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Emery Bun has had his sights set on the future. For almost three years, he worked at the AbilityFirst Frank L. Lawrence Work Center in downtown Los Angeles. Emery had challenges with being shy and quiet when he first joined the work center, but eventually he started to take initiatives like making announcements over the megaphone when staff needed something announced in the center. Because of his persistency with the megaphone, Emery eventually became the “official announcer” at the center.

At the beginning of 2018, Emery realized he was ready to take on new challenges. He decided he wanted to learn more about how to pursue employment outside of AbilityFirst.

To find community employment that would suit his skillset and personality, he teamed up with his case manager Walter and an AbilityFirst job developer to explore his interests and discuss his ideas about what the ideal job for him looked like. Then, they combed through available openings and started to submit job applications.

One of the job applications resulted in a call back from Food 4 Less. Emery decided to pursue this opportunity, and with the support of his case manager, completed a highly successful phone interview. After Emery was offered an in-person interview, the team went to work, creating a set of sample interview questions and helping Emery tailor his answers to highlight his work experience and qualifications. Next, they performed a series of mock interviews, during which Emery could practice delivering his answers and get comfortable in an interview setting. At first, Emery seemed apprehensive and would stutter his words, but with consistency and lots of practice, he started to improve how he answered each question, one by one.

His hard work and determination paid off. Finally Emery attended his in-person interview—and impressed the Food 4 Less manager so much that he was immediately offered a position as a Customer First Courtesy Clerk. Emery gladly accepted! His first day on the job was February 5, and he’s been happily and consistently working since then. At times, he’s even called in to cover other staff absences, and is always someone his manager can count on.

Emery knows that the days of working at the AbilityFirst work center will always hold a special place in his heart. But these days, he’s loving his new position— and is proud of the bright and productive future he’s creating for himself.

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