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Elder Cervantes is used to going above and beyond—and his hard work is paying off. A participant in the Work Activity Program since 2014, he showcased great effort on tasks like building boxes, packaging goods, and palletizing boxes. He also partook in shredding runs, where he assisted the driver load and unload shipments. Elder’s ability to grasp tasks quickly and attention qualified him to perform quality control, where he was responsible for inspecting products.

At the same time, Elder did face challenges that required support from staff. Although he demonstrated great attendance, he needed reminders to be punctual. In addition to displaying difficulty understanding the importance of being at work on time, he also extended his breaks an additional 5-10 minutes. At the Work Activity Program, Elder received consistent prompts and encouragement to resume work assignments, teaching him increased responsibility for his work behavior and tasks.

In addition to punctuality challenges, there were concerns about the way Elder communicated with co-workers and staff. He would refer to them as “girlfriends” and did not understand boundaries. However, after practice, Elder has shown great improvement when communicating with staff.

Thanks to his progress and motivation, Elder was selected to work alongside Job Developer Bianca to search for employment opportunities. In September 2018, Elder became an intern for Smart & Final. During his two-month internship, he learned valuable work skills that would further prepare him for future employment opportunities and continued to show initiative and dedication when completing tasks and assisting customers.

After completing his internship, he attended an OUE Skyspace LA Job Fair, where he was immediately offered a dishwasher position. He completed all paperwork, including in the job application entirely on his own. During his new hire orientation, Elder was delighted to learn he had been assigned to a new position: Tour Ambassador.

In his new position, Elder is responsible for providing a high-level of customer service. Beyond presenting information to guests during tours, he also ensures their overall safety and assists with any of their needs. He’s thriving in his new role, which plays to his strengths, and is very excited about working with OUE Skyspace LA. Meanwhile, AbilityFirst staff is continuing to work with him on his punctuality and job performance, to ensure he continues to succeed.

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