Success Stories

Larry’s Journey

Larry is a 21 year old veteran who has a mental illness. He had been out of the service for two years and was doing odd jobs in retail to help contribute to his family’s income. While he did not have trouble finding jobs, he really wanted a career. He didn’t have money to go to school and wasn’t sure what direction to pursue. He heard about the Career Center and decided to attend trainings to help him identify an interest and ways to make headway along his employment journey.

The Career Center did an intake and assessment through CareerZone. It helped him to learn that the field of Information Technology (IT) is where he wanted to focus.

Members of Larry’s IRT

Once he had a clear employment goal, the Career Center created an Integrated Resource Team (IRT) to support his journey, including: Larry, his Disability Resource Coordinator (DRC), his parents, the youth counselor, and his mental health professional. The IRT showed him different schools and then helped enroll him.

Preparing for Success

Larry has frequent shifts in mood and is on medication due to his mental illness. To prevent any potential setbacks, the IRT spoke to the business school about Larry’s challenges. The school did not have a disability department, so they spoke with the admissions office and an instructor. With Larry’s permission, these two school professionals also joined his IRT. The instructor was informed to notify them in case they saw any signs of Larry struggling or not acting like himself.

Right before a test, the instructor noticed high levels of anxiety in Larry. The instructor postponed the test and called the youth advisor. She is a licensed social worker and came to meet with Larry to share coping and relaxation skills.

Larry’s Outcomes

He was able to take the test later the same day once he got into a better emotional state. He graduated with a 3.77 and was a keynote speaker at his graduation. This would not have happened if the IRT did not host planning calls with his school. They helped derail a possible setback and kept him moving in the right direction. Only one month after graduation, Larry found a job in IT and is now happily employed.

*Names have been changed in the Success Stories to protect identities.