CIP Long Beach Internship Spotlight: Rachel M.
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CIP Long Beach Internship Spotlight: Rachel M.

The following is a special needs program update from Asperger’s & LD College Programs. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

By Caroline Fortuno, CIP Long Beach Career Coordinator

Rachel is a second-year student at CIP Long Beach. She has a passion for Disney characters and has hopes of landing a career in the arts field. Her goals in the CIP program are to “get down on herself less” and to “interact with people better as an adult and become more independent”. She takes math and reading courses in college and is working towards a Bachelors degree.

In pursuit of related employment experiences, Rachel and myself, her Career Coordinator, recently conducted a search online and found a posting for an Art Assistant position that grabbed her attention. I worked with her on her resume and cover letter, and we prepared for her interview by completing practice sessions wherein we covered situational/behavioral interview questions, discussed interview etiquette, even down to how she would dress for the interview. She really needed a new pair of shoes for the interview, which required her to take a deeper look at her monthly spending budget with her advisor to budget this out.

The internship opportunity was with Dramatic Results, a non-profit educational arts agency. Together, I walked Rachel through the process of applying. Samai, the Program Manager for Dramatic Results, contacted Rachel back for an interview. On the day of her interview, Rachel’s practice paid off. Samai emailed the following note:

“It was a great pleasure to meet with Rachel. She did an excellent job during her interview. She asked great questions and really presented herself well! Her passion for art really shines through- she brought her art sketch book with her and shared her stories and illustrations with me, that was fantastic! I look forward to seeing her on Wednesdays!”

Rachel has been doing great at Dramatic Results. Her tasks include helping prepare for art classes and projects, keeping the classroom areas clean, and following directions with other tasks as assigned. She is learning a great deal of job skills and how to work as a contributing team member.

With the help of her CIP social mentor, Rachel is working on an overall goal of targeted introductions and making conversation (small talk). She is balancing that within the work environment with the help of her job coach and feedback from myself, her career coordinator. Rachel’s advisor and the residential staff help carry our that goal out within her interpersonal relationships. The wellness department supports her through regular exercise like cardio and weights, diet and nutrition counseling, and ways to reduce overall stress that comes along with being a young adult.

With the help of Team CIP Long Beach, Rachel’s everyday experiences in the outside community, and within CIP’s own community, are building self-esteem and self-confidence through small victories everyday.