Paul Yong Jung, a Spring 2018 Wayfinders graduate, says working at Future Ford of Clovis is “great, you just have to be on time”.
Paul has recently completed the two-year Wayfinders program. This inclusive postsecondary program at Fresno State is for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have the college experience while learning independent living, vocational and self-advocacy skills. Paul has Williams syndrome and during his time in the Wayfinders program he has had many work experiences, lived on campus with roommates, and learned many life skills.
A key component of the program is to develop students into competent employees. Monica Swanson, Vocational Placement Coordinator at Wayfinders, places students into volunteer opportunities with partners at Fresno State and in the community. Students are able to rotate to different work experiences every semester with the goal of providing each student with maximum work exposure in the two-year period. Monica says she tries to place each student with opportunities suited to their passions and capabilities.
Paul was placed at Future Ford of Clovis, a partner of Wayfinders for two years, and he immediately ‘clicked’ with the other employees.
“Someone in our organization had a child in the (Wayfinders) program and so Monica came over and introduced herself, and asked if we would be willing to participate. She brought Paul in and we interviewed him to make sure he would be comfortable doing the work. And then we clicked with Paul, everyone around here did and the rest is history. He is part of our family.”
– Tracy Gill, Service Director at Future Ford of Clovis
Paul was originally a volunteer through the partnership and Future Ford of Clovis later hired him on as an employee. He has been awarded the Employee of the Year in 2016 and was even featured in a promotional video.
“My responsibilities is being reliable, being on time, quality care, so I am very useful.” Paul will be moving back to his hometown in the Bay area later this summer. He has made great connections at Future Ford of Clovis and Tracy is planning on making recommendations to other Ford dealerships in the Bay area.