Tyrell is on the autism spectrum and has barriers such as poor cognitive skills, ticks and difficulty with his speech. When he was eager to get a job and become more independent, Tyrell turned to JEVS Project Success. Staff members took this quiet young man—who always smiles—under their wing and worked tirelessly with him day in and day out, even giving the aunt he lived with lessons to practice at home. Tyrell participated in the socialization and job club classes. His job coach took him to many job fairs and interviews, but nobody saw what she saw in him, a loyal person with drive and someone who really would do a good job and always work hard.
Determined to Work
Tyrell eventually got a maintenance job, but was laid off because it was seasonal. This setback really upset him. Tyrell soon expressed an interest in doing dishes, so to build up his skills he got an internship where he was accompanied by a job coach. It seemed he could thrive in a supportive environment. And, he was happy doing this kind of work.
Pathway to Payday
Project Success staff worked hard to find Tyrell competitive employment in the community. Tyrell interviewed with Jeffrey Miller Catering in Landsdowne, Pa. Even though this was quite a distance from his home, he was travel trained, and his job coach showed him the job's pace and how to do things easier. He learned to speak up at work and articulate what he wanted from his coworkers. He developed a solid work ethic. Tyrell took the next step in his newfound independence by getting a bank account to direct deposit his paycheck and be in charge of his own money. He's happy, he goes out with friends, Tyrell is smiling again.
“I am happy, and I never say I can’t do something. My job is hard, but I like it and the people I work with. I answer questions and take time to think and always say good morning to everyone.”
JEVS has submitted Tyrell’s story for inclusion in “Working Capital: Employees, an Employers Best Product,” a book published to raise awareness about the benefits of employing people with disabilities that is slated for publication later in 2016.