Success Story: Chris

Where Opportunity Meets Success – Helping People with Disabilities Find Meaningful Employment in the Community

It’s no secret that Chris loves his job. Last year, Chris came to ARISE looking for some assistance with landing his first job. After meeting with Chris and assessing his skills and goals, our employment team matched him with the perfect opportunity at Panera Bread.

“It’s important that we’re not just making matches. The goal is to make the right one. We don’t just place people anywhere. We put people at a place where they can build a career and do what they want to do. Nobody wants to go to work if they don’t love their job,” says Jennifer Schiebler, ARISE Employment Services Coordinator.

When you watch Chris in action at Panera, there is no question that this was indeed the perfect match. Chris has thrived and has even taken on additional responsibilities since he was first hired. An ARISE job coach is also available to provide extra on-the-job supports.

“He’s part of our Panera family and very much a part of the team. He has a strong work ethic. He’s here early and he stays until he’s done with his work (almost to the point where I have to tell him to leave!),” says John Gibbons, the general manager at Panera.

“I don’t treat him any differently than my other associates. The expectation is there. Everybody needs an opportunity.”

Chris adds, “I was nervous on my first day but really excited. I love my job so much. I feel like I’m a part of the family, part of the crew. It’s a great place to work.”

Outside of work, Chris is also starting to pursue his many other interests by enrolling at Syracuse University through the ARISE Self-Direction Program. Both the Employment and Self-Direction Programs serve as pieces of the puzzle that are helping Chris along his journey to independence.

Every day, our employment team works to connect people who have disabilities with meaningful jobs in the community.

To learn more about our employment programs, contact Darlene Klock, Employment Services Manager, at (315) 671-3083 or .

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