluation was glowing. His supervisors consider him “a good match” for the position.

Martha’s role throughout the whole process was to work with Tom and help him develop a plan of action for achieving his goal. This included helping Tom apply for jobs; advocating for him when it looked like he might not get the full-time job; supporting him through his orientation; ensuring he understood his employer’s expectations; helping him develop strategies for success; and fostering natural supports through consultation with Tom’s supervisors.

“He has really proven himself,” Martha said.

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