Amber hard at work at Popeye’s.

Amber was first referred to STAR Center by Vocational Rehabilitation in 2015 when she was only 18 years old. She had a goal of employment. STAR Center’s Vocational Evaluation Department met with Amber for an evaluation to determine her strengths, skills, likes, dislikes, abilities, and goals. Amber participated in the Project SEARCH program and worked in the laundry department at the West TN Healthcare Hospital, where she learned various job skills and gained valuable work experience. Additional services she received included Orientation and Mobility to learn how to ride the city bus, as well as Job Readiness Training to increase her odds of obtaining and maintaining employment. Unfortunately, there was not a job opening for her at the Project SEARCH site. But Amber was not giving up! She had proven herself to be dependable, cooperative, and a hard worker, and was as determined as ever to get a job.

STAR Center staff helped her identify resources available to her through Employment Community First, where she was able to complete a Situational Observation and Assessment. This helped narrow down her job interests. Many meetings were held with Amber and her mom, and many job openings were explored. Then, in the Fall of 2018, Amber had in interview with Popeye’s in Jackson for a Lobby Attendant. With assistance from STAR Center’s Supported Employment Program, Amber got the job and started at the beginning of this year! STAR Center initially worked onsite with Amber, and she mastered her job duties. 

Five months in and Amber says she loves having her own job and is learning to manage her own money. Amber’s mom says she can see a big increase in Amber’s overall confidence. With patience, perseverance, and a great support team, Amber is well on her way to becoming an independent adult.

What an honor for STAR Center to have been a part of her story!

About the Author : Alli Damas

This person is a past employee or intern of the STAR Center. Their name and authorship is preserved for posterity.

  1. Tina Tatum June 17, 2019 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Oh wow!! Yes I’m so happy for Amber. My son and Amber went to middle and highschool together what a milestone she has achieved. And I feel that she continue to make it in tha future.

    • Alli Damas June 17, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing! Amber is an incredibly hard worker and we are so proud of her!

  2. Monica Harris June 17, 2019 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I am shouting and almost crying tears of joy for Amber. She was my student when she was in elementary school. I always enjoy seeing and hearing about my former students, especially when they are learning life skills to become independent and productive members of society. Congratulations Amber !!! Ms. Harris loves you and is so proud of you.

    • Alli Damas June 18, 2019 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you! We will pass along your sweet words to Amber!

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