Former VR Customer Now Refers Others to VR
Winter Springs, FL - Jennifer Kramer (center in photo) was a typical teenager, trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. However, Attention Deficit Disorder made it difficult for Jennifer to focus, which made it hard for her to decide what she wanted to do with her future. So when a neighbor recommended that she reach out to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Jennifer came, hoping VR would be able to give her some direction.
Jennifer admits she was unsure what VR could do for her. “I had no idea what to expect at first,” she says, but after working closely with her counselor Anna Bachmann, Jennifer received the guidance and confidence she needed to succeed. “They’re a good support system,” she says. Jennifer received her associate’s degree from Seminole Community College and then continued her studies at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she studied psychology and sociology.
After graduating from UCF, Jennifer was referred to the Center for Independent Living (CIL), where she met with Employment Specialist Meghan Guck. Meghan worked with Jennifer to develop her resume writing, interviewing skills and job searching techniques. After searching for a few months, a part-time Information and Referral Specialist position became available at the CIL. Jennifer applied for the position and was interviewed by Program Director Dan Ryan. Ryan was impressed with Jennifer’s resume and personality and offered her the position. A few months into her new job, Jennifer was asked to move to a permanent position with added responsibilities, and Jennifer gladly accepted.
Dan says that he hears nothing but praises from those who interact with Jennifer. “She takes her time with every single person and has a smile on her face every single day,” says Dan. “She just loves her job of helping individuals with disabilities.”
As an Information and Referral Specialist and Interpreter Coordinator, Jennifer welcomes CIL visitors, directs them to a specialist who can help them, and gives them any information they may need. She also coordinates American Sign Language interpreters for the community and for the office specialists. Jennifer’s job allows her to maintain a close relationship with VR. “I actually sometimes refer people to VR, which is really cool,” she says.
Jennifer credits VR with giving her the support she needed to get where she is now. She thanks counselors like Anna, who are committed to helping people with all types of disabilities. “I really enjoyed working with VR. I think they’re genuine people who really want to help others,” she says. “They’re not in it for the money; they’re in it to assist people.”
Florida's Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of America's workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 111 offices across Florida, and last year helped 3,874 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.