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I Can Do Anything: Learning Job Basics and Preparing for the Future

October 22, 2019
Community Voices
A young, Black man holds up his name tag. He's wearing a bright, green shirt and has a jovial smile.

When I lost my job in the food industry, I didn’t know what to do.  Without my job, I was feeling defeated. I was frustrated that the job I enjoyed and looked forward to was gone.

I stopped by INCLUDEnyc, which my Mom found and helps young people with disabilities like me. One of their youth educators spoke to me and gave me an assessment. From that point, I started to feel more optimistic that I had opportunities.

I visited the youth educator a few times and after several conversations, I realized that I had valuable skills from the food industry and my experience in building maintenance. I could do anything I set my mind to.

I started applying to jobs again. INCLUDEnyc suggested a retail opportunity. The educator worked with me to fill out the job application and prepare me for the interview. I was worried about questions that I would be asked about my work experience, but the educator coached me to handle the questions. I knew how to answer the tough questions and focus on my strengths.

When I went to the interview, I was nervous, but prepared. I was happy I did well and as INCLUDEnyc taught me, I sent a thank you note. All I had to do was wait and luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long. I received an offer the very next day! I also continued to work with the INCLUDEnyc educator to build my skills. We talked a lot about personal budgeting and time management. Both are so important for my life and my career.

Now, I have a retail job that I really enjoy. I work at a Marshall’s store in Manhattan. I’m a retail clerk and I help out wherever I can. Sometimes, I’m organizing inventory and other times I’m helping customers. I like my co-workers and it’s a great environment. I’m proud to say that everything is going well.

I used to worry about what my future would look like. I know now that I can’t always predict what will happen, but I’m prepared. For anyone like me who might have a hard time finding a job, connect with others. There are great people out there who want to help and they believe in you.

INCLUDEnyc’s Project Possibility program provides intensive support for youth who are transitioning into adult life. This program is made possible with lead funding from The Taft Foundation, Con Edison, and the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, among other funders.