REDI for More: Kelsey’s Story
REDI for More: Kelsey’s Story
Many students look for a part-time job to help pay for expenses and any fun things they may want. employU client, Kelsey, is no different. She longed for a part-time job in retail sales to help pay for makeup and clothes. Kelsey and her grandmother decided to contact Vocational Rehabilitation Services in January in hopes that they could assist Kelsey with finding an employment specialist. Kelsey has limited use of her right hand due to cerebral palsy and wanted to find an employment specialist who had experience helping jobseekers with disabilities find employment.
Her counselor at Vocational Rehabilitation Services contacted employU and asked Employment Specialist, Tony Chadwick, if he would assist Kelsey in finding her dream job, to which he gladly accepted. Tony immediately noticed Kelsey’s infectious laugh, cheerful personality, and determination to succeed. Tony helped create a resume for her and met with her several times throughout the month to work on Kelsey’s career goals and strengthen her interviewing skills. Together, they applied to multiple positions and visited potential worksites but, unfortunately, Kelsey was not hired. Then Tony decided that it would be best to add some more experience to Kelsey’s resume by having her complete an On-the-Job Training program. Soon after, he learned about the Walgreens REDI program, which employU has partnered with. After speaking with the employU’s REDI Program Coordinator, Candace, they determined Kelsey would be an excellent fit for the program.
The Walgreens REDI program is a three to four week in-store hands-on training program for Retail Employees with Disabilities Inclusion (REDI) that teaches customer service skills and allows a person with disabilities the possibility of becoming employed by Walgreens when completed successfully. This was perfect for Kelsey! She was so excited to learn about the program and what it had to offer.
Her job coach, Candace, worked to get Kelsey signed up with the program. She and Kelsey met with the Walgreens store manager, Destiny, multiple times to discuss the program and to complete the paperwork needed to get Kelsey started with the REDI program. Kelsey was so excited she could not stop laughing when her job coach and the store manager told her she was approved. She laughed so hard that other employees, the manager, and her job coach started laughing with her. Kelsey started with 100% coaching from her job coach and did great! She immediately took to assisting customers with finding items, credit card applications, online orders, and “Buy One, Get One 50% Off” deals.
Kelsey was a natural and even offered her employment specialist, Tony, a Walgreens credit card application when he visited her at the store. Kelsey made immediate friends with her co-workers and even made friends with some of the customers who came in. After successfully completing the REDI program, Kelsey was offered a part-time position with Walgreens, which she accepted. She loves her job and is so excited to work each day she is scheduled. She never complains and always performs her job duties.
“She always has a bright, cheery smile on her face and radiates with happiness,” states Candace. “If we could just bottle up Kelsey’s radiant sunshine, the world would be a much brighter place.”
For more information on our Adult Employment Services visit www.employu.org/adult-employment-services or contact us using the form below.