Mark Peters is a twenty year old high school student attending the Transitional Living Program (TLP) at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI). While there, Mark gets to enjoy some of his other areas of interest including building social relationships, competing in various sports and learning the value of work. These skills are quickly becoming the building blocks to Mark's success.
Success to Mark means being independent, working at a job he loves, a paycheck, and advocating for himself and his needs. Many of these skills have been fostered through work and life skills courses offered at ISVI. Since beginning these courses Mark has learned essential works skills such as how to write a resume and interview for a job and proper dress and behavior at the worksite. Recently, with the assistance of ISVI's employment manager, Mark interviewed for a part time position at the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living (JACIL) and was hired. Because of his outgoing personality as well as job skills, Mark works as a Customer Services Representative at JACIL answering the telephone, greeting customers, putting together mailings and making copies. Mark even showed off his technical skills and assembled an office chair and a bicycle rack for the office. Becky McGinnis, Executive Director of JACIL, speaks very highly of Mark saying he is "very pleasant, willing to do what is asked of him and is excellent about calling ahead if his schedule changes due to school activities." Mark thinks of his co-workers as family and loves to see the smiles on the faces of customers and his co-workers.
When asked what motivates him to go work every day, Mark responded "seeing the people that I work with and the customers I help makes me feel great! I get to see everyone that comes through the door and there are a lot of nice customers." Mark understands the importance of work skills and is always on time, dressed appropriately and anxious to do his best work.
After Mark has completed his independent living training, he hopes to either continue working full time at JACIL or study culinary arts with a specialty in French cuisine.
We offer three residential education and outreach programs for children with disabilities. To learn more about ISVI or any of our residential schools please visit Educational Services.
To learn more, call 1-877-761-9780 Voice, 1-866-264-2149 TTY, (312) 957-4881 VP, or read about DRS's Services. Refer yourself or someone else for services using the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral.