I have always believed that everything we achieve in life is well earned. Looking back on all of my most recent accomplishments, such as receiving my Associates Degree from Oakton Community College, working three part-time jobs, and independently paying a good amount of my bills, were all well earned and didn’t come easy as a person with a learning disability.
With each goal that I achieved came confidence that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind and heart to. This confidence is what I want to be able to share with others that are in the same position I was. For most of my time at jjslist.com, you may have heard about me being a part of the Disability Awareness Players. I still take part as a player, and I also take advantage of the opportunity to share my experiences with others through.
The first major presentation I did with jjslist.com was one about landing and keeping a job in today’s economy. With the help of Nicole Heimdal, the Train for Work Manager at No Boundaries – Train for Work, Train for Life, I talked with Connor and Alex about the application process. This included cover letters, resumes, the interview process, and other suggestions. I talked about accepting and getting a new job as a personal challenge, staying organized, and remaining confident.
In addition to the presentation I gave, I am also helping Alex prepare for a job in data entry (which happens to be one of my three jobs) by giving him some common invoices and spreadsheets that I work with to help him be familiar with such a position. The invoices contain specific data that have to be entered into the spreadsheets a certain way.
I am enjoying taking advantage of all the opportunities I get through jjslist.com to help others understand that anything can be accomplished through determination and hard work. Hopefully, work like this will help prepare me for more opportunities down the road. Nothing is given to us in life. When someone I teach understands this message, it makes me feel proud and honored to be doing the work that I love to do.
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About the Author:
Alec MacKenzie was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of two. He has recently graduated from Oakton Community College with an Associates’ Degree in Liberal Arts. He also has three part-time jobs, including Illinois Tool Works, Pottery Barn, and of course, jjslist.com. He plans to go back to school soon for his Bachelors’ Degree in a program to be determined in the near future.