Welcome to my world, I’m young, 23 years old and a recent college graduate. The next step as one traditionally assumes, might be to find your dream job (preferably high paying!) to make ends meet in Honolulu, our beautiful city. But what is you cannot verbally communicate, have a hard time getting around and your muscles are stiff due to a disability? It throws a wrench in what is traditionally expected of a young adult. Again, welcome to my world.
That’s where Lanakila Pacific Employment Services comes in. With plans and coaching tailored to my career goals and needs, Employment Services instills a sense of dignity in my life through finding the right job for me. It’s all about trial and error with momentum to do something past your comfort zone. My career goal is to be a writer, helping businesses to promote their goods or services. I like the idea of helping a lawyer with their work also as our laws are complicated. The dream job for me, if I can name one, is managing public relations or writing grants at a non-profit. That way, it would give a stellar opportunity to give back to my community, spotlighting disadvantaged children because I was in the same boat growing up. I realize I’m a different breed that Lanakila Employment Services usually helps as my career is more mentally intensive than a physical one.
As a young person with a disability it’s hard to feel a sense of gratitude throughout the day. Trust me, I struggle with enviousness, frustrations, and bitterness, seeing people my age accomplishing their goals with ease. However, my time in Employment Services helps me get to my goals step by step. I try to be a good Christian and two things that my faith taught me are establishing a firm foundation and having lots of perseverance. It’s about dancing through storms, finding joy through challenging trials and building your foundation. I’m grateful for the people in my life like family or friends that continually help me through prayers, conversations or just being there for me.
Are there things in my life that I wish can be changed? Yes. Trusting the process can be scary and sometimes you don’t know where you are headed. But with Lanakila Pacific’s Employment Services, I know that every step will count. After all, as the saying goes; ‘When there’s a will, there’ll be a way.’
By Will S, Employment Services participant