Jackson's Story Jackson came to us after graduating from high school and found himself at a crossroads on what to do with his life next. Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy may impact Jackson's mobility and the types of roles he can perform, but it certainly hasn't impacted his strength, courage and determination to not let his disability define his path. After visiting us at our Greensborough site we connected Jackson with Renae, a dedicated Recruitment Partner in our Disability Employment Services program. Renae quickly realised just how committed Jackson was to giving back to the community, giving hope to others who may be in a similar situation to him. "His positivity is infectious! I am looking forward to seeing how much more he will grow" says Renae. It was at this point Renae started scouting and handpicking a select number of organisations that could not only cater to Jackson's physical requirements, but could provide an environment that would allow Jackson to really flourish. We contacted Latrobe Community Health for a potential work placement. Not only are they a Local Area Coordinator for the NDIS in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs but they were a tailored fit to Jackson’s goals and preferences. Jackson undertook work experience with La Trobe Community Health Service at Ringwood for a few weeks toward the end of 2019. He felt extremely welcomed by the whole team. Within a month of being there, Jackson felt like he was part of the team - they even hosted a morning tea to celebrate his birthday! Jackson and his Manager teamed up to work on individualised goals and support mechanisms to not only help him achieve, but thrive during his work experience. Jackson later shared how grateful he was for the experience and how everyone in the team played an integral part of his first work-related experience. "I am so proud of Jackson and his commitment and enthusiasm to find employment and achieving his aspirations" says Renae. Shortly after finishing his work experience, Latrobe Community Health Service started recruiting for an administration role. It was without hesitation that we helped Jackson apply for the position. Jackson had a chat to his work experience Manager to seek out a reference (which, might we add, was absolutely glowing!) and shortly afterwards, Jackson secured his very first job! Both Jackson and Renae were slightly nervous leading up to his first official day in March as it was the same time that coronavirus started emerging as a significant crisis in Victoria, unsure as to whether his new role would even be continued. But, thanks to Jackson’s exceptional work ethic and the trust he had developed with the organization during his work experience, La Trobe Community Health onboarded Jackson as a new employee and allowed him to start his new job working from home! “I couldn’t of done all of this without your help, I genuinely appreciate everything you’ve done”. Jackson is one of many young people living with a disability that we work closely with to support into sustainable employment. For more information on tailored support available, please visit our Disability Employment Services page.