Access to Advance in The Workplace

 

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”  ~~ Nelson Mandela

Jose “Rogelio” Ibanez is an employee at PRIDE Industries’ Fort Bliss contract. In the multicultural city of El Paso, TX, he can communicate in four different languages: English, American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish and Lengua Senas Mexicanas (LSM – or Mexican Sign Language). Not only has this ability helped him build a strong career in the carpentry shop at PRIDE, but it has also opened a new door into the education field.

Rogelio has had a remarkable journey to PRIDE. He was born deaf in Durango, Mexico to hearing parents. This difference created a language barrier early in his life, and Rogelio struggled with communication until he attended a deaf educational morning program to learn LSM. He also gradually acquired Spanish by learning to lip-read on his own. This was no easy accomplishment, as LSM differs from Spanish on verb inflections, structure and word order.

When he was a teenager, Rogelio moved to Texas with his family for a better life in the United States. Although he found a better economic environment, moving to a new country presented many new cultural and lingual challenges.

Rogelio landed a job in the construction industry and learned to weld, but had difficulty communicating with colleagues who did not know LSM and he struggled with finding steady employment. After becoming acquainted with local members of the deaf community, Rogelio gradually learned both ASL and English.

Seeking employment that would provide a steadier and more supportive environment for his disability, Rogelio was referred to PRIDE Industries by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in 2011; he was then hired as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer (GML). In this position, he maintained Fort Bliss parks and streets – making them look their best for our nation’s soldiers. For his excellent work, he was promoted to a General Maintenance Worker (GMW) in 2015. As a GMW in the Between Occupancy Maintenance (BOM) department, Rogelio maintains soldier barracks between deployments.

“I am very fortunate to work for a company that hires and embraces people with disabilities like myself,” says Rogelio. “There needs to be more access and fewer barriers for people with disabilities to advance in the workplace.”

When communication help is needed, PRIDE’s job coaches at Fort Bliss are there to facilitate; they are also fluent in English, American Sign Language, Spanish and Mexican Sign Language. Rogelio’s smartphone is also configured with assistive technology (Purple Communications) that provides on-site translation. With a supportive network, Rogelio has thrived, and he has been recognized for his contributions to the base upkeep.

Aside from his attentiveness and dedication to his work, Rogelio is always willing to help translate and teach LSM to interpreters at Fort Bliss. Recently, an instructor from the El Paso Community College asked Rogelio to help teach an LSM workshop in April 2017. The class was a success; he had a full group of students ranging from advanced interpreters to Interpreter Training Program students. Rogelio now plans on becoming a Deaf Certified Interpreter (CDI) to improve his ability as a language mediator between LSM and ASL.

In addition to his teaching aspirations, Rogelio plans to earn his GED and attend a technical training school to become a certified welder and aspires to own a business in automotive body welding.

 

A Goal in Mind…

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By guest blogger, Nicole Richards, rehab/marketing intern at PRIDE Industries Headquarters.

 

When Matthew Parker graduated high school he did as many grads do, and dreamed of what his future career path would look like. He had goals and ambitions; knowing that eventually he wanted to work with animals in the community. However, he felt like he was below sea level, staring up at very high mountains between him and his dream.

An intimidated, young Matthew with Asperger Syndrome—now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder—and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) started volunteering, hoping that it would turn into employment. “My very first working job was over at Atria. They had me clean dishes, but they decided not to hire me because I was having a hard time multi-tasking, communicating and adapting to changes,” remembered Matthew, “I really struggled quite a bit when I was younger.”

Matthew remained determined to succeed as he found employment at PRIDE Industries. In a specialized environment for individuals with disabilities, Matthew found supports that he never had before. He practiced basic soft skills necessary for employment, such as good hygiene. “They designed a worksheet for me with visual hints so I could get better about having cleaner hands and less germs,” said Matthew.

A case manager at PRIDE saw immense potential within Matthew. “I quickly realized that Matthew was so capable,” said Dawn Horwath. “We could give him any task and he could do it.”

PRIDE tapped into many resources throughout the years to prove to the community what a capable employee he is. He participated in multiple PRIDE operated External Situational Assessments (ESA)—trial community jobs to assess workers’ capabilities. In 2005 he completed Personal Vocational and Social Adjustment (PVSA) services—person-centered training to overcome barriers including communication, assertiveness, anger management, etc. “It was amazing to see such incredible growth and determination in Matthew with each step,” said Dawn, “It has been a long journey, but we never gave up on him.”

