Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) clients are soaring at Walmart! Three such clients are Integrated Work clients Michael and Nora, who work together at the Walmart on Dennery Road and Supported Employment client Jon, who works at the Imperial Beach Walmart. Since starting with Walmart in March 2003, Michael has blossomed! He has come out of his shell to interact with co-workers and customers alike. Along with the support of his Job Coach, Norma Lizarraga, Michael’s customer service interactions have given him the boost of confidence and self-esteem he needed to advance what was once a hurdle for him. Assisting customers has encouraged Michael to speak with and engage with others. Before working with Walmart, Michael was shy and introverted and rarely spoke with others outside of his Integrated Work group.
Nora is also shining and is an integral part of the fabric of Walmart. Nora knows EVERYONE! Not a day goes by when co-workers will not stop by the aisles she is working in to say hi or give her a hug. Nora is always cheerful and it motivates the other employees to be friendly and productive when she lifts their spirits. Nora is friendly, but focused. Her driven attitude to 'get things done' is infectious. Co-workers are aware she is determined; they say hello quickly knowing she wants to get back to work. Customers also take time out of their shopping to seek Nora out just to get a smile and a hello to add a little brightness to their day.
Both Michael and Nora are proud to work with Walmart. They are dedicated and hard working and have a sense of pride from earning their paychecks. Michael and Nora are aware they need to conduct themselves professionally and with a smile, as they work at the busiest Walmart in the United States. Just four miles from the US/Mexico International Border, their store is accessed by two different countries, making it a hustle and bustle place to work. Both Michael and Nora love working with Walmart and would like to work there for many years to come.
Jon came to TMI hoping to find a job that was suitable to his needs and that was close to home. TMI Associate Manager Christina Romero searched high and low with Jon for the right employment opportunity for him. Finally, he interviewed with Walmart and they hired him as a Cart Attendant on the spot. He and his family were thrilled because it was five minutes away from his home. Jon had this to say "I am very happy when I am able to work with my friends and push carts with them.”
His Job Coach, Michelle Hackworth, saw Jon’s kind heart from the moment they met and is thrilled his position makes him so happy each and every day. Jon’s positive energy is seen by all who meet him. His managers and supervisors rave about how happy he is and appreciate that he greets each person by name when he comes into work. "He's a hard worker, he's fun to be around and very friendly. We never receive any complaints. He's very attentive and makes sure if someone needs something he's there. He's awesome!" said Claudia, Customer Service Supervisor at Walmart.
Thank you to Walmart for helping transforming the lives of these TMI clients!
An estimated 1 in 6 people are born with a developmental disability. Just like you they are born with hopes, dreams and the drive to contribute to society. Since 1981 Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has transformed thousands of lives by providing assistance to children and adults with developmental disabilities, giving them the ability to realize their hopes and dreams.