A New Smile and a New Lease on Life

Senior woman, working as a cashier, wearing a protective mask.


During her first 3 months in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Beth immediately leaned into the training and support offered by our staff. It was very clear that she was feeling alone, disenfranchised, and in need of assistance.
Before being referred to SCSEP in November of 2018, Beth had been working with the Northwest Pilot Project in order to obtain stable housing. After nearly 10 years of caregiving for her partner who passed away in 2017, Beth was in a position with no consistent income, no stable housing, a car that was barely functional, a growing need for major dental work, and a feeling that she was unemployable.

The First Steps

During the early stages of working with Beth, our program was able to equip her with a free phone to replace her broken one, help identify her transferable skills to build a resume, and set up a plan for discounted dental procedures. This combination resulted in an immense confidence boost for Beth, bolstering the first steps toward putting her development and happiness back in focus.
Throughout her engagement with SCSEP, we were able to place Beth at a host agency training opportunity with Village Market (run by Janus Youth). This paid placement entailed showing up for 20 hours of training per week in order to learn the POS, greet customers, and learn both cashier and stocking skills. After only 2 months in her placement at the Village Market, Beth had saved enough money to buy herself a car that was suitable and safe, allowing her to show up and train successfully.

Exceeding Expectations

After 6 months of training, Beth received a shining assessment from her supervisor of all above-average markings, showing that Beth had not only grown in her placement, but she had thrived. At this point, Beth had taken part in all of the first phase of her dental appointments, obtained a working phone, bought a working car, and now could see on paper just how much she had to offer the workforce. Because of the consistent efforts and her desire to grow, Village Market advanced Beth’s training to include supervisor-level tasks, such as training new staff.

Hard Work and Training Pays Off

In January of 2020, Beth was offered an interview with Village market for a Lead Cashier position. As the interview approached, Beth was given mock interviews and extra preparation in order to set her up for undeniable success. When the interview finally came, the team that interviewed Beth reported that she was offered the permanent position along with an abundance of positive feedback.

Checking in, Today

Overall, Beth has shown amazing growth, engagement, and initiative through her journey with Easterseals Oregon’s Senior Community Service Employment Program. As of today, Beth has been employed at 30-plus hours a week with Village Market for 9 months. She touches base with us monthly, giving us updates on her position as well as her living situation. She is still in stable housing, driving her car, and almost completely finished with her dental implants. Beth often expresses her level of gratitude for the support she has gotten from our program, and we are extremely proud of her.

NOTE: The participant's actual name has been replaced in order to maintain privacy, but the details of the story have not been altered.

If you or anyone you know is a mature job-seeker (over the age of 55), please contact us here for more information on how we can help!

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