BeLov'ed's Story

Be'Loved's StoryFor many people living with a disability, employment is a way to give back to their community, to connect with peers and community members, and a step further toward independence.

BeLov’ed began Pre-Employment Services with us with a unique set of interests, which included music, acting, and doll photography. She wanted those interests to translate into a job she loved. So, she began her journey by volunteering, but she did not feel overly engaged or excited about the work she was doing.

After a few weeks of career exploration and exploring more of her personal life, it was clear that dolls were one of BeLov’ed key interests and working around toys would be a dream for her. BeLov’ed and her job coach started to discuss places that she visited regularly. Disney Store and Build-A-Bear were two of her go-to stores, but after several attempts, they were unsuccessful opportunities for internships.

Her job coach decided to look up privately-owned toy stores in the area in hopes of bypassing some of the challenges they ran into with the larger corporate stores. While searching, Be’Loved and her job coach never stopped working on her interviewing and on-the-job social skills. It wasn't long before her job coach connected with a local toy store. Happy Up responded with excitement to meet the following week. BeLov’ed led the conversation asking questions that she had practiced and sharing some of her background with the site owner. The owner and BeLov’ed had a lot of things in common, including a deep enjoyment of dolls and toys.

After a follow-up and thank you to the owner, BeLov’ed was offered an internship. She began by asking BeLov’ed to volunteer for an hour a week and increased to three hours per week as she established a relationship at the site. Be’Loved volunteered weekly for about a year while honing her skills and becoming more confident in the work environment. And it didn’t go unnoticed. She was offered a paid position and now works part-time at Happy Up. She continues to learn, grow, and flourish in her position!

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