As someone who previously needed repeated patterns and routine, he was finally adapting to a variety of job responsibilities and conquering barriers one by one. “I used to have a hard time when things changed all of a sudden,” Matthew reminisced, “but now I have learned how to handle it and I am much more flexible.”

A speech and language counselor, Dyann Castro-Wehr, partnered with PRIDE to help Matthew overcome communication barriers. “Dyann has been great at helping me,” said Matthew, “sometimes I would tell her about a situation and she could figure out a little trick to help me overcome it.” Dyann created an anger meter for Matthew to become aware of his feelings and express himself in the best way possible.

Each day of Matthew’s journey at PRIDE was a stepping stone to his employment in the community. Community employment brought new successes and new disappointments, but now he’s applying his communication and problem solving skills—something that has been beneficial in many facets of his life, especially as he adjusts to newly married life.

Matthew has been successfully working in the kitchen at Cascades of Grass Valley, a retirement community, for a year and a half. PRIDE Employment Services still work with him to ensure his success continues. “It makes me feel so relieved” Matthew said about his PRIDE job coach meetings, “because I have a much better support system than I did when I first started out.” Together Matthew and his job coach have weekly discussions to work out any difficulties he might have at work.

As Matthew reflected back on how far he’s come, he proudly said, “I feel pretty good about myself. I have a great life going for me right now, but I definitely have a goal in mind so I’m going to keep working hard to get there.”

Congratulations Matthew on conquering one more stepping stone. You’re on your way to your dream job!

Inclusion Works: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The month-long celebration is themed “Inclusion Works” and places a spotlight on the contributions made by workers with disabilities and educates the public on the value of a diverse workforce.

For 50 years, PRIDE Industries has created jobs for people with disabilities while championing inclusion and a diverse workforce. At PRIDE, we know that inclusion does work and has transformed its mission into countless daily success stories.

Often, with accommodations at work, whether to their workspace, schedule or with the help of assistive technologies, many individuals with disabilities can become or remain gainfully employed. In most cases, hiring people with disabilities is no different than hiring any other job candidate.

By partnering with PRIDE Industries, businesses can leverage its person-centered services including assessments, job skills development, training, placement, transportation, and on-going support to ensure long-term employment success. PRIDE places people in its own business lines and provides support to more than 500 individuals annually in community-based opportunities.

Following are a few examples of individuals with disabilities who found employment success with a little help from PRIDE:

Melissa
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Making positive change is never easy, but with support and guidance, Melissa’s life transformed and she is now living a life she never thought possible.

More about Melissa’s journey, click here.

 
 

Alice
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“To me, we all have a disability; the only difference is you can physically see mine.”

Through PRIDE’s job coaching services, Alice is celebrating 17 years of working in the community. For more on Alice’s story, click here.

 
 

Derek
pride-industries-_-d-ramsey-_-los-angeles-afbAs a retired veteran, Derek struggled with applying his former skill-set to the civilian workforce.

Through PRIDE Derek found a new career while continuing to serve his military family. More on Derek’s journey, click here.

 
 

Dani
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Job hunting is a difficult process. For a young, first-time job seeker with disabilities, the process can be even more daunting.

Through participation in PRIDE programs and services, Dani is on her way to the future she imagined, “Now I feel like I am becoming more of the adult I want to be.”

For more on Dani’s journey, click here.

 
 


Are you interested in hiring employees with disabilities in your business? Speak to our expert staff by contacting us at info@prideindustries.com.


 

Independence: An Opportunity for All

American flag outdoors in a meadow on july 4th.

July 4th is Independence Day – a celebration of our nation’s independence. These days, there are many discussions about what constitutes independence and success for people with disabilities. Our programs and services help promote independence and self-reliance of individuals with disabilities.

Through our mission, we serve people with a broad range of disabilities – developmental, intellectual, physical, sensory, mental illness and more. Individuals may be born with a disability or may acquire one through illness or injury – in everyday life, or in combat.

PRIDE supports many definitions of success as unique as the individuals we serve. For some, it is complete freedom from the reliance upon supports and services. For others, it is simply the opportunity to participate and contribute to their community. Meanwhile, the vehicle for accomplishing these unique goals is through employment. An opportunity. A job.

