Overcoming preconceived ideas about what they can and can't do is one of the biggest challenges any disabled person has to face. Thursday is National Disability Mentoring Day, designed to help those with extra challenges defeat any stereotypes they may encounter.
Getting a job as a host at a restaurant would be A.J. Gehrman's dream come true. Gehrman loves meeting people and making friends and feels that becoming a greeter at a local restaurant would be a good fit. "Hosting people and doing my job right. Making a lot of money and doing really good every day."
Gehrman is part of a mentoring day at the Longhorn Steakhouse. Darden Restaurants, Longhorn's parent company, has been participating in these mentoring days for the past decade.
By having the Mosaic clients shadow their employees, everybody wins. The shadows get a sense of the work they'll be doing next and the employees get a better sense of themselves.
Mike Bodenner says, "It's something that we truly love doing and the staff really gets behind it. When we do events like this they really get energized and are happy to participate in events like this."
Not as happy as A.J. and the other shadows. On this day they're learning several jobs the way the employees at Longhorn Steakhouse do them. And they are learning that they can do the same work.
Dan Hayes says, “It's also very important for people out in the community to understand that our individuals are just like them. They can get out there and do meaningful work." And like A.J.'s dream, make lots of money.
Mosaic's employment support coordinator says having Mosaic clients can help a business become more efficient. Processes are explained and examined and in doing so often find a better way or better understanding of the position.