Kylie’s Story

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Meet Kylie, a person supported through Skills’ Employment Services program!

Kylie works in the Weis Market Bakery, where she bakes and sometimes decorates pies, cupcakes, and cookies. She has worked at Weis for over a year, and hopes to continue working there once she graduates high school in the spring.  Kylie loves baking in her spare time too, especially making cupcakes. Working in a bakery is her dream job.

Jenna Marconi, Skills’ Employment Training Professional who supports Kylie, says that when she first started working at Weis, Kylie was assigned to basic tasks like pricing, sorting, and stacking items. However, it quickly became clear that Kylie was capable of much more, and Kylie was transferred to the bakery, which was a better fit for her interests and abilities.

“I think her job at Weis brought her a sense of belonging and joy,” Jenna says. “She would run down the hallway on the days I was picking her up for her Paid Work Experience, clapping her hands and saying she was so happy to be going. I’ve really enjoyed being able to watch her demonstrate that to others who aren’t as familiar with people with disabilities.”

Kylie also participated in Skills’ Summer Employment Program, which began in June and ended right before school started again. This is where Jenna and Kylie first started working together. “When I first met Kylie, she seemed a little shy and maybe a little uncomfortable being around so many new people at once (the summer program had eleven participants and two staff). Once Kylie became a little more comfortable, it was like she blossomed. She pays attention to everything, even when you think she isn’t listening. She was usually one of the first to arrive for the program, and would greet every person that walked in the room. She’s very friendly and super smart, and is really good at making connections with people and associating them with different things. We bonded over our mutual love of Disney, and she would quiz me on different movies.”

Kylie’s mom, Kristin, said Skills’ Summer Employment Program was a great experience: “They learned about all different kinds of jobs, went on field trips to different businesses, and worked on resume writing and interview skills.”

In addition to working, baking, and going to school, Kylie keeps busy with a full schedule of other activities and hobbies.

She competes in the Special Olympics in swimming, bowling, basketball, and equestrian. When the sports she competes in are in season, she goes to training once or twice a week in preparation for local and regional competitions. Recently, she was featured on a bus wrap in Lock Haven with several other local Special Olympians. Kristin said seeing Kylie’s face on the bus in town has been super fun.

Kylie stands in front of a bus with a picture of her holding a Special Olympics gold medal on it.

Kylie is pictured in front of a bus wrap featuring a photo of her with one of her Special Olympic medals.

On top of all that, Kylie does therapeutic horseback riding, participates in a wellness program, and attends “Superstars,” a drumming class Eastern Lycoming YMCA on Saturday mornings.

Jenna says that she loves getting to work with Kylie. “Kylie is one of the funniest people I have supported here at Skills,” she says. “She has the best one-liners. One day when we were getting ready to leave Weis to go back to school, Kylie looked around, put her hands on her hips and said ‘My work here is done.’ Kylie has such a dynamic personality once she feels comfortable in her surroundings, it’s been very cool to get to see her grow in her confidence in herself.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_button button_color=”accent” border_width=”0″ link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fskillsofcentralpa.org%2Fjobs”]Join Our Team![/vc_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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