Maddie Meyer came to us with the hopes of finding a job that would utilize her organizing, cleaning, and people skills. She said that she liked to keep things organized when she works and “I like to keep things in a certain way.”
When asked what her dream job was she said that what she wants to do someday would be to work with animals or rather more specifically, “train dolphins and killer whales and help people understand these animals.”
We learned that Maddie also has an interest and talent for art. She has even assisted with painting some murals with Jim Evangelista of Reality Kitchen.
Because of her love of art we connected Maddie with MECCA, where she volunteers some of her time, helping to sort and organize the recyclable materials that are brought in for re-use. Brianna, one of our job coaches has been working with Maddie at MECCA, to learn some work related skills. Skills that are important in finding paid work, like being on time, calling in when sick, getting comfortable with having people ask advice and questions of Maddie and building up her stamina for working longer periods of time. In addition, she learned to determine which items will sell, how to price items and how to display the materials in a way that is pleasing and entices people to buy it.
The reason that Maddie wants to find a paid job is because, “I want to be more independent and take care of myself, buy things, pay bills and show that I’m responsible.”
Pearl Buck Center Community Employment Services was able to find a position for Maddie at Mosaic in the downtown Eugene area.
At first, Maddie was very shy but determined to do good work. “I like being able to do something that is challenging and working with people that are nice to me” With the help of her job coach, Muezet, she was able to find many things to do and make herself useful, like wiping down an old table and within minutes of cleaning the table, it was sold!
With the assistance of Muezet, Maddie was able to even make it possible to sell some of her woven bracelets at the store.
The owner of Mosaic, Susan Costa wasn’t able to offer many hours to Maddie and wanted to make sure that she was getting as many hours as she needed, so she took it upon herself to approach some of her neighboring business associates to see if they could utilize Maddie’s abilities and skills.
Susan enrolled Melissa Achtien, the owner of Gilt & Gossamer to hire Maddie. Now Maddie has not one but two jobs and she has really blossomed as a result. Maddie is greeting customers, making suggestions, up selling, and making sure that the experience of each customer is memorable at both stores. “Some days I don’t want to work, but I’m happy because it gives me something to do. These jobs help me socialize and make me happy because I get paid.”
And Maddie has enjoyed her experience at MECCA so much that she has continued to volunteer even after we found her paid work. “I still volunteer at MECCA because I was doing this before I had 2 jobs. I will see how I feel the longer I work. I might continue volunteering if it’s not too much for me.”
According to both of her job coaches, Maddie is becoming a valuable part of all of these businesses and we couldn’t be prouder.