Ismeal came to us during the summer of 2018 when he was still in high school and he attended our 8-week summer youth Life Skills program. He did not attend our summer youth program in 2019 because his grandmother passed, and he was very close with her. The pandemic hit in 2020 and the state of WV stopped services but thankfully we were able to do virtual services that summer.
Ismeal graduated high school May 2020 and Ismeal attended our summer youth virtual CEO program, Community Employment Opportunity where he learned about different aspects of work. After the summer of 2020 he continued into services with Goodwill and into a Community Based Assessment and then into several Work Adjustments. Ismeal decided that he liked washing dishes the best. He spent his work adjustments at Perkins washing dishes. Ismeal came to us with anger and behavioral problems, he wanted to do things his way and it took a lot to get him turned around to get him to understand doing things the way the employer wanted them done. Ismeal also struggled in finding his identity and he lacked self-confidence. He also struggled with being tired because he had a poor bedtime routine and struggled with getting to sleep. He struggled with preparing the correct type of lunch so that he could have energy for his workday. During his work adjustment we worked on these things.
On Ismael’s last day of work training the General Manager of Perkins told the job coach that he would like to do a formal interview with him. The General Manager wanted to give Ismeal the opportunity to have that interview, he knew how important it was to give him this opportunity to interview. The General Manager set up a formal interview with Goodwill and Ismeal and he was then hired. Ismeal has gained many friends at work and has a great support system from all of the managers at Perkins.
Ismeal has always had a side of him where he always wanted to help others, but it wasn’t until he was hired that he gained self-confidence. Perkins and Goodwill worked together to help Ismeal. Ismeal has the perfect job task for him, he loves his job, and he has the perfect employer for him. Perkins will continue to be there for Ismeal and Ismeal will be a dedicated, loyal employee.
Trainee has overcome many things and he has worked very hard to get to where he is today and that is why he deserves to be Trainee of the Year. We are very proud of him, congratulations Ismeal, you’ve earned it.