Jonblair and Joy: A Promise Youth Inspires His Family

jon blair seats next to his mother in public transporation, both smile back to the cellphone camera

Jonblair is a 17-year-old high schooler. When he first met his Promise Counselor he was very shy, to the point of barely speaking. After building some rapport he opened up a bit and his Counselor discovered that he was open to working. Jonblair was very unsure of what his work interests might be and what he might be capable of. He mentioned that work was not something he had thought about because he thought he had to wait until he was older to work.

Jonblair Explores His Potential…

Jonblair’s Promise Counselor worked with him and his mother, Joy, on some career exploration activities. They discovered he might want to work in a store that sells video games, or as a server in a restaurant. His Counselor connected him with a job developer who worked with him to complete two job shadowing experiences. Jonblair attends Golda Meir High School, a gifted and talented school, and is doing well. He is focusing on school, working very hard to maintain his grades, and did his first paid work experience at Walgreens last summer.

…and Inspires His Mom

As Jonblair, Joy, and their Promise Counselor worked together on Jon’s career exploration and work activities, Joy began mentioning that she too was interested in working again and that she had been out of work for a while. She said that she had worked in customer service for quite a while, but that it was never something she enjoyed and she only took the jobs to make money her family needed. She explained that her true passion was working with kids with disabilities, and her dream job would be to be a paraprofessional in a special education elementary classroom, helping the students and teachers.

The Road Isn’t Always Easy…

Jonblair and Joy’s Promise Counselor connected Joy with a job developer, who immediately began connecting her to open positions. Shortly after, Joy got a job at her local school as a paraprofessional. Unfortunately, the classroom she was in was very rough and she made reports of being physically hit, kicked, and spat on. She was very upset and called her Counselor crying, saying she needed to quit and would not be returning because she couldn’t stand being treated that way.

…but There are Tears Of Joy at the End

Her Promise Counselor discussed with her how it could be more beneficial to talk to the school’s Human Resources Department to see if she could switch schools, or if there was anything else to be done. Joy took that advice and spoke with Human Resources, who then switched her to a different school. After being at her new school for about a week, Joy called her Counselor, again in tears, but this time with happy tears. She said she can’t wait to go to work every day and she loves her new job. She is doing a wonderful job and says she has been given purpose again.

This is an excellent example of how Promise can work for both the youth and inspire the family!