(Dis)abilities + Work + Beaverton = No Problem! Introducing Lowa Dilla, employed!

By Dirkse CC Team14 Lowa Dilla

Lowa Dilla is a 21-year-old with a quiet, soft-spoken personality who enjoys basketball, bowling and soccer. Like many young adults, he also likes video games, music and is great with computers. However, Lowa was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and faced challenges with social interaction and communication skills, making it difficult for him to obtain his first paid job.

After graduating from Sunset High School, Lowa attended The Beaverton School District’s Community Transition Program. CTP provides young adults who experience disability the opportunity to obtain real-world experience in the community through volunteer work sites, money management, food preparation and public transportation training. All skills to help attendees become more independent and enable them to contribute and work in their community. With the help of The State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Community Pathways, Inc. (County Brokerage Services) and Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc., Lowa was able to participate in a program called “Discovery.” During the Discovery process he had opportunities to combine his interests, strengths, skills and abilities with career opportunities in the community. This resulted in a job shadow opportunity at a local Arby’s Restaurant.

Glenn Bishop, Sr. Employment Specialist with Dirkse CC assisted Lowa in this process, introducing him to Arby’s and facilitating the job shadow experience. Based on past experience Glenn had an idea this would be a good fit for Lowa and as a result of a successful job shadow, Lowa was offered his first paid job as a Lobby Attendant.

With the direction of Job Coach Wynter Lyons of Dirkse CC, Lowa is now learning new tasks and thriving! Wynter stated “he is getting more and more independent; he opens doors for customers, he is interacting more with customers and taking initiative with job tasks!” Mr. Bishop shared “He has enough guidance to help him feel confident, but enough space to let him grow.”

Lowa takes pride in his job, he is dependable and is learning new tasks like washing dishes and he is part of the team at Arby’s. “I like working here, I have my own money and debit card.” That is the goal of Dirkse CC to help people reach their career goals; to contribute, to belong, to enjoy work and to be financially independent, that is a job well done for all involved.

If you would like more information on how to become a more diverse and inclusive employer, contact Business Development Manager, Cindy Bahl at 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com