Disclaimer: The following was excerpted from an article in the Capper Foundation Archives, originally published in The Topeka Capital-Journal. The choice of words used at the time this was written may not reflect current Capper Foundation inclusive language and views.
by Phil Anderson
Thanks in no small part to Capper Foundation’s Supported Employment Program, 32-year-old Jason Barrett has a job, and as evidenced by the smile on his face, he couldn’t be happier.
At Capper Foundation, Barrett received training in small engine repair, which led to his job at Jiffy Lube. “I got good training here,” Barrett said. “My job coach and I got online, and it went from there.”
Barrett said he works about 21 hours a week at present at Jiffy Lube, where he finds himself in one of the bays “draining the oil and making sure there are no leaks underneath your car, and making sure everything’s running right.”
He credited Rachele Hubbart, his job coach at Capper Foundation, with helping him in the early phases of his new job. Now, he said, he is working on his own, with Hubbart staying in touch with both himself and Jiffy Lube to make sure everything is going okay.
The best part of his new job, he said? “I like the paycheck,” he explained, flashing a grin. “I like how much money I’m making now.”
Cathy Henderson, who has been one of Barrett’s Special Olympics coaches, was on hand for Monday morning’s ceremony at Capper Foundation. “We’re thrilled for him,” Henderson said. “We’ve watched him grow in his confidence level since he got his job. He has a smile on his face when he talks about work and all the opportunities he has now. We’re so very proud of him.”
Capper Foundation President Jim Leiker said Barrett is one of many examples of people of all ages who benefit from the organization’s many programs that benefit people from infancy through adulthood. “We found out what his interests were and matched him with an employer,” Leiker said. “He’s doing a very good job.”