From Passions to Professions: Nicholas's PCSEPP Discovery Process

By Sara Porcaro | Dec 29, 2020
PCSEPP, BHDDH, Employment, Opportunity, IDD, Disabilities, Rhode Island, ADA, Empower, Equality

Just like that, tomorrow brings the last day of 2020. While this year has certainly been one for the books, there's still so much to celebrate as we welcome the new year--like how much we've accomplished and overcome, and how we've continued planning and preparing for a brighter future. For individuals involved in the Person Centered Supported Employment Performance Program (PCSEPP), especially, there's much to celebrate--and today, we're taking another look at Nicholas's journey through the program to see what he's discovered since beginning the program, and what he has lined up for the remainder of PCSEPP.
Funded by the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH), PCSEPP is a program that focuses on the whole individual: their skills, passions, backgrounds, daily life, and more. Perspectives, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, and AccessPoint RI, in partnership with Skills for Rhode Island's Future, Able Opportunities, and the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMASS Boston, continue to make progress with individuals like Nicholas as they navigate the possibilities in the community and help individuals find the time, tools, and resources necessary to make their dreams a reality. With the pandemic, much of the work between employment professionals and participants is done virtually, as well, allowing individuals to make progress while staying safe and socially distanced.
Site Supervisor Gabrielle Rossi notes, "So far, it's going really well; Nicholas isn't so much a fan of Zoom meetings, but he's finding ways to manage, like doing shorter sessions or settling down with a cup of coffee before chatting."
Nicholas is one of many individuals in Rhode Island looking to get into the workforce--both to contribute to his community and earn himself the funds for his goals and hobbies--and so the PCSEPP program has been a great start at not only envisioning a new career, but discovering what skills and interests he'd like that career to center on. He works with Career Developer Brittany Dorrance, who, after the Employment Department's initial pause in March of this year, worked with him in Perspectives' Adult Residential Services and got to know him well throughout their time together. This connection, in which Brittany had the opportunity to learn about Nicholas's schedule, interests, likes and dislikes, and more, has been crucial for the discovery process, and they've made great strides together towards a potential career field.
"We did a lot of PSCEPP discovery without knowing," says Brittany as she reflects on the spring shelter-in-place. "I learned a lot about his everyday routine, how he likes to spend his time, and it's been a really good background to have working with him as his Career Developer."
And in the discovery process, all were quick to note that one of Nicholas's greatest interests is the great outdoors--be it digging in the garden, exploring and going on hikes, or simply enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. For that reason, Brittany, Gabby, and Nicholas decided to take advantage of the quiet of winter; at home, Gabby and Nicholas have chosen a spot for the coming spring to set up a garden, and in the meantime, they've begun using YouTube videos and other technology to learn more about gardening. Beyond that, Brittany has also consulted with professionals from our PCSEPP partners, like Senior Manager of Supported Employment Danna Spencer from Skills for Rhode Island's Future, to identify opportunities for Nicholas to bring his interests to a paid position.
"Nicholas enjoys watching the videos," Brittany notes, "and I think he's getting some good information out of them that, come spring, we can solidify by putting into practice with his own garden."
With half a year left of the PCSEPP program, the power of the discovery process can't be understated, as Nicholas now has a clear path forward: learning the skills necessary to elevate his interests. As a nature lover and fan of the great outdoors, Nicholas is excited to find ways to work outside with plants and contribute his talents to his community, and as he continues to forge on ahead with Brittany, we're wishing him success in his career journey!
If you or someone you know qualifies for this program, you can learn more by contacting the Perspectives Employment Services team; e-mail them at employmentservices@perspectivescorporation.com or call (401) 294-3990.


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