For 50 years, PRIDE’s mission has been creating jobs for people with disabilities. Through our work, we strive to provide opportunities at all skill levels to aid individuals in the achievement of their definition of independence.

Won’t you join PRIDE Industries in creating jobs for people with disabilities?

Contact PRIDE at info@prideindustries.com to learn how your business can employ individuals with disabilities.

From all of us at PRIDE, Happy Independence Day!

Where Are They Now

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM brings the issue of employment for people with disabilities to light. Individuals with disabilities face unemployment at nearly four times the rate of the general population. This stubborn statistic is not due to lack of interest or skills – but a lack of opportunity.

Last October, we introduced a group of women who participated in the “Presenting Yourself Positively in an Interview,” makeover event. The event exclusively supported job seekers with disabilities.

Seven women enrolled in PRIDE Industries’ Supported Employment Program received makeovers. The event served a diverse group of women from all walks of life, each with unique obstacles and stories.

We followed up on their progress, and here we share with you:

Alysha

PRIDE Industries Success Story AlyshaAfter participating in the makeover event, Alysha got a boost of confidence and soon after landed a job. We are happy to report that in December 2014, Alysha joined PRIDE Industries’ custodial team ensuring that the Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B is sparkling clean.

Alysha has an anxiety disorder. Although there were many disability-related challenges, Alysha made an effort to pursue self-sufficiency and independence.

When asked how life is different now, Alysha replies: “I do not spend so much time in my room, or look for other ways to avoid interacting with people.” Working at the airport has also helped Alysha overcome her anxiety.

More about Alysha’s journey, click here.

Ashley

PRIDE Industries _ Ashley02Employment success often follows a windy path for individuals with disabilities. Ashley has, not one, but multiple challenges. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and Asperger’s – an autism spectrum disorder. She has attention-deficit hyperactivity, depression and anxiety and mood disorders.

Despite the challenges, Ashley never gave up. Soon after the makeover event, she landed a retail job. While the job was only seasonal, it was a great learning experience and a step forward on her journey.

Now, Ashley is a courtesy clerk with the locally headquartered grocery chain, Raley’s. Working at the grocery store provides a welcome environment where she sees the potential for a long-term future.

More about Ashley’s success, click here.

Pamela

PRIDE Industries WeaveWorks Sacramento _ Pamela 03Pamela has a learning disability. Because of her disability, her search for work was fragmented over four years.

At the time of the makeover event, Pamela was a volunteer at a thrift shop. Soon after, she landed a paid internship at WeaveWorks Recycled Fashion in Sacramento. Pamela earned the internship through PRIDE Industries’ Employment Services Program.

She excelled in the internship and WeaveWorks offered her a permanent position. At WeaveWorks, Pamela assists the receiving team and is a valuable asset to the group.

More about Pamela’s journey to employment success, click here.

Four more women received makeovers as part of their employment journey. One is thriving as an in-home care provider. A second recipient volunteers with a local hospital and hopes it will translate into regular employment. Two remain unemployed. One continues to pursue an opportunity in the insurance field; the other put the job search on hold due to disability-related setbacks.

For 49 years, PRIDE’s mission has been to create jobs for people with disabilities. We know that disability does not mean inability and that employment builds confidence, self-reliance, and dignity. The path can be long and full of twists and turns. For some, it can take a few months; for others it could take years. However, when a person with disabilities becomes gainfully employed, we know that opportunity will greatly impact him/her and those around them.

Pamela, Ashley, and Alysha are just a few of our countless successes. We look forward to following all of the women along their paths and will continue to cheer them on.

Abilities Not Disabilities

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The transition from high school to employment without an advanced degree can be daunting for any young adult, especially individuals with disabilities. Kristopher Arneson, 22, has a disability and successfully transitioned to PRIDE Industries four years ago.

Kris connected to PRIDE as a WorkAbility program participant. WorkAbility is a Department of Rehabilitation program administered through organizations like PRIDE, adult schools, and colleges. The goal is to help students develop skills that lead to gainful employment including direct work experience that ultimately leads to job placement. At the same time, the program works with employers to help them recognize the valuable contributions that individuals with disabilities can make in the workforce and their communities.

