Every client is assigned a personal job counselor who helps them return to work while receiving SSDI or SSI benefits!
Read about the inspiring work of two of our job counselors with client successes and more about our free services!
Ethel Lawrence – Work At Home Job Counselor – Ticket to Work Participant
Ethel has worked with My Employment Options (MEO) since 2009. While receiving disability benefits, she applied for a job through the Ticket to Work Program which offered an opportunity to interview for a counselor position with MEO. A 20-year veteran of Walmart’s Human Resources Department, Ethel impressed My Employment Options CEO, Paula Vieillet, who considered her a perfect fit as a counselor. Ethel has now been with the company helping disabled persons get back to work for eleven years.
One of Ethel’s most memorable clients was a mother whose disability was multiple sclerosis. “Determined to be an inspiration for her family, Gloria’s goal was to show her children that lives are not determined by disability,” Ethel shares. “From a wheelchair, Gloria helped support herself and her family. When her husband became disabled, she helped him get a job with the company where she worked (Uhaul). Following a car accident, Gloria’s daughter became temporarily disabled, and Gloria helped her get a job working from home until she was able to get back to work in the community. I remember telling her she was my hero.” Ethel is delighted to report that Gloria remains proud to successfully use her abilities to work on her own and no longer rely on disability payments.
Did You Know That Many MEO Job Counselors Used the Ticket to Work Program to Return to Work!
Sarah Lind – Community Job Counselor
Sarah has a nine-year tenure at My Employment Options (MEO) where she enjoys the nature of her position and working from home. She relates, “I work under the Ticket to Work Program offering job placement services and vocational counseling. On a day-to-day basis, I work on behalf of my clients, creating resumes, preparing them for interviews, reminding them of their strengths and helping increase their confidence. The Ticket to Work Program was signed into law in 1999 to increase options for persons with disabilities who wish to return to work. My Employment Options was one of the first companies to provide services for the Ticket to Work Program. MEO focuses on much more than employment. We celebrate our clients’ life events (marriage, birth, etc.). In addition, if a client completes an educational or vocational training program, MEO celebrates that milestone by recognizing their achievement with a gift card.”
Sarah notes that one of the highlights of her job is helping her clients get hired. She relates, “MEO counselors provide ongoing employment support, sometimes for several years. The goal of the program is financial stability through viable employment which starts with self-sufficiency (getting raises, promotions, looking for a job in a new company, etc.) I like the autonomy afforded me to work with my own management style as long as it is successful following our company’s policies and the Ticket to Work protocols. I give kudos to our CEO, Paula Vieillet, for choosing people who are going to be a good match for our team.” Paula notes, “Our positive approach to finding work lets your skills and abilities help determine the right job and environment for you. You will also appreciate the way our job placement counselors use the Disabilities/Different Abilities: A New Perspective for Job Hunters guide, to explain your employment rights under the American with Disabilities Act and how to use that knowledge to have a more successful interview.”