Meet Willie Alverez
Before coming to the OTC, Willie admits he was selfish, bitter and rebellious, only thinking of himself and his condition. Born with a condition that confines him to a wheelchair, Willie needed help finding work and employment and required the help of OTC to teach him a skill that could give him a new focus in life.With the help of the OTC staff, Willie began working in Benchwork assembly where he not only learned a new skill set, but also recognized the importance of teamwork and quality production. For the first time, Willie understood responsibility and what it meant to take pride in his work. He watched as the OTC staff inspired teamwork through supporting individual successes which motivated Willie to want to help others as well. Willie credits the OTC with changing him from a destructive individual into a productive and contributing member of society saying, “The OTC brought me to a different level, it was like coming up stairs.”
His success at OTC vocational training led him to the Supported Employment Program where a counselor worked with Willie to find a suitable employer in the private sector. The OTC helped Willie connect with Target, his current employer, and continue to support him in his new work environment. Tim, Willie’s OTC counselor, regularly meets with him to discuss any problems and to celebrate his successes. Tim is a crucial part of Willie’s new life and provides him with much needed constructive support; Willie says, “he always encourages me to do more; every time I see Tim, feel good.”
Not only does Tim help Willie work through challenges, but he also serves as a supportive force in Willie’s life; encouraging him to find new opportunities through volunteering and find confidence through new challenges. These new experiences have given Willie more confidence than he ever imagined, where “I had doubts before, now I can say I did something.”
Willie currently works at Target checking prices and organizing inventory. He takes great pride in providing quality work and both his employers and his counselor continue to encourage his success. Willie also volunteers regularly at St. Vincent DePaul where he enjoys participating in community work.
Willie says that his experience at OTC has inspired him to help people and he now finds fulfillment in both his personal life and his profession. “I would like to go back to the OTC, it is always on my mind. I want to do what they do, help people.”
“The OTC brought me to a different level; it was like coming up stairs”
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