“I went and filled out the application. I waited a few days and then went to the orientation explaining the rules. I got a notebook, a pen, and a flashlight. I got the job.”
University of Texas employee
Julio wanted a job. He wanted to contribute. “I’m just energetic and ready for something. Why wouldn’t you want to work? Just do it!” he says. He was referred to Goodwill through DARS [The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services] and met with his job coach. “Laurie and I started meeting once a week and she helped me search for jobs. Then they found something.” That something was a position as an Event Usher at the Frank Erwin Center at University of Texas.
Julio and his vibrant smile have been greeting attendees at the UT Erwin Center since October 2014, and he’s ushered up to 2,000 people at a single event. He’s very close to his two supervisors, who treat him as an equal and with respect. He takes the regular bus to work (plenty early, he doesn’t want to be late!) and Laurie says she’s overheard there’s even a possibility of job advancement. “It matters to be responsible and have responsibilities,” Julio insists.
We asked Julio what he would say to employers who won’t hire people because they have a disability – and why they should. His answer: “Because they never know what that person can do. They can give them a chance. Let them try.”
What about when he gets his paycheck? “Aw, I just feel good,” Julio smiles.
This is the first in a new series of stories we’ll be bringing to you about the clients we serve. We hope that you are amazed, moved, inspired, delighted. Let us know what you think!