As a young child, Kris was diagnosed with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). “When I was young, the ADHD was so severe, I was unable to speak,” says Kris. “I had speech therapy until high school.” His challenges include processing and retaining information. He refers to these as “glitches” in his processing system. “In school I could not solve problems or equations in my head because it either took too long – or the processing just erased.” His confidence suffered, and he was bullied enduring physical and verbal assaults. “All I knew was hatred towards my disability,” says Kris. “I never thought there was a place that accepted people like me.”

At 18, Kris began working in PRIDE’s manufacturing division doing packaging, assembly, and order fulfillment projects. Unfortunately, just a few months after he began work, Kris began having medical issues. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – a chronic condition that affects the lining of the digestive tract. People with Crohn’s can experience incapacitating symptoms often treated with medication or surgery; there is no known cure. Kris was hospitalized for several months after surgery while proper medication and treatment options were tested.

Once his condition improved, he returned to work at PRIDE. While working on the manufacturing floor, he recalls seeing the electronics manufacturing staff in their blue smocks. “I wanted to wear a blue smock with my name on it,” says Kris. “That was my goal. I wanted to get in there to work.” With his confidence still bruised from his high school experiences and his hospital stay, he doubted his own abilities. “What I am supposed to do in my life?” he wondered. “No one was willing to give me a chance. My teacher would always put me down and made feel like I would never achieve anything, so that was my mindset.”

At PRIDE Industries, Kris was given that chance. “My first job in electronics was manipulating metal,” says Kris. “You have to shape the metal for the desired design so that it goes on the computer boards correctly.” Kris excelled at his new work. “Since I began working with Kris, he stood out as someone who wanted to work at a higher level,” says Steve Hackett, Production Manager. “Kris has surpassed my expectations and continues to look for new challenges.”

PRIDE Industries employee Kristopher Arneson at work.Recently, Steve Hackett joined with case managers and electronics supervisors to create a mentoring program for individuals with disabilities within the Electronics department. Kris was the first person to participate in the program. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Kris. “This manager has confidence in me. That is something I never felt before.” Through the program, Kris has developed technical, planning and leadership skills, and is now monitoring the work of others in his area. Kris works one-on-one with his supervisor, Sornpit Khamsa, a PRIDE manufacturing technician.”Sornpit was the very first person who gave me a chance to grow. He’s really given me hope.”

As time passed, Kris began to notice a change in himself. “I started to realize that I felt safe at PRIDE. I did not have to be cautious anymore. Wherever I was, I was accepted.”

At PRIDE, Kris was given an opportunity to grow and develop skills to help him achieve his dreams. “The people I work with are just like me; the staff – they treat me with respect. They treat me like a human being not a person with disabilities,” says Kris. “When I am here, I am safe. I feel accepted.”

Kris’ goal is to become an electronics manufacturing lead and mentor other individuals with disabilities working at PRIDE. “I was in their shoes – and look at me now. I want to help others get to where I am,” says Kris. “I want to show them that they are accepted here and that there is no reason to be afraid. You are not going to get hurt here, and you are not going to be judged. You are going to be accepted.”

For 49 years, PRIDE has been creating meaningful opportunities for individuals with obstacles to employment. The opportunity we create through employment allows people too often excluded from the workforce to accomplish their personal goals and more; it changes lives.

When asked what advice he would give his 18-year-old self, looking back in time, Kris replied; “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you push yourself and surpass expectations, you can achieve anything.”

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

People with disabilities are four times more likely to face unemployment than the general population. The persistent statistic is not due to lack of desire or ability to work but to a lack of understanding and a shortage of opportunities for people with disabilities. National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), shines a light on the issue of employment for people with disabilities.

At PRIDE Industries, we focus on abilities rather than disabilities. For 49 years, PRIDE has been creating meaningful opportunities for individuals with obstacles to employment. We serve those who are born with – or acquire a disability – including veterans, and young adults leaving the foster care system. Through training, job skills development, coaching, and placement, we create opportunity daily. The result is changed lives.

PRIDE Industries_ Connie LFor Connie, opportunity meant finding her calling and contributing to something greater than herself. Click here to learn more about Connie.

PRIDE Industries _ Ramon T 02For Ramon, opportunity means participating in, and contributing to, a team. For more about Ramon, Click here.PRIDE Industries_Internship program_ JoshuaFor Josh, it meant finally getting the chance to prove himself while developing professionally. More about Josh, Click here.

PRIDE Industries Fort Bliss MacAnd for Mynor, it meant being able to provide for his family and secure a future for his young daughters. Click here to learn more about Mynor.

