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Impact Stories

#NDEAM Spotlight: Meet Chaini

For our second National Disability Employment Awareness month spotlight, meet Chaini! Chaini has worked at Evergreen Senior Living for the past 2 years as a Dining Server, where she helps prepare meal trays by placing sides on the trays. She also wraps silverware, washes dishes and puts them away!

Chaini came to MRI two years ago looking for a job in the community. Through MRI’s Supportive Employment Program Chaini was placed into a position at Evergreen Senior Living. This job was a perfect fit for Chaini because throughout her interview she kept mentioning how much she likes to help people. She has a heart of gold!

The start of a new job can be scary and challenging. To help Chaini adapt to her new position, for the first couple of weeks Sandra, a staff member from MRI’s Supportive Employment Program, helped her throughout her training. Sandra helped Chaini by helping her learn her new duties, and explaining them to her in a way that she could easily understand. Sandra often checks in on Chaini and assists her with computer trainings as part of her position. Chaini admitted that in the beginning of her new job, it was challenging. She told us how she had to learn how to listen carefully and how her co-workers were there to support her anytime she needed assistance or had questions. Overall, Chaini has had a very positive experience working at Evergreen and truly loves her job and the people she serves there.

We asked Chaini what she would be doing if she didn’t have to work. “I don’t know, maybe reading. This is why I have a job, I didn’t want to be seen as being lazy, sitting around the house all day or be seen as a kid. This job is gratifying for me. I feel like I’m needed and contributing to the community.” – Chaini

Chaini having a job is a stepping stone to the many other goals and dreams she wants to achieve. A few at the top of her list are to be independent, live on her own, learn to drive and open her own business where she can help people!

Lastly, we asked Chaini how working in the community makes her feel. “It makes me feel like I can be self-sufficient, like I can think on my own and be an adult. At times, I didn’t feel comfortable doing certain tasks, fearful to do a new things, but once you get used to it and press on, it gets easier.” – Chaini

Thank you Chaini for sharing your story with us!