Success Stories

Adam

Adam was referred to NEBA in 2005 through the Lower Pioneer Valley Collaborative in Wilbraham, MA. When Adam started at NEBA he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, but he had an interest in working with computers and applied to several jobs in the field. After months of hearing “we’ll keep your resume on file”, Adam grew tired of job searching but continued to learn new computer skills.

NEBA referred Adam to Eric F. Pavlak, an Information Technology Specialist, to further expand his skills. When Eric began teaching Adam about web design, Adam realized that what he really wanted to do was start his own small business. He filed the proper paperwork, and Wilbraham Web Design was born in mid-2006. Adam also learned about small business ownership, attending business courses at Springfield Technical Community College. By the end of 2006, Wilbraham Web Design already had a handful of clients.

Since then, Adam has received numerous awards including the 2008 APSE National Entrepreneurial Award, the 2009 Young Entrepreneurial Scholars Award (including a $500 startup award), and two citations from the Massachusetts State House and the Massachusetts Senate.

Wilbraham Web Design now has well over 30 clients, and continues to grow rapidly. “I enjoy what I do because every project is different and things are always changing, so it is constantly a learning experience,” said Adam.

For more information visit Wilbraham Web Design.

Kristina

Kristina is a person with a very outgoing & bubbly personality. She always strived to do her best throughout school and transitioning into adulthood. Her goal was to work in an office doing clerical work. NEBA was picked as her agency due to their reputation and overall success of gainful employment. They were hired to provide needed daily support for Kristina and to help her gain part time work with the hopes of becoming full time. Emily, as her job coach from day one, was always there helping Kristina put together and explain all that was needed for a good resume, and prepare for interviews. The search took time and eventually moved away from the clerical field as so few opportunities exist. The focus changed to retail and other areas. With each interview and rejection, came positives for Kristina and knowledge for Emily. Macy’s interviewed Kristina for one position, but hired her for another. She became a part time employee of Macy’s as a ‘Recovery Associate.’ She worked in a good environment and felt comfortable and felt like she fit in. Then, due to Macy’s restructuring, Kristina was told that she would not have a job after January.

Kristina was very saddened as she loved her job. However, the happy ending and my proudest ‘mommy moment’ was when Emily called and told me that Macy’s wanted to offer Kristina a full time job. The store manager had one additional full time position in “Recovery” and he hands down was offering it to Kristina. The other supervisors had also expressed their request to keep Kristina also.

To be recognized by so many at her job spoke so much to the type of person Kristina is. The key factors in Kristina becoming a full time employee are due to her proving that she was a good worker, has pride in what she does and always goes to work with a smile on her face and good attitude starting each day. The second success is due to Emily as her job coach and all the hard work she put forth by her commitment to her client and job.

Kristina is becoming more of an adult and Emily has helped her to grow and mature as she becomes exposed to more of life through her job. This is my NEBA success story. They Strive and Succeed!

By Barbara Fabiani
Mother of Kristina

Nicole

Nicole decided to work because she wanted to make money, and because her parents have taught her that working is an important part of life. After graduating from high school, she had an Individual Support Plan meeting at NEBA to review her skills, interests, and the jobs she might like. One of Nicole’s strongest interests is in working with children.  Once the job developer knew that Nicole liked childcare, they began looking through the newspaper for possible jobs and attended job interviews at childcare centers.

Because Nicole was just beginning her career in childcare, she did not have the certification that most positions in the field require. This meant that Nicole and her job developer had to narrow their search to jobs that did not require any level of certification. When they found no such jobs, Nicole’s job  developer negotiated with The Arbors to create a position for Nicole as a part-time assistant. The job developer had a pre-existing relationship with The Arbors, as other individuals receiving employment services through NEBA had been employed there in the past.

Although The Arbors is a promising part-time opportunity, Nicole must earn a certification in the field in order to achieve her goal of working full-time in childcare. NEBA helped her research local community colleges for child development courses that lead to certification. Upon finding these courses for Nicole, NEBA negotiated with the college to allow in-class and academic supports for Nicole. In addition to pursuing certification, Nicole continues to advance her career in childcare through a separate volunteer opportunity. Even with all of the work of pursuing a childcare certification while working, Nicole is happy and looks forward to becoming a full-time childcare professional.