When she’s not busy creating worlds on Minecraft, swimming laps in the pool, or jamming out to the discography of 70s pop-rock icon Elton John, Taylor spends her days juggling college classes and her new trainee position here at Lanakila Pacific. While Taylor is furthering her education at Windward Community College, her ambition and drive has motivated her to set her sights on her professional development as well. Taylor excitedly shares, “This is actually my first real experience in a workplace. Even with a busy schedule, I love working here and being in this program because I get to learn so many important skills you can’t experience from inside the classroom.”

After graduating from Kalaheo High School last year, Taylor joined Lanakila Pacific’s Employment Services—a program designed to prepare individuals with disabilities for a bright future in the workforce. Taylor shared, “I’m still not quite sure what I want to do for work, but I know it’s important to gain as much experience as possible. For me, job searching is really hard, especially since it can be difficult for me to communicate with people. So, I’m hoping to gain a lot from this program!”

Still uncertain of her future, but eager to improve her skills, Taylor jumped headfirst into her new trainee role. She is now training as a Front Desk Administrator here at Lanakila Pacific where she handles incoming mail correspondence, greets guests at the front door, and works on various special projects. Aside from learning some of the hard skills that come along with an administrative position, Taylor’s also committed to improving her soft skills with her job coaches. Taylor gushes, “I have been learning so much here. We go over things like workplace etiquette, mastering computer programs like excel, interacting with others on a team, and communication.”

As a participant, Taylor also works closely with a job coach who offers 1-on-1 training to support her goals. Monitoring their participant’s performance, job coaches are able to help fine tune skills that are less developed, setting their mentees up for success. One of Taylor’s mentors, Bryant Willier Bolosan, notes, “Since starting here, Taylor is doing really great! The more she practices her skills, the better she gets. For example, I’ve watched her become so much more confident in the way she communicates in just a few short weeks!”

Because of the Employment Services program, Taylor is blossoming into a rockstar professional. With the real-world experience and individualized attention that the program offers, Taylor will be entering the workforce with a renewed sense of confidence in her own abilities. For now, Taylor will continue to grow as much as she can while surrounded by a team of people dedicated to her success. Just as it did for Taylor, we can’t wait to see how many more lives this program can change!