Maizey joined ReSOURCE’s Career Start program in 2015 as a high school freshman under the recommendation of her guidance counselor, Simon Parlante. The fit was such a good one, she stayed with the program until her recent graduation.
Maizey has autism and according to Simon, Career Start’s Personal and Professional Development (PPD) curriculum and monthly check-ins focused on not only strengths but weaknesses, which was just what Maizey needed to better adjust to a work environment.
In a typical morning, Maizey would check in with staff to prepare for the day. Her assigned tasks were often similar because she responded best to consistency in her activities and with the people she worked alongside. Her tasks included cleaning up shelves and organizing and pricing items.
Maizey shared, “I really liked sorting piles (of donated items) from the cart, and especially, I liked to talk to customers,” which her guardian, Norma LaBounty, agreed.
“Maizey loves ReSOURCE,” Norma exclaimed. “She loves the people…their patience, willingness to teach her, and work with her. She looked forward to going in every morning.”
Simon echoed Norma saying, “There’s a really strong sense of welcoming at ReSOURCE, so Maizey felt great coming in. She’s really socially motivated and social relationships mean a lot to her.” Simon even noticed Maizey’s adaptability and flexibility to try new things grew after working in the store.
Maizey’s training also allowed her to hone her financial skills by learning to budget her monthly work stipend. Norma recalled shopping experiences where Maizey would reconsider the items she wanted if the purchases came out of her bank account.
“The bank account is a good teaching tool,” Nora said. “Sometimes she would think about if she really needed it and would say, ‘No, I don’t want that today.’ ”
Now in her new position at Sierra Trading Post, Norma finds that Maizey acclimated to the job quickly and can deal with customers and coworkers eloquently. Though we miss her, ReSOURCE is proud Maizey’s four years with us equipped her with the essential skills needed to aid her transition to employment.