Nitin: Working to His Full Potential
"[Les] is a good coach. He's trained me in all the skills."
As a senior employment consultant for Advocates, Les Barnstone knows the importance of job matching, pairing candidates with positions well-suited to their strengths, backgrounds and interests. He knows that for many individuals with disabilities, a job offers much more than a source of income; it can provide a boost to self-esteem and sense of purpose, and an opportunity to develop new skills and carve out a meaningful role in the community. That's why it's so essential to find the right fit.
Les did just that with Nitin. Nitin, who has a developmental disability, was working with Les's support at High Speed Video when it went out of business, and Les sprung to action to help Nitin find a new job. In May 2010, Les helped land him a position as an assembler at HomeGoods in Framingham, unpackaging and assembling lamps.
Les has seen tremendous growth in Nitin in his new post. While he had trouble focusing in former positions, at HomeGoods he stays on task and in tune with his productivity goals. "This has been quite a breakthrough for Nitin," says Les, noting the position has not only improved Nitin's self-esteem but also increased his sense of responsibility and independence. "At the end of the day, he can look at it as an accomplishment well done. There are accommodations there but we all have accommodations. He's doing a job in a high-pressure situation. He's risen to the occasion."
Chris Wilcox, assistant manager at HomeGoods in Framingham, is impressed with Nitin. "He's a good worker. He works at a very steady pace. He's always on time. It's not an easy task," he says. "He's definitely a part of the whole. He's a great contributor."
Nitin's father, Ven, credits Les for an exemplary job. In addition to finding Nitin a job and coaching him, he also has gone beyond the call of duty. When an issue of identification documents cropped up, rather than risk a delay in hiring, Les took Nitin to the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Natick and fronted the expenses for a Massachusetts state ID.
"We feel fortunate that Nitin has such an empathetic, professional and supportive job coach in Les," says Ven. "He's truly benefited from this kind of attention from Les. Nitin has come a long way. This opportunity has given him new skills in new areas… Professionals like Les are absolutely indispensable to individuals like my son to allow them to reach their full potential."
Most importantly, both the coach and the job are the right match for Nitin. "He's a good coach," Nitin says of Les. "He's trained me in all the skills. I think this is a nice, good job for me."
| Advocates Inc., One Clarks Hill, Suite 305, Framingham, MA 01702
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Advocates provides support services for people with:
- Mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse
- Intellectual or developmental disabilities or co-occurring mental illness and developmental disability
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Autism and pervasive developmental disabilities
- Acquired or traumatic brain injury
We also provide support services for:
- Deaf adults with mental illness or a developmental disability
- Families who are supporting a family member with a disability
- Elders living in the community who may have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder
- Adults with a mental health diagnosis in jail or re-entering the community
- Youth in transition from foster care
- Individuals and families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness