Everyone remembers their first job. We were inspired to read the stories of Mayor Marty Walsh and his colleagues’ first work experiences and we’re especially proud to live in a city where summer jobs for young people are highly valued. In this spirit, we want to share Sara’s story of a first job that opened the door to a perfect fit.
On Monday, Triangle, Inc. took a moment to talk with Sara, a North End resident and alum of our EPIC Service Warriors program. Sara has worked hard in recent years to cultivate education and experience relevant to her professional goals: she graduated from the Cotting School, Riverview School, PROJECT Search, and the UMass Institute for Community Inclusion.
Sara’s first professional position was at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Cambridge where she worked two days a week in the dietary department. Sara loves to help others, and was excited about working in the hospital, but she didn’t feel like the dietary department was a good long-term fit. Sara was driven to make a change that would put her on the path toward the right career.
Thanks to Sara’s parents who support and challenge her to be independent, and the efforts of the talented team at the UMASS Institute for Community Inclusion, Sara was able to take that next step and join the Shipping and Receiving team at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Sara now works full time at the hospital sorting incoming packages and delivering vital materials to physicians on all 13 floors; she says, “I run all over the hospital!” She is proud of her work and uses skills she learned at her first job. “You have to be nice and friendly with people. I like getting to know the doctors and staff but I always remind myself to be professional.”
We are thrilled that Sara is working 40 hours a week and enjoying an independent life in Boston’s beautiful North End. Unfortunately, Sara’s success is not as common as one would hope. As of January 2017, only 19.5% of Americans with disabilities were employed. For students with disabilities, first jobs are not just a way to stay busy, but a vital step toward establishing a successful career. Triangle, Inc. works with politicians, business partners, and driven individuals like Sara to try to connect people with disabilities to meaningful work opportunities for people with disabilities.
Triangle, Inc. is excited to announce an initiative that collaborates with Mayor Walsh’s Summer Jobs Program to ensure that more Boston students with disabilities can transform summer jobs into successful careers. Thanks to Mayor Walsh’s leadership and the skills of young Bostonians like Sara, we are confident that we can continue building a city that offers innovative career opportunities for people with ability.