When Antonio Hall graduated from the Urban Assembly School for Performing Arts and received his diploma at age 18, he needed career direction. He had never worked, was not sure where he could work, or how to get a job. The fact that Antonio had been diagnosed with a Mild Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), complicated his job search with potential employers. So Antonio, who lives with his mom at The Bronx, NY, stayed home for a while before coming to Goodwill in 2017.
At Goodwill, Antonio received career exploration and job search support. And when Antonio learned of an 8-week customer service training at a CVS mock store, he jumped at the opportunity. After completing the training, CVS, a long-time Goodwill corporate partner, offered him, an 8-week paid in-store internship. Only two months after completing his internship, Antonio got an offer for his first job ever as customer service representative and stock associate at a CVS store on October 2019.
But Goodwill stays with its participants as long as they need to succeed in their jobs. A Job Coach visits Antonio several times per month to provide on-the-job coaching to support him with day-to-day work tasks, social skills, self-advocacy, and time-keeping. So when Antonio found out about a Self-Checkout Attendant position, he asked his Job Coach to help him apply for the job. Thanks to Goodwill, Antonio got the job he liked better on December 2022!
At age 27, Antonio knows he is succeeding at work. Recently, he received positive feedback from a customer who wrote at the ‘Recognize a colleague’ section of the CVS website: “I purchased 2 items, but forgot them at the store. When I went back to the store, Antonio, the CVS rep, was so understanding and informative about what to do next. The manager was also friendly, helpful, and attentive when Antonio told him my issue. The manager checked the video, confirmed that my claim was valid, and he replaced my items. It made my experience positive. Great Team. The manager and Antonio are awesome!”
“I came to Goodwill to get a job, become more independent, and make friends,” Antonio told us. “I feel I’ve come a long way –now, I can book my doctor’s appointments, schedule my Access A Ride trips to go to work, and my mom feels comfortable leaving me at home by myself. And at Goodwill, I help staff with tours and presentations about the program and I hang out with friends from the Goodwill program!”
Goodwill NYNJ provides DayHab Services to help individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities increase their communication and social skills. We also provide volunteering opportunities with employer partners where program participants perform work readiness activities to acquire work skills that will prepare them for competitive employment in the community.
For information about Goodwill NYNJ services, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Story submitted by our DayHab team:
Hillary McKenna Long, Employment Specialist
Mellisa I. Rodriguez, Job Coach
Marileisis Mateo, Sr. Habilitation Specialist
Tasha Stanton, Program Manager