The opportunity we create through employment allows people too often excluded from the workforce to accomplish their personal goals – and more. Employment is essential to an individual’s sense of purpose, dignity, and inclusion. That individual success extends to families, friends and entire communities.

Won’t you join us in creating jobs for people with disabilities? The life that is changed could be your own.

Contact PRIDE Industries at info@prideindustries.com to learn how your business can employ individuals with disabilities.

The Meaning of Success

PRIDE Industries WeaveWorks Sacramento _ Pamela 03

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

Pamela Adams is a Processor at WeaveWorks Recycled Fashion, Sacramento – a nonprofit recycled clothing store and an extension of Weave Inc. The store supports crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County. Pamela became a permanent employee of the thrift store after excelling in a paid internship that she earned through PRIDE Industries.

“I have a learning disability that causes me to need help,” says Pamela. Her search for work over four years was fragmented and the jobs, short-lived, as a result of her disability. She worked at a preschool, a retail shop, and other thrift stores. Pamela became frustrated and went to the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) for help. DOR connected Pamela to PRIDE Industries and programs that help individuals with disabilities prepare for and find employment by developing skills that will guide them to lasting employment.

Pamela began working one-on-one with a PRIDE job developer and attended Job Club meetings. Job Club provides an opportunity for individuals to gain hands-on interviewing and job-seeking practice. Enrollees learn job etiquette skills, receive help in translating strengths into a resume, and get assistance with conducting a job search. They learn how to manage typical work situations with peers, managers and customers. After a few months of job searching, and a very special makeover, Pamela landed an internship with WeaveWorks Recycled Fashion in Sacramento. In February 2015, she was hired on.

At WeaveWorks, Pamela currently assists the receiving team but has set larger goals for herself. She wants to become familiar with high-end designers, to identify their creations, and to become proficient at pricing goods. She learns a little differently but continues to excel.

“Pam has been a tremendous asset to the Weave receiving team,” says Amy Sugimoto, Director of Retail Operations at WeaveWorks Recycled Fashion. “She brings professionalism and strong desire to succeed with her to work each day.”

For Pamela, the job means much more than a paycheck – or first-hand dibs at great deals in fashionable goods! “It is more than just the clothes; it is about the people,” says Pamela. “Her ‘can do’ attitude has made her a valuable member of our team,” says Amy.

Pamela feels good about contributing to Weave’s mission through her work. “Weave helps people coming out of abusive relationships,” says Pamela. “Sometimes they need a safe house to get away from the abuse. The money from the store goes to help Weave’s mission. I feel good about that.”

Some measure success by a title or the number of zeros attached to a paycheck. For Pamela, success is finding her place in the labor force, enjoying what she does, and contributing to something greater than herself.

Through PRIDE’s Employment Services Program, Pamela has found her place at WeaveWorks thrift store and is making a difference in the life of others. We are so proud of her accomplishments, and we look forward to following her progress. Keep up the great work, Pamela!

For more information about Weave and WeaveWorks visit www.weaveinc.org.

Adapting to Civilian Life

PRIDE Industries Veteran Shawn

Transitioning from a career in the military to the civilian workforce can be difficult. Veterans gain unique skills, experiences, and leadership abilities during their time in the military, but they often face unemployment and other service-related disabilities when transitioning.

Shawn Moore, 36, is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the infantry for six years. He was also a paratrooper and attended Ranger school. “I did a couple tours in Iraq and Kuwait,” says Shawn. Shawn suffered multiple concussions from mortar and live fire attacks; he was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury.

Shawn had little real work experience before joining the military. After his service, he had difficulty finding his place in civilian life. The specialized skills he gained while serving his country did not translate easily to civilian job descriptions. Shawn enrolled in college with a plan to become a pharmacist. After three years, the responsibilities of family and a desire to get back to work made him put the plan aside. “I got to the point where I was desperate; I needed to get a job,” says Shawn.

In 2012, Shawn connected to PRIDE Industries through veteran liaison, Frank Goehringer. Soon after, he began working as a materials trades handler on a contract providing facilities services to the Judicial Council of California. Within ten months, he was on a career track: “I worked hard, and I ended up being promoted to building maintenance technician,” says Shawn.

In his new role, Shawn works with a team of highly skilled tradesmen and engineers out of the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse – one of 70 courts that PRIDE Industries maintains. “I have learned a lot about electricity, HVAC and motor exchanges – all while working with the community,” says Shawn.

