“Never give up!” – How Paid Internships Lead to Long-Term Careers

“Never give up!” These are the words of one of our graduated participants, Eric Baker, who recently earned his dream job. Many of our participants have impressive employment histories from restaurants to film production studios and everything in between. Of course, these opportunities don’t appear overnight. They are the result of hard work, determination, and a little help along the way. That’s where Options For All comes in!    

Recently, we launched a paid internship program, which allows participants to gain work experience with impressive companies, with the goal of transitioning to permanent employment. Funded through the Department of Developmental Services, and local Regional Center partnerships, these internships give companies the flexibility to create positions filled by Options For All participants. Two of our participants, Eric Baker and Martin Barken, are wonderful examples of this program’s awesome outcomes.   

After a successful paid internship with Cox Communications, Eric was recently offered a full-time position as a video editor for the company. In this role, he edits raw footage, which is then broadcasted or featured online. He first realized his creative passion for video editing after participating in our film and media program. With the help of an OFA job coach, Eric was able to earn a paid intern position at Cox. He loves all the projects he is a part of and enjoys putting his creative skills to the test every day.    

After his paid internship at a pharmacy, Martin Barken is now a pharmacy technician and clerk at Alvarado Pharmacy. To become a professional in this field, Martin completed the necessary certifications and licenses to work behind the pharmacy counter. His internship allowed him to realize his passion for this field of work.  His favorite part about his job is talking with customers as they pick up their prescriptions.   

Options For All exists to create opportunities that will help further the dreams of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It’s not just about finding a job. It’s about assisting participants in finding what they love and helping them reach their goals. No matter the position or the industry, there is room for everyone at the table. The paid internship program is just one way we’re creating more space to include everyone who wants a seat.   

Want to learn more about our job development and paid internship programs? Contact us at info@optionsforall.org.