October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign helps bring awareness to disability employment and celebrates the contributions of the disability workforce. This post will highlight the employment stories and successes of three IRC Consumers who are working with IRC Service Provider EXCEED.
Intern Noah Lawrence is funny, outgoing, and is always encouraging others. He is especially passionate about supporting people with disabilities in achieving their goals. Noah has a mindset that there is always a way to get the job done, and he has brought that to the workplace in working with EXCEED. He worked on a janitorial team and was referred to the Paid Internship Program. He currently works at Home Goods. He works to find solutions to any issues that may arise and believes that “just because you have challenges doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals.” About his internship, Noah says, “I have been at Home Goods for 6 months. I really like helping my customers and getting more work experience.”
An avid athlete, Darren can often be found working out during his free time. He runs track and plays soccer with Special Olympics. He also loves video games!
Javier Rubalcaba is an energetic and curious young man with a passion for life. He began his employment journey with EXCEED about 5 years ago. He worked on an EXCEED janitorial team at the Lowe’s Distribution Center. Working on the team allowed him to develop skills in workplace communication and relationship building. During his time working at the Lowes warehouse, Javier got to see the many different departments and job duties that were available to Lowes team members. Inspired by this experience, Javier expressed interest in applying for a position at Lowe’s. Earlier this year he applied, was interviewed, and was offered a position with Lowe’s working on the Pallet Strip team. Javier and his team are motivated and goal-oriented, processing 10,000 products each day. During breaks, you can find Javier surrounded by co-workers he has befriended. About his teammates, Javier says, “I like working at Lowe’s because the people are nice. My team is friendly. And being a team member makes me happy.”
Outside of work, Javier enjoys lifting weights, watching sports, and listening to music. He is also a total fashionista and a collector of sneakers, hats, and jewelry.
Darren O’Neal is a man with a big heart. He brings a friendly and helpful energy with him wherever he goes, and he loves to make people laugh. These are all fantastic qualities in an employee! Darren began working with EXCEED in 2011 where he worked for a time at the organization’s thrift store, fixing electronics. He then transitioned to working in a group at the Walgreens Distribution Center. In this position, he showed tremendous growth and developed leadership skills. Earlier this year, Darren began working at Home Goods through IRC’s Paid Internship Program. He is known for his willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. About his work at Home Goods, Darren says, “This is the best job I have ever had. Everyone is friendly and helps me a lot.”
When he isn’t hard at work, Darren loves to play video games, listen to music, and spend time with his friend and family. He is also known among his friends as the go-to-person for life advice.
Congratulations on your successes, gentlemen. And thank you to EXCEED for sharing these fantastic stories and photos.
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