Sunny outlook spells success for Schoolcraft native
Nathan is happy he was chosen as an ISK success story. In fact, “happy” is a keyword in his life. Friendly and enthusiastic, Nathan enjoys keeping busy with his jobs, his hobbies, and his community. He’s quick to smile and laugh, and unfailingly polite.
Since the start of the pandemic, Nathan, 30, has focused on finding work. With help from his ISK Supports Coordinator, Ambika, he connected with Michigan Rehabilitation Services, a statewide network of vocational rehabilitation services that helps young adults with disabilities. Then he worked with an employment training specialist at MRC Community Employment, and wound up getting not just one, but two jobs!
Today, Nathan works at the McDonald’s in his hometown of Schoolcraft and at H&B Market in Portage. What he likes most about his jobs is “people being nice to me,” he says. “I help people. I stock shelves at the market. That’s a fun job, I like it. At McDonald’s, I mop, clean the tables, and take garbage outside.” Nathan also volunteers to help clean at one of his favorite places: Schoolcraft Community Library, where he likes to go on his days off to use the computers. He can walk there from his home, where he lives with his mom and dad.
One challenge Nathan has faced is finding transportation to his jobs. He contacted Metro Connect, which offers rides throughout Kalamazoo County with discounted fares for people with disabilities. Now he’s on their schedule –– and proud of solving the problem on his own. “All by myself, I did that,” he states.
In his spare time, Nathan indulges in his love for sports. He likes to watch baseball, hockey, and other games on TV. He’s a fan of the Tigers and the Red Wings, and also the Schoolcraft Eagles.
At home, Nathan is caring and responsible. “I’m good at chores,” he reports. “I have a small dog named Harley, a wiener dog.” He says he walks Harley, mows the lawn, and “I take the garbage outside every day by myself.”
Asked what makes him a success, Nathan answers, “I’m happy!” He adds, “I am very nice. I am very kind. I like to talk to a lot of people on the phone.” Nathan also deeply appreciates ISK: “I like the people here. They’re super nice.” … Just like him.