When a milestone is reached in one’s career, it is natural to think about how far you’ve come and in what direction you are headed toward. For Ria, this is very much the case as she approaches her sixth year working with Sodexo, currently as a Cafeteria Server for the Edina School District. Working five days a week and 6.5 hour days, the summers off are much appreciated at the end of the school year. This field of work is difficult and ever-changing, especially now with the adjusted school lunch menus, but Ria and her team of four at Creek Valley are all good friends and together they make a great team.
Due to the support that her tight-knit group of co-workers, Ria is really grateful for her job, and looks forward to most days, which consists of serving breakfast, working the cash register, prepping lunch, and helping with washing dishes in the afternoon. She also enjoys chatting with the other support staff at the school, including some charming custodians. One challenge Ria faced at work, was that as she was getting older, her hearing just wasn’t what it used to be. Her co-workers knew that sometimes you had to tap Ria to get her attention, and doctors were concerned that the workplace would becoming quite challenging. Just recently, Ria was fitted for hearing aids, and she ordered a custom pair decked out in red and blue, for her beloved Minnesota Twins, a team she is a true die-hard fan of.
So while the six year mark is a very exciting milestone for Ria, it is certainly not the full story of her career path. In fact, Ria dreams big when it comes to her career. Despite the barriers that she may have to contend with in the process, Ria envisions herself as a Storm Chaser. In April, Ria was SkyWarn certified through the NOAA and National Weather Service, by attending a 3-hour class at the Bloomington Fire Station. She now has been issued a log-in and code to report weather systems as she seems them, and has learned the language needed for reporting, (although she knew most of this before we even went to the class). Last summer Ria and her Employment Consultant, Emily Lavalier, attended an informational interview at the NOAA in Chanhassen, where Ria was able to see exactly what the meteorologists use to gauge what the weather will do, and how to report on it. And while at this time, Ria is no Helen Hunt, a la Twister, she is certainly no stranger to working hard, overcoming adversity, and making choices that empower her situation and lead her to success in achieving the goals and dreams that she has set out for herself and her future.