Shawn gained more than specialized trade skills in his position; he found something missing from his military days. “There is a bond that you get when you are in the military; it is like a brotherhood. When you get out of the military, it is hard to find that. Since joining PRIDE, I have gotten that back.”

Although Shawn has excelled in his career at PRIDE, his journey has not been easy. When Shawn first joined PRIDE, he was full of jitters and apprehension. “I was worried about keeping the job because I had not had a job for a long time,” says Shawn. “It was tough getting out of the military.” Leaving the familiar for an unknown is never easy. “They helped me bring that person out. It is nice to know that I was more than I thought I was – in a good way.”

The job has not only helped him provide for his family, but it has allowed him to grow and regain confidence in his abilities and skills. Today, Shawn has set his sights on becoming a full-fledged engineer. “Working with these guys helped me to open up,” Shawn says. “They have also steered me back to school.”

His time in the military stays with him, even today. “To be honest, I have not completely adapted to civilian life. It is always something inside of you that you keep when you get out of the military,” says Shawn. But he has a message for other veterans: “Sometimes it is difficult to take that next step. I have many friends who are veterans with disabilities, and I have told them to call PRIDE. Give it a shot.”

Shawn’s next goal is to purchase his own home and send his children to college – including the new one that he and his wife, Bobby Jean are expecting this fall. “I want to make sure that my family is taken care of.”

As a military man, Shawn took care of his country. At PRIDE, we’re proud to provide a welcome space, training and opportunity for veterans like Shawn to work their way back to taking care of their own.

Click the video below to view Shawn’s Journey to PRIDE.

A Second Chance

PRIDE Industries _ Diana L 01

Disability does not discriminate; it can affect anyone at any time through illness or injury. Overcoming initial, everyday challenges is just the beginning of life with a disability.

Diana Leal is a shipping clerk at PRIDE Industries headquarters in Roseville, CA. Two decades ago, Diana suffered what her doctor referred to as a “baby aneurism” – a small, broken blood vessel in her brain, after the early onset of menopause.

In Diana’s family, most females experience an early onset of menopause; something they attribute to their rare blood type. Typically, women go through menopause in their late 40’s or 50’s. Diana experienced it in her early 30’s and dealt with life-changing side effects. She suffered a number of medical complications that resulted in her unemployment from 1994 to 2006. She sought vocational and physical rehabilitation to help her overcome the new challenges.

“My brain did not function like it had in the past,” says Diana. She also experienced temporary vision loss and had difficulty focusing on tasks. “I couldn’t think like myself.”

Still, Diana was motivated to heal and return to the working world. “I always said that I would get well and go back to work.” Although it was an arduous time for Diana, she worked tirelessly to overcome challenges by focusing on her goal of regained self-sufficiency. As a single mother of three, she knew her family was counting on her. “It took a long time for my brain to heal and to be able to focus on tasks.”

In 2006, Diana connected with PRIDE Industries. She began as a materials handler providing support at PRIDE’s warehouse in Roseville. Her outstanding work ethic, dedication, and diligence earned Diana a promotion.

As a shipping clerk, Diana finds the most cost-effective and expedient solution to customers’ logistics needs. On a daily basis, Diana processes hundreds of orders for the most efficient delivery. It can be a demanding task requiring focus and multitasking, but for Diana it has become almost second nature. “Diana is one of the most accurate shippers in the department,” says Francisco Espinoza, Diana’s supervisor. “I have yet to see her make a mistake.”

PRIDE Industries_Diana L 02For Diana, working at PRIDE Industries means much more than a paycheck. “I see people with disability challenges, and I know what it’s like to be on that side,” says Diana. More than 2,800 individuals with disabilities work at PRIDE Industries; Diana can relate to them on a very personal level.

Diana talked to us about the importance of a second chance in life; feeling good about oneself; the ability to succeed and carry on with life; and the significance of fitting into the working world. “Pride, self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment – this is what PRIDE Industries has given to me,” says Diana. “I love this company, and I am going to stay for the next 12 year until retirement.”

Individuals like Diana remind us that life can change in the blink of an eye and that people have the power to control their destiny when given support and opportunity. “Never give up. Never lose faith in yourself,” Diana says. “For anyone who has dealt with a serious medical complication – never lose faith, because it can be turned around.”