Bryan--Success Through Supported Employment

In the summer of 2016, Bryan received the keys to his first house. Surrounded by friends, family, and Habitat for Humanity volunteers, Bryan held back tears as he unlocked the door for the first time. 

Getting to that moment had been a long road for Bryan, who suffered a brain aneurysm in 2005. Bryan had been wheelchair-bound for several months, and had had to learn skills like walking and talking all over again. Following his aneurysm, he moved into a staffed residence and began attending ADT full time. In 2012, Bryan decided that he wanted to begin working again. That's when Bryan was referred to the supported employment program at Path Forward. 

Bryan began to work with Beth, one of Path Forward's supported employment specialists. Beth helped Bryan to find and connect with businesses that were hiring, practiced interview skills with him, and helped him fill out applications. In the spring on 2013, Bryan landed an interview for a maintenance position at a Walmart Marketplace. Beth attended the interview with Bryan, offering support and assistance when needed. Bryan was offered the position. 

Beth assisted Bryan with computer-based training, and then helped him perfect his on-the-job skills. When Bryan first started at Walmart, Beth noted that he often struggled not to get frustrated when he was unsure how to complete a task, or when co-workers asked him to do something. But Bryan soon began to hone his skills, and got used to working with others. Soon, management was asking Bryan if he wanted to take on duties outside of his maintenance role.

Over the next three years, Bryan became one of the most diligent, efficient, and respected employees at his Walmart. Bryan was asked to stock and clean the dairy cooler, to collect carts in the parking lot, and to run the U-Scan aisles at the checkout. Throughout that time, Path Forward's job coaches continued to work with Bryan on his customer service skills, time management, and served as a liaison between Bryan and Walmart management. 


Today, Bryan continues his work at Walmart with minimal support from his job coach. His managers report that he one of the hardest workers on staff, and that they plan to continue to give him more responsibilities as he is comfortable taking them on. Perhaps best of all, Bryan is now a homeowner, and is very pleased to be living on his own once more.