Meet LCI member, Connie.  Connie is described by her Lakeland Care team as “a very social, funny, kind, and friendly person who enjoys watching scary movies and spending her free time with her roommates and friends.  Connie knows what she likes and what she wants, and she takes a determined approach to make things happen for herself.”

Connie spent many years participating in facility-based services but often called in sick and struggled with motivation.  Through conversations with Connie about her goals, all sights were set on other ways to reach community employment.  Connie’s care team worked with her and Aspiro to get her into the Project SEARCH program at Aurora Baycare Medical Center.

This was a turning point for Connie, she focused on keeping good attendance and had many opportunities to try different jobs throughout the hospital.  It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with working in the cafeteria.  Redebra, Project SEARCH Instructor, says “this is when Connie set her sights on a job in the Deli at Festival Foods.”  And that is exactly what happened!

In June, Connie landed her dream job at Festival Foods.  She has excellent attendance and has been growing and building her independence while creating new relationships with co-workers.  Connie says she loves working with the customers and making delicious foods like dirt cake and cheesecakes for the deli but admits that she struggles with not eating that yummy smelling chicken!

Connie states she is happy to be making money, “I took my Aunt and my roommate out for dinner at Pizza Ranch and I treated them both for supper!  I also bought some new winter clothes and a purple quilt with purple flowers for my bed.”  Connie is most proud of receiving her first pay raise and her next goal is to earn a boomerang for her name tag which is an award Festival Foods offers for exemplary customer service.  Her team of supports has no doubt that she will soon have that boomerang!


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