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Kendra: The gift of happiness and independence

Finding a job wasn’t an easy task for Kendra Jones. 

Kendra Jones

In fact, before finding her way to New Frontiers Employment Services, Kendra had very little interaction with non-family members. Kendra has autism, which sometimes makes connecting with others a difficult task.

That’s where Keith Lender came in. Keith is a job coach with the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center’s New Frontiers Employment Services. He helped Kendra develop social skills through outings to the mall and the library. Kendra wanted to work at a restaurant, so Keith helped her find a trial position at The Carousel Restaurant in Evansville. He assisted Kendra in learning the job skills she needed. She did so well, her supervisor Robin Wade offered Kendra a permanent position.

Kendra celebrated one year at The Carousel in February. Keith said he never saw Kendra smile until she started her new job. 

Prior to working with Keith and New Frontiers, Kendra was shy and lacked confidence. Now Kendra has a newfound independence. She rides the bus to and from work each day and to purchase art supplies for her favorite hobby. 

“She’s bubbly,” Robin said. “You see her walking across the parking lot and she’s dancing on her way to work. She’s singing with her headphones on. She’s ready to be here. It’s pretty nice to see that.” 

New Frontiers Employment Services helps adults with disabilities who want to work discover their own interests and abilities and learn social and daily living skills. Job coaches also teach clients how to search for jobs, prepare resumes, apply for jobs and prepare for and go to interviews. Keith said the goal is always long-term employment. 

Your support helps ensure that individuals such as Kendra have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in our community!

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