Summer Interns from our Landscaping Program Share Their Experience

The following post is our third installment of the Supported Employment Department’s blog entitled, Employment is Everyone’s Business. The posts will feature interviews with individuals receiving services from The Arc Baltimore after they gain employment in the community.


Latasia Watford and Deonta Evans are both students who participated in our Landscaping Department Internship Program in the summer of 2016. The following interviews detail their experience in the program.

Latasia’s Interview:

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Tell us how you connected with The Arc Baltimore.

My teacher had got in touch with somebody from The Arc Baltimore.

What type of equipment have you learned how to use?

The weed whacker and the lawn blower.

What is a normal day for you?

I get myself ready in the morning. I wait for my [mobility] ride. Walk into the building, clock in, go ahead and get my stuff, put it in the truck, wait for the supervisor to come and we are on our way. After I clock out, I wait for mobility.

Do you have to wear safety equipment?

Safety glasses and gloves.

What is it like going out with the crew?

The crew is pretty good. We go to many places and businesses like FireLine.

What is the job that you do well?

The mower and picking up tree branches.

Have you learned anything about yourself? Have you changed?

I need to learn to be independent. I enjoy having conversations with people.

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

I have always like to bake sweets and be around animals. That is my dream.

What will you do at the end of the summer?

I will go back to school and this will be my last year since I turn 21 next month.

How does it make you feel that you will be working full time in a year?

It makes me happy (on the inside).

What makes you happy about your job?

Making that money.


Deonta’s Interview:

_DSC0020-sm Tell me how you connected with The Arc.

My teacher. She told me about The Arc and how they do. She put me on with it and I got the job.

What were the first couple of days like?

It was hard. My body wasn’t used to all this moving around. I was lazy ‘cause I wasn’t used to this stuff yet, but eventually I got on top of it.

Tell us about how quickly you picked things up.

I can pick stuff up in a hurry. Once you show me one time, it immediately caught on with me. A lot of people, even my teachers, when they were walking us through the equipment, said you could be on that stuff in a day or two. I knew I could do that. Picking up stuff is what I can do.

What skills have you learned?

The weed whacker, z-master, 40. I know how to shear a bit. I can do anything you can tell me to do.

What is a normal day like?

When I get there, I clock in, put the machines on the truck, go to whatever site we need to go to, cut it and get it done. At the end of the day, take the equipment off the truck and back it back where it goes. Then, I clock out and go home.

What kind of places have you done landscaping for?

The Arc’s houses, BWI, FireLine. I been to a lot of places. Old person home for veterans.

What is the crew like?

I’ve been on a lot of crews. Six people in a truck. One supervisor and a lead worker. The lead worker is over the supported workers. I think I deserve to be a lead worker.

What are some things you learned (outside the landscape skills)?

Communicate with people that aren’t on your level. I learn how to get up in the morning and come to work. I learned how to complete a task fully to the full extent and do it well. And not just rush over it and you have to completely go over and do it.

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

Hopefully, outside…doing this.

How do you feel having a job?

Good. Get your own money. Do whatever with your money. Learn how to spend wisely. Not just go out and spend your check and now you are broke. I bought a phone and pay my bills.

What’s your next step?

Last time when I was in school they had me working full time because I mastered everything in school – another quick learner. They said you could go full time when others were working half time. It will probably be the same thing this year.

 


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