10 Years Later: Josue’s Story

10 Years Later: Josue’s Story

As one of employU’s first clients, Josue knows how important it is to have someone in your corner to fight for your passions.  Though visually impaired, he was determined to make a career out of working with animals… and our Executive Director, Keith, shared that determination.   

Josue came to employU in November of 2012. At the time, employU was a lot smaller than it is today. Keith was doing a lot of the services himself and took on Josue as a client. Josue’s charismatic personality stood out to Keith from the moment he met him. As he got to know Josue, Keith learned that Josue’s impaired vision stemmed from eye drops he was given as a child for a pink eye infection. The drops caused cataracts to develop, and Josue lost his vision at age 6. After seeing another doctor years later as a teenager and receiving treatment, Josue’s vision partially returned. Now Josue has good vision days and not-so good vision days. His vision is low, and he experiences light sensitivity but is able to drive during the day.  

When speaking with Keith, Josue expressed his desire to work with animals. Ultimately, he wanted to be an animal groomer. During this time, employU was still in the beginning stages of development and did not have the resources that we have today. But Keith was determined to help Josue get started on his career path towards his dream job.  

Together, Keith and Josue sent applications to over 50 positions. While they did end up applying to positions in other industries, Keith’s main focus was getting Josue a position working with animals. After interviewing with a few positions, Josue began seeing a pattern. Most businesses wanted to hire someone with experience. Hearing this, Josue decided to postpone the job search and go to school for pet grooming with help from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). After he completed school, Keith and Josue began the job search once again. 

This time, Josue applied to work at PetCo. After some persistence on both Josue and Keith’s part, Josue got a call from PetCo, offering him a position as a pet stylist. Shortly after starting his new position, Josue called Keith and let him know how much he loved his new job. He had found the right career for him.  

Today, almost ten years later, Josue has built a reputation as a go-to groomer. He has gained experience grooming police canines and many different types of exotic animals. “Seeing how far he’s come, I could not be more proud of him,” Keith expresses. A journey that started with employU, has become a life-long career path proving that passion, persistence, and determination can go a long way.  

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