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Applying for jobs and then learning the ins and outs of a new job involve a certain amount of stress. With the help of AbilityFirst’s Supported Employment Program staff, Roxana began her very first job. She has caught on so well that the hardest part of her task is simply having to remind customers entering the store about wearing their face mask.

When Roxana joined AbilityFirst in February of 2021, she was interested in pursuing gainful employment. Having helped her family with home keeping, but with no prior work experience, the first task was to discover what kind of jobs might fit her skill set. And then there was the initial challenge of the interview process. Some of the questions and concepts were confusing for someone who has no background with a work environment. Roxana’s job coach worked with her to gauge her field of interest and also facilitated practice interviews. The one-on-one guidance with comprehending an interviewer’s questions and perfecting her answers helped Roxana prepare for her actual interviews.

Her hard work paid off, and Roxana now works at Zara in Pasadena. Her job coach continues to guide her through her transition into an active member of the workforce. At times where she has had trouble understanding her supervisor’s expectations or with completing a particular chore, Roxana’s job coach is on hand to provide a thorough explanation that she can understand.

Now, beyond helping around the house, Roxana is happy to be engaged in the community. She is also proud to be a working member of her family and to be contributing financially to the monthly bills.

“I really enjoy working at Zara!,” says Roxana, who has adjusted wonderfully to her work surroundings. “Everyone there is so nice, including management.”

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