|This edition of Action Based Enterprises’ (ABE) e-newsletter features Manny Rodriguez, a participant at our Employment Center, discusses how our adult participants regularly volunteer at Meals on Wheels and highlights Lead Teacher Ondrea Robinson. Future editions will continue to focus on new developments at ABE and in the broad general areas of developmental, learning and behavioral disabilities.Rodriguez Thriving at Wendy’s
Trained and placed by the ABE Employment Center, Manny Rodriguez works 6-10 hours per week at Wendy’s. He has been with the company for about 7 months and now makes $9.60 per hour. When asked what he likes to spend his money on, Manny replied, “I enjoy buying wrestling action figures, but I am trying to save as much money as I can.”
When asked what he liked best about his job, Manny said, “I like my co-workers, my bosses, and the customers when I talk with them. I also like the free coffee.”
Manny admits that some days at work are very hard. “It can get very hot, working outside in the heat,” said Manny. “I like staying busy.” He added that his family is very proud of him for holding down a job.
Manny values the work he is doing. “It means to be independent and making choices for myself,” he said. “I want to pave the way for my friends at the program.” When asked what advice he has for his peers in regards to employment, Manny exclaimed, “I tell them they should try to get a job so they can do and buy the things they want.”
The Employment Center provides hands-on assistance, coaching and job placement.
ABE Participant Gregory McNulty volunteers nearly every week. According to Gregory, “The elderly people need their food. They can’t make it for themselves, so they need our help. We have a list of deliveries, and we have to read the list and follow it so that the people get their meals.”
ABE participants have formed meaningful friendships with many of the elderly residents, even exchanging holiday cards and gifts.
In September, Ondrea Robinson will begin her 14th year of teaching at ABE/Hillside. Now serving as Lead Teacher at Hillside, Ondrea believes in preparing students to be able to be productive in the real world, both behaviorally and emotionally. Ondrea said, ‘It is critical that our students understand that if you want anything in life, you have to work hard for it. That is a lesson I impart every day.” She appreciates the small class sizes, which enables teachers to work with students on a more personal level.