Volume 2, Issue 2

June 2020

Working together to make a difference.

Integration at the workplace is our goal!

Working together to make a difference.

Integration at the workplace is our goal!

Volume 2, Issue 2 – June 2020

An Update from Next Steps Employment Services:

Suffice it to say, 2020 has been a difficult year for many of us so far. We’ve had to quickly adapt to a situation beyond our control that impacts not just how we work, but the families we work with in ways we never thought possible. Even though life has been crazy for the last few months, that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to use this time to build relationships and make connections in the community!

As a response to ongoing situations at large, we stopped all services for 2 weeks, and in that time we were able to better manage our caseloads in order to communicate with all of our clients and keep everyone we work with up to date.  Additionally, we began with the VR Career Camp and have had a good number of clients attending thus far.  We’ve also had some parents express their legitimate concerns with the Coronavirus, sharing that they weren’t comfortable sending their loved ones to participate until the number of cases goes down.  To prepare and provide a sanitized work environment, we purchased boxes and boxes of sanitizers, gloves, masks and alcohol-based wipes. Our teachers (ESs) continue to follow every day the CDC guidelines making sure the clients and themselves are protected at all times.

We want to welcome Catherine J.  Carley, Paulette D. Stephens and Cristina Padilla to our Team!  They will be assisting with the Venice, North Port, Naples and Immokalee areas and will be also assisting the other areas as needed to ensure that our clients continue having the best quality services that we strive to offer. These three happily come to us with years of experience working with people with disabilities.


We want to dedicate our newsletter this month to Amado C.!

A NSES Success Story

Amado resides in Sebring, Florida. He has been with NSES since February, 2019.  Amado is 18 years old and he is a junior at Sebring High School. Despite his young age, Amado has already done a total of 10 OJT experiences at businesses in the local area, including: Top Hat Coffee, Papa John’s, Eccentric Garage, Linda’s Book Store, Subway, Heartland Horses, Jimmy’s Greek Restaurant, Tractor Supply, Hardee Animal Clinic and Dee’s Place.

All of the employers (trainers) he’s worked with have only had good things to say in regards to Amado’s willingness to learn. He’s consistently on time and has been incredibly responsible in following his scheduled training hours, which are after school and on the weekends.  When he has a project or other school-related commitment, he never fails to call his employer and let them know as soon as possible. Amado always puts his education first!

Amado’s aptitude for learning extends far beyond just the hard skills. In his time working with us, he’s adopted soft skills that are applicable in all aspects of life, including communication, adaptability, and decision-making. We are very proud of having him as our client, and his supportive parents are there every step of the way! They are extremely active in Amado’s life and always advocate for him to have different opportunities in the community. His parents provide him with transportation to all of his ‘Plan and Agreement’ meetings, taking an active role in their son’s success.  They are very conscious and realistic of Amado’s abilities and push Amado to do better and be as independent as possible.  Here are some questions Amado and his parents were asked:


What have you learned with all these working OJT experiences?

  • “It teaches me how to connect with others.”

Which of those experiences is the one that you enjoyed the most and why?

  • “Subway was my favorite because I got to work up front doing subs and organizing the chips.”

Do you think you are now better prepared to find employment after you finish High School due to all those OJT experiences?

  •  “Yes, it helped me not to be scared.”

Amado’s Parents

What changes (if any) do you notice in Amado throughout all these experiences? 

  • “First, he has a greater sense of accountability, of being more responsible for himself and to others. Also, he has become more mature in his behavior and willingness to help out. Finally, he has learned skills especially in communication so that he expresses himself more clearly.”

Will you recommend VR OJT services?

  • “Yes, I would absolutely recommend this OJT program having seen first-hand, its benefits to Amado.”

We at NSES wish Amado continued success in seeking and committing to new employment opportunities in the future. We know he will always do his best and become the person he knows he can be.

Finally, NSES wishes its clients, staff and our supportive VR counselors a safe and healthy summer ahead. With all the stressful news from the coronavirus, we hope you all take this time to cherish family, friends and coworkers. Now is the time to rethink, balance and recommit to taking care of yourselves as well as you do for others. Today, our mission remains the same even with the uncertainty of the future ahead.

We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to help our clients gain applicable work experience through the OJT programs we have in place. With the help of our Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors, our clients work together as a TEAM to get the knowledge they need to be successful in the workplace. Kudos to the Vocational Rehabilitation staff for all that they do!

Offering services in:
Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Manatee, Sarasota, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, and Broward