Get to Know Christy!

Christy Cooper [left], receiving the SA Value Award of Community from Mark DeMonbrun [right].

Meet Christine (Christy) Cooper. Christy has been with SA for the past year and a half. She joined the SA team as an Employment Specialist with Community Employment Services (CES).

Some things that Christy enjoys about the work she does with SA is that every day is different! You never know what the day will bring – which also means she has a very flexible schedule. Christy also loves the opportunity to make an impactful difference in so many lives. She can assist clients in their confidence with their employment. This is one of the biggest rewards of working with SA.

When someone asks, “What do you do for work?” What do you say?
“That I assist people with disabilities in finding meaningful employment. This involves providing them with tools to do their job, and search for jobs on their own.”

What does a typical work day look like for you? If there is no typical, describe your most recent work day:
“No day is ever the same for me. My day depends a lot on the client’s schedule. I do check-ins on job sites, search for employment leads, create job proposals, and speak with businesses (sometimes even cold calls!). I check in with the clients, follow up with potential employers, and find ways to update the material that we currently use.”

What do you like most about your job?
“Simply the interactions with the clients. You get to know them and experience a lot of pride when you see them succeed. You get to see their excitement when they get the job they wanted, and when they receive that first paycheck! Seeing and helping them get out on their own for the first time in their lives is such an amazing experience.

What three words would you use to describe your role?
“Coach, Advocate, & Educator.”

What personal quality or skill do you think has helped you most in your job?
“Dedication. I want to do right by my clients, so I always continue to do my best to help them in any way I can. A lot of follow up is needed in my roll and this plays to the dedication piece of my job.”

Given your experience, what would you say to someone who has just started in the field? (and/or) What about someone who is interested in a job like yours?
“You need to learn to think outside of the box. Don’t pigeon-hole your clients. (If they have always done janitorial work, help them find something other than janitorial). Become comfortable with speaking to businesses, and don’t get discouraged when a company says no. You should always have the clients’ best interest at heart and remember to always keep it professional.”

 

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