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Amber hard at work at Popeye’s.

Amber was first referred to STAR Center by Vocational Rehabilitation in 2015 when she was only 18 years old. She had a goal of employment. STAR Center’s Vocational Evaluation Department met with Amber for an evaluation to determine her strengths, skills, likes, dislikes, abilities, and goals. Amber participated in the Project SEARCH program and worked in the laundry department at the West TN Healthcare Hospital, where she learned various job skills and gained valuable work experience. Additional services she received included Orientation and Mobility to learn how to ride the city bus, as well as Job Readiness Training to increase her odds of obtaining and maintaining employment. Unfortunately, there was not a job opening for her at the Project SEARCH site. But Amber was not giving up! She had proven herself to be dependable, cooperative, and a hard worker, and was as determined as ever to get a job.

STAR Center staff helped her identify resources available to her through Employment Community First, where she was able to complete a Situational Observation and Assessment. This helped narrow down her job interests. Many meetings were held with Amber and her mom, and many job openings were explored. Then, in the Fall of 2018, Amber had in interview with Popeye’s in Jackson for a Lobby Attendant. With assistance from STAR Center’s Supported Employment Program, Amber got the job and started at the beginning of this year! STAR Center initially worked onsite with Amber, and she mastered her job duties. 

Five months in and Amber says she loves having her own job and is learning to manage her own money. Amber’s mom says she can see a big increase in Amber’s overall confidence. With patience, perseverance, and a great support team, Amber is well on her way to becoming an independent adult.

What an honor for STAR Center to have been a part of her story!

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