First arriving at RFA in 2012 as part of his Branford High School curriculum, Ben initially expressed that he had “No idea” what his career goals were. In the weeks and months ahead, Ben demonstrated an uncanny ability to tackle any task on the farm, especially when it comes to serving customers and working on his feet. After gaining his initial work experience and increasing his self-confidence onsite, he interned as an Assistant Teacher at the Guilford Art Center’s Summer Program for three consecutive summers and later as an intern at Consign and Design Shoreline in Branford. In addition, Ben is also a part-time student at Gateway. Recently, Ben successfully obtained paid employment at a popular restaurant chain; he can’t wait to get started!
Josh came to RFA from Hope Academy through Branford Public Schools to earn work experience credit toward his high school diploma. After trying a variety of job tasks, he quickly identified customer service as a newfound passion. Josh also interned at AFA Electronic Recyclers in Madison for several months to pursue his love of computers. Combined with his advanced technology skills, which he utilized to assist in the management of our social media sites, Josh soon became a highly valued member of our team. This past holiday season, Josh cemented his passion for customer service by successfully completing a stint as a seasonal associate at Kohl’s. It is no surprise that Josh pursued and obtained, his current sales associate position at Walgreens soon after!
Although Ian came to RFA in October 2015 with some previous work experience, he had been unemployed for the past three years. Ian was in his thirties and without a high school diploma, but arrived with a positive, “Can do” attitude and willingness to perform any assigned task. Through his flexibility and unshakable work ethic, Ian has gained many new skills and experiences on and off the farm. Recently, a local garden center hired Ian to put his new skills to use by maintaining plants, stocking shelves, and answering customer questions.
When Vanessa first came to Ability Beyond Transition Services, she wanted careers in both fashion and in the makeup industry. After researching and touring a cosmetology school, she came to the realization that a formal education was not the best fit for her. Instead, she focused on drawing sketches with an eye towards designing her own line of clothing. One of our staff suggested that she create tutus and obtain help to sell them. After successfully creating some sample tutus, her Career Education Specialist helped her get a $300 grant for materials from Street Smart Ventures. Now Vanessa is on her way to building her small business!
Josh first arrived at Roses for Autism in May of 2014 to hone his work skills and determine which career path would fit best for him. Josh is an extremely personable man with kaleidoscopic interests, some of which include fashion and customer service. After learning how to work with customers, Josh was a mainstay at the RFA retail store for several months while also becoming proficient when it comes to working with our flowers. In 2015, he applied for a Sales Associate position in the clothing section of Walmart and, after successfully navigating multiple interviews, Josh earned a job that he has maintained for a full year. Due to these and myriad other successes, Josh recently graduated from Ability Beyond Transition and is excited about his future!