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Summer 2005 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Kayleigh Has Her First Job!

By Kim Cunningham, Parent, Pearland, Texas

Abstract: A family takes a powerful step in path to success.

Keywords: volunteering, employment

Last February, after our family attended Take Charge of Your Future, (a family transition workshop sponsored by the DARS Division of Blind Services and Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired) I came home feeling very empowered about Kayleigh’s future. Not only was my husband and I empowered, but also Kayleigh was empowered in knowing the choices that she had for her own future.

We have always talked about going to school, getting good grades, and then going to college somewhere. What we failed to discuss was the training that she would need to prepare her for employment, transportation, housing issues, or resources for assistance. The workshop gave us a wonderful plan on volunteering in our community.

The goal was for Kayleigh to learn how a business operates and what it is to be an “employee”. Our school year is hectic with homework and extracurricular activities, so our actions were a little late in getting started. Kayleigh weighed out her options on which business she would like to apply to volunteer. She decided that our community library would be her choice after seeing a sign requesting volunteers for the Summer Reading Program. Kayleigh filled out her application with minimal help and then waited for a call.

Last week, in preparation for being accepted, we met with her O&M teacher at the library to orient her with the facility. It was during this time that we were finally able to meet with the children’s librarian. Kayleigh was very nervous, but handled the conversation with a lot of maturity. She briefly told about her visual impairment and the tools that she had to complete the required tasks. The librarian didn’t hesitate one moment before telling her she was looking forward to working with her this summer.

Update from Kayleigh: My volunteer job is going well. I help sign kids up for the summer reading program at the library. I give them a certain form: either a time form if they want to read for four hours or more, or a title form if they want to read ten books or more. They also have to fill out an enrollment card, which has to be alphabetized by their last name. I am enjoying it a lot, and I hope to do some more work next summer.


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Last Revision: September 1, 2010