Brian started in July of 2012. He was referred to us from his school district. They wanted to focus the last 2 years he had left in school, preparing for a successful transition into adulthood.
The Nicholas Center, had perfected their social enterprise, Spectrum Designs, and it was open to receive new trainees! Brian came in for an interview, and with that dazzling smile and those dimples, how could anyone say no!
The 2013-14 school year was an emotional one for Brian and his family. But he was well prepared , thanks to his committed school personnel, his amazing family and of course the supportive team at the Nicholas Center. In his last year of high school, Brian was up to 8 to 10 hours a week of working! This set the stage perfectly for a smooth transition to a 15 hour work week, once he graduated in June of 2014. Not only did this gradual progression prove to be an effective and meaningful way to help Brian transition into a work place, he also gained a more hours to develop some nice friendships too!
UPDATE! Since he graduated Brian continues to make progress toward his social, communication and employment goals every day! He continues to work and make a paycheck, as well as meaningfully participate in various community based experiences. When he is not working hard at his job at Spectrum Designs , he is volunteering his time for the betterment of the community. He helps out at a local Movie Theater, Deli, Food Pantry , Catering Hall , College , Laundromat and Thrift Store. He participates in a Beautification project that provides Enhanced Sanitation for the Better Business Improvement District of Port Washington. He creates and distributes a monthly newsletter, Navigator News; which is part of the offerings within the Nicholas Center Navigator program! Brian continues to make friends and lead a healthy and active lifestyle. He is continually learning and trying new things. His family reports he has a greater self-esteem and enjoys all of the incredible opportunities he receives while getting support at Nicholas Center. Brian is by far, leading a full and productive life!
Sometime during Brian's first year, between 2012 and 2013, his school felt he was ready to come for another day. The team here also felt he was prepared to expand his work experience across 2 days. Brian was also enjoying his trainee stipend at the end of the month. By the end of Brian's first year, he was work training for a total of 6 hours a week. Three of the goals he accomplished were
1. telling a supervisor when he was done with a job
2. learned how to independently prep and fold all out going orders to customers
3. increased his time working and decreased the amount of breaks he needed to take.
We knew the following year, we would rev it up. It was going to be the last year Brian had to get ready for graduation!
With two years of experience under his belt, Brian was rearing and ready to come to work, for the first time as an "adult". He started in July of 2014 and he has been here ever since! Brian currently makes a gainful wage and works at Spectrum Designs for 12 hours a week. His friends from the Nicholas Center make sure he's being the best he can be each and everyday! In addition to making customized apparel, Brian makes edible party favors, works on his personal fitness goals and has discovered he has a "green thumb" from the Plant A Row project he volunteers in , while being supported from the Nicholas Center. The rest of his week is spent working at a local college and hanging out with his family , loved ones and new found friends. Congratulations to Brian!
For more information on how The Nicholas Center could be part of your journey, please contact us today!
When Brian first came to The Nicholas Center for employment training, he came for just one day a week for 2 hours. There were a few things we wanted to ease him into, as everything was new and unfamiliar. It was very important for his success, that he felt comfortable. Back then, we only had a 250 square foot printing space! So it was very easy to get to know everyone! In his first few months, we basically set very simple and achievable goals, such as reciprocating office greetings and conversations, accepting simple instructions from his floor manager and learning the basics of operating the heat press and sorting items by size.