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First Job to a Fulfilling Career

Sara Working at Boston Children's Hospital - 2

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 working at Boston Children's Hospital - 1

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.

Posted in Employment, In the News, Triangle Talent | Comments closed

From Participant to Employee

Brianna, Triangle Receptionist, Former Participant

 

I remember when my MRC counselor first brought up Triangle. In my head I said to myself, “great—finally somewhere they can’t discriminate and tell me that I was a great candidate for the job but just not what they were looking for.” I remember after a while feeling as if maybe people like myself weren’t meant to be in the working world.

I finally made an appointment for a tour of Triangle. As my dad and I pulled up to this place I had heard only briefly about, suddenly I was hesitant and fear-struck. I told my dad in a panicked shaky voice that I wasn’t going in there; I felt like I didn’t identify with the other Triangle clients. There was no way any professional in there could help me find a job because I was independent. I could do everything else myself. Why couldn’t I do this?

I remember the only words my dad said to me. “You’ve come too far to turn around, now just go in there with an open mind.” Well, let me tell you, at that moment I was anything but open-minded. I was stubborn and defiant, forgetting that these people who seemed so different from me just wanted to obtain that same goal I wanted. In high school I had interacted with people with disabilities because I was one myself—even though 99.9% of the time I didn’t want to admit it. I was too proud to admit that I had abilities that made me see the world different from others.

Looking back, I am so glad I gave Triangle a chance, because I now get to call myself an important member of the team. I get to fulfill many different roles here and expand my experiences. One of my jobs is being the receptionist at the front desk, which is exciting because I get to be the friendly face you get to see when first you walk into this wonderful place. Other roles include working in Development with the team where I take on a variety of tasks—anything from administrative duties to writing marketing content. Triangle opened my mind to how many things I am actually capable of doing if I am less afraid of asking for a little assistance along the way. I have been working here for one year, since I transitioned from participant to staff member in January 2016.

Now that I work at Triangle, I have a better understanding of what our participants are searching for. I now know that all they want is acceptance—to have people look at them as people with ability, not disability.

 

By Brianna Butts, Receptionist

Posted in Employment, Triangle Talent | Comments closed
Triangle Inc. is a registered Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization.