top of page

How Toward Maximum Independence Is Helping People With Disabilities Find Jobs

Updated: Apr 29

TMI SE Associate Director Nick Pelosi conduction a mock interview with our client Paela
TMI SE Associate Director Nick Pelosi conducting a mock interview with our client Paela

Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of innovative services to assist individuals with disabilities with finding employment or a volunteer opportunity, recently hosted our first "Mock Interview Training Day" and "Clothing Boutique" to help our clients prepare for job interviews.

Empowering individuals to achieve their dreams

Julie with Texas Roadhouse Managing Partner Joshua Bacon
Julie with Texas Roadhouse Managing Partner Joshua Bacon

Organized by the San Diego Supported Employment (SE) program, the event included two presentations. “Dress for Success” presented by SE Division Manager Mary Carrington provided clients with specific tips for what to wear and not wear to interviews. “Interview Tips” presented by SE Division Manager Julie (Dickerson) Takahashi featured essential qualities employers are looking for, as well as discussed practice interview questions.

In addition, our clients had the exciting opportunity to practice their interview skills with three employers: Texas Roadhouse Managing Partner Joshua Bacon, Fire Etc Sales Representative Jaime Takahashi and TMI SE Associate Director Nick Pelosi. Thank you for your volunteering your time to conduct the mock interviews!

Jamie Takahashi interviewing our client Chad
Jamie Takahashi interviewing our client Chad

“I really enjoyed myself and learned some new things today and I’m ready for some interviews,” said TMI SE Client Chad.

On the day of the event, the clients arrived in interview clothes, toured the TMI Resource Room and participated in a few office skill assessments, as well as practiced copy room skills, listening skills, teamwork, and professionalism. 

Our hardworking and motivated clients Cassie, Chad,  Luis, Maurice, Nate, and Paela received a Certificate of Completion for their training along with helpful feedback from the interviewers. 

Julie with our participating clients
Julie with our participating clients
"This was a valuable event for our clients," said Julie. "The interviewers were instrumental in the success of the training which helped our clients learn new skills, as well as gain confidence in their ability to find jobs."
TMI Director of SE Marcus Byrd at our Clothing Boutique
TMI Director of SE Marcus Byrd at our Clothing Boutique

Thank you to the following wonderful TMI staff who made this event possible: Director of SE Marcus Byrd, Associate Director of SE Nick Pelosi, Managers Julie (Dickerson) Takahashi, Anna Frichtel, Cesar Perez, Jerla Wood, Mary Carrington, Colleen Gatchalian, and Sonia Lopez, as well as TMI Director of Organizational Engagement and Effectiveness Frances Johnson for organizing the Clothing Boutique which gave our clients the opportunity to “shop” for interview clothes that were donated to TMI.

It is the mission of the TMI SE program to support, enhance and educate the general workforce population on the contributing value of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Through personalized integration, training and advocacy, TMI helps to develop the capabilities and strengths of all people desiring to work. SE provides job coaching services at a 1:1 coach to client ratio for individual placements and 1:3 for group placements.


  • Highly Trained Job Coaches

  • On-Site Training for Employees

  • Full Service Tax Credit Support

  • CARF Certified Program

  • Quality Assurance Emphasis

  • Low Employee Turnover

  • Job Analysis and Safety Review


Our employment partners include Smart & Final, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Sycuan Casino & Resort, VONS, as well as many other outstanding companies.

There are many reasons why it makes good business sense to have TMI clients be contributing members of your organization either as paid employees or volunteers.

If you are interested in learning more about TMI's services, please visit our website or call us at (800) 877-5452. We look forward to hearing from you!

(Thank you to Julie (Dickerson) Takahashi for contributing to this story.)


Founded in 1981, Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and veterans with disabilities. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living Services and Family Support Services. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.


bottom of page