Thomas is our student spotlight because he exhibited so much courage this year.
Thomas has been a CIP student since 2010, and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Psychology. As he approached a new year, he was uncertain about what he wanted to do with his degree and what his future might hold. Thomas utilized individual career counseling sessions as well as volunteer and paid work experience activities throughout the 2014-2015 school year to ultimately land a full-time position at LifeDesigns in May as a Direct Support Professional.
The main reason Thomas now works full-time is the courage it took to enter into new, uncomfortable situations in order to learn job skills, invest in himself and build confidence.
Despite the challenges faced, he began working part-time at McDonald’s in the summer of 2014, sustaining the position for four months. After he left McDonald’s he agreed to volunteer in the community while he worked on his job search process. He volunteered at both Hoosier Hills Food Bank and WFHB Community Radio and was part of a fundraising team for Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was hired to be a ticket-taker by IU Event Services in the early Spring of 2015.
Thomas had an individual career counseling session each week to aid in his job search and career research process. He persevered through applying for over 15 jobs, attended job fairs, and successfully completed 8 job interviews. By putting himself out there and connecting with prospective employers, Thomas ultimately found a full-time job!
Thomas has an incredible willingness to take on any task his work sites ask of him. His ability to push himself past his comfort zone and into new situations and settings is a strength that Thomas hopefully can truly appreciate about himself and continue to utilize.