ASSEMBLY OF GOD
Jenny is finding new possibilities after 20 years!
Jenny’s first job with Sherwood was working in our onsite Workshop counting pins and applying part labels for Boeing. She has remained a part of the Sherwood family for nearly 20 years and when the Workshop closed in the summer of 2016 her Employment Specialist, Melissa knew exactly how Jenny could next find success.
Knowing whatever task Jenny took on next would be a change Melissa secured a volunteer work experience for her at the Lake Stevens Assembly of God.
Volunteer work experience can be a key part of the discovery process for those just entering the workforce or changing employment fields to see if they like a particular kind of work. It also allows both the potential employer, employee and their Employment Specialist to assess if the job is a good match before committing to permanent placement.
After a few months of volunteering both Jenny and the Church knew they were a match. Jenny’s new job puts her in charge of washing the windows in the Church’s entrance, sanctuary, and childcare as well as cleaning their café’s tables and counters. During the summer she sweeps the foyer and occasionally sanitizes toys for their childcare.
Jenny is both deaf and blind; having a job that gives her tasks with high sensory input is really important to her. She loves the smell of the cleaning products and the way the floor vibrates as the childcare kids run past.
Initially, Jenny needed hand-over-hand help but as she became familiar with the job she figured out how to feel if she missed a spot by gently running her fingertips over the surface to feel for wet spots. Melissa now only gives Jenny occasional prompts if she missed a spot or if there is a stubborn smudge.
Her supervisor, Pastor Russ says “We love having Jenny and it’s working out great”. Jenny has worked as an employee of the Church for over 9 months and hopes to increase her hours and responsibilities!
Sherwood continues to work with Ron and his home care staff to train and tailor the Assistive Technology device to his needs and interests so that he can more easily talk with his roommates, staff, and family. He works very hard to sit up as straight as he can and to look at his screen.
Prior to Sherwood, Ron used hand gestures and a picture book to communicate; now within a few moments he can ask, “How are you today?” and engage in a two-way conversation about work and the weather.
As his final session was ending, Kristopher stood, walked over to the counter, and grabbed a banana. When finished, he walked over and showed his mom the banana peel. His mom requested that he put it in the garbage, and with no hesitation, Kristopher walked to the bottom cupboard, opened the door, and placed the peel in the garbage and closed the door. His mom said, “Thank you for listening” and she cast her gaze onto us with wide, almost in disbelief, eyes. “He wasn’t doing that when we started!” she whispered with a choke.
As the front door closed, his Therapist Susan said, “These are the outcomes that I love to see and this is what makes me love what I do.”
His manager Mike says, “Stefan makes a difference by having a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. He is here every day and is always on time. Stefan has become one of the best and most enthusiastic sanders we have. He brings attention to detail like no other.”
When asked if he had anything to add, Stefan had some advice. “If you are going to work at a job you want to look at the positive.” He recommends having a positive attitude. It’s much better than going to work with a negative attitude.