Sharon Cooper is a 33-year-old Richmond Hill, Queens, resident with an intellectual disability and speech impediment. She lives on her own in an Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) in Queens.
Sharon enrolled in Project Discovery (Jamaica location) with no work experience to explore possible work opportunities in the retail, food preparation, or janitorial sectors in Feb. 2016. The team from our DayHabilitation Services provided teachable moments and advice to improve her communication skills through role-playing work scenarios: "enunciate words and take your time when speaking." She also received subway travel training. At our Pre-Vocational services, she gained work experience and built her resume through volunteering and internship opportunities in Burlington and other retailers.
She joined an 8-week internship, which included training at the CVS mock store on Nov. 2017. When she graduated from the CVS internship, Sharon joined our Supported Employment Program (SEMP) to begin a 5-month intensive job coaching to refine the skills she had gained at the CVS mock store.
On December 2017, Sharon was hired for a part-time job as a greeter/customer service associate at a CVS in Manhattan. There, she greets customers when they arrive and leave, helps customers locate items and aisles. She commutes to work using public transportation independently. Sharon is doing all she can to become as independent as possible with the support of her Goodwill NYNJ team!
On October 2018, Sharon received the Goodwill Honors Award to celebrate her accomplishments during the National Disability Awareness month event. View the video of the event: https://youtube.com/watch?v=1XSpHRDPWhA