For the last three years, Mohamed has worked odd jobs on and off since graduating from transition school. Anyone who has been through a similar experience can relate to how frustrating it can be to bounce from job to job with little security, or ability to obtain the amount of hours you are looking for. Throughout this period he expressed a great deal of interest in working a stable job that pays well. Mohamed always said, “I’d like a job so I can buy my two little sisters toys. Right now I can’t buy them toys because I don’t have enough money.”
Mohamed, who is deaf, would send his Employment Consultant upwards of 20 job postings a day and went on many interviews that never panned out to a paying position. His hard work and persistence finally paid off this week when he interviewed with Sidestreet Dining at a private school in Eden Prairie, MN, and they offered him a job—on the spot—as a Cafeteria Attendant. Part of the school’s mission is to strive for diversity and inclusion, and Mohamed’s unique background makes him a great addition to the already stellar team.
Mohamed’s first day of work was this Tuesday and while the Pre-K-12th grade students waited in line for lunch, they read a sign introducing Mohamed (see picture). The younger students were enthralled by Mohamed and asked how to sign thank you and please. Mohamed not only served lunches, but also learned the computer system to check in students, prepped afternoon snacks and helped with clean up. He is also receiving training on food preparation and operating the deep fryer.
Not only will Mohamed have the opportunity to engage in a meaningful work environment, he will have the opportunity to teach, exchange and show a younger generation about inclusion and acceptance of individuals who may be different than themselves. Mohamed’s perseverance and ability to advocate for himself will surely make him a strong role model for others along the way. Though it’s been a slow start, Mohamed is already well on his way to a meaningful career, and since he will be working every school day, he is finally able to save up for the toys he has always wanted to buy for his little sisters. Congratulations to Mohamed, and a warm acknowledgement to Sidestreet Dining for their commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workforce.