Transforming Experiences into Paid Positions: Jacob's New Job

By Sara Porcaro | Dec 21, 2021
Employment, COVID-19, Rhode Island, Disabilities, Work, Accessibility, Walgreens, Local Business
Jacob at Work

With high school graduation comes a sense that the doors have been flung wide open. The opportunities that await young grads—college, work, travel, or just the possibility of not being in school for the first time since they were children—make it difficult to choose a path right away. But with Perspectives’ Transitional School Services (TSS), individuals have the chance to participate in trial work experiences, where they get the guidance they need to seek, gain, and maintain paid work in their communities—and for one student, Jacob, his hard work in building his skills and finding that path with internships has led him to a permanent position at his local Walgreen’s!
In 2017, Jacob graduated from North Kingstown High School, then continued his journey towards work readiness and other important skills. He’s spent that time learning soft skills, resume building, and getting hands-on experience at businesses like Walgreens, CVS, Chili’s, and Subway, finding what kind of work he enjoys all along the way. With Jacob’s love of meeting new people and helping others, he found that the retail environment let him thrive—bringing great work to his team while also making new friends along the way. When he completed his final internship at Walgreen’s and was offered a job in late October, the work he already loved then wasn’t only a great experience, but a paying position.
“I was shocked and not shocked at the same time when they offered me a job,” says Jacob. “I liked the work, but I didn’t know if I’d be staying, and now time’s just flown by. And I love having my own money; I think that’s the best part of having a job now.”
At his weekly shift, Jacob works with his team to unload the trucks of supplies that come in and get items in their designated place. He also has stepped up to learn the cash register during this busy holiday season, so that he might be able to jump on the registers and help with long lines of customers. From weekly three-hour internship shifts to an eight hour workday, Jacob is enjoying the extra time working, and he loves getting to say hello to his coworkers—many of them he’s learned little details about, like their birthdays or favorite things. It made one coworker, Alex’s day when she came to work to get a birthday card from Jacob—and his manager, Chris, was also delighted to get a slice of apple pie from Jacob after Thanksgiving.
"He’s a generous guy that’s eager to learn all he can, and the team loves having him here.”
“It’s been great working with Jacob,” says Chris. “He communicates well, has great attention to detail, and he’s always on time; he’s a generous guy that’s eager to learn all he can, and the team loves having him here.”
When he’s not at work, Jacob is an avid wrestling fan, enjoying watching matches and, where possible, catching live events. Tickets, he notes, can get expensive, but part of what makes his job great—apart from the satisfaction of a job well done, or having new people to talk to and befriend—is the ability to save up for the events that excite him. He, his uncle, and other family members love a good match, and Jacob is proud to contribute by scoping out the upcoming events and getting his own tickets, merchandise, and more. Otherwise, Jacob also enjoys his time relaxing at home, playing games, or going out with friends where possible.
“Between the pandemic and all my friends being busy with college, I haven’t seen them much,” Jacob admits. “But this job gives me something to do outside the house. Makes me feel like I’m free, doing my own thing, and the people here are great, too.”
Now, Jacob is learning the RIPTA bus schedule, so that he can gain even more independence getting to and from work on his own. He’s glad to come in for his weekly shifts, and he’s looking forward to continuing in his first paying job as 2022 approaches. There’s nothing he can’t do when he puts his mind to it, and we’re celebrating his success in finding a place where his talents can shine—a work environment where he’s part of a team he love. Amazing work, Jacob!


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