“Thanks for shopping at Kroger. We appreciate your business.”
And with that, Emilee Mehl gets back to work, bagging groceries, collecting shopping carts or returning products to the shelves.
Emilee’s path to becoming one of Kroger’s valued employees began when she was a student at Bellaire High.
Emilee started transition activities at the age of 14 through a summer work program with Belco Works, Inc. She did job exploration at different businesses, learning new skills until she found the right fit at Kroger when she was a senior in high school.Her job coach, Emmy Helms, said that Emilee excelled in a short period of time.
“We faded fast,” Emmy said, referencing how quickly Emilee caught on to the job and no longer needed a job coach.
“Once she had a couple of shifts under her belt, a switch flipped and Emilee became an employee,” Emmy said.
Emilee has learned a lot since graduating from high school. She has grown into a capable young adult who is enjoying all the things that employment offers.
Transition activities coordinated through the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities help youth ages 14 to 25 explore jobs and sharpen their skills in preparation for life after school. For Emilee, that started with summer work and ended up with a meaningful job.
Successes like Emilee’s are evidence that students with disabilities are capable of living a life of their choosing with the right support and access to opportunities in the community.
“Everybody is capable, but in the long run, we find a million more abilities than disabilities with young people,” Emmy said. “In the end, everybody wins – the person and the employer.”
For more information about transition, contact Transition Specialist Kara Shutler at 740-695-0407, ext. 353.