My Story: Sam Olmo

At Pensauken High School, my old work experience teacher decided to start a program called School to Work with Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia’s contracts in Pensauken.

Each student volunteered to work while in school. I volunteered, and the first thing we did was stock work, which means we stocked coupons and then we stocked childcare items like bottles and pacifiers. We did that for a year. We were getting piecework pay, and when graduation came we had a choice: we could either stay at Goodwill or find another job.

I chose to stay at Goodwill. The employees saw we were hard-working. I knew that we weren’t going to get paid by piecework anymore – we were now going to get paid by the hours we were working. I did other jobs like assisting other employees and operating some of the machines that they had in the warehouse. After a year, I became one of the team leaders and I was in charge of the other side of the warehouse.

After a year, the employee specialist saw how hardworking I was, so they did some research on some other jobs and they found this company called Medco. I trained for an interview and I answered every question they asked me. When the interview was over, they said they would consider me.

After about a week or so, they called me and said I got the job and my position was mail clerk. So I took the job, and my job coach was with me when I started. He stayed with me for a while until I got the hang of the mail routine.

My life has gotten better since Goodwill found me this job at Medco. I have more responsibilities, get a chance to help others, and am more independent. I help my mom pay her bills, and I have money to buy clothes and food.

When I wasn’t working, there were times when I said to myself, “I wish I had a job right now.” I like Medco because there’s a lot to do. There are a lot of nice people here and every time I come to work, I feel like a more responsible adult. I feel happy because I’m working.

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