As published in Curry College's Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter:
Curry Dining Services is proud to announce our partnership with the May Institute. The May Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Since its founding over 60 years ago, May Institute has evolved into a national network that serves thousands of individuals and their families.
Our partnership began in January with the hiring of James Fishkind. James's employment with us has been a win/win for everyone.
James works 2-3 lunch shifts per a week accompanied by Vocational Coordinator-Nick Wagner or one of the May Institute's great staff. While working at Curry, James performs a variety of duties including: cleaning tables in the dining room, sorting silverware in our dishroom, and preparing condiment setups in the kitchen. This opportunity allows James to not only practice job skills but also to practice interacting with co-workers & customers.
As your partner, we have the common goal of serving the larger community outside of Curry College. Those with disabilities are dedicated and hard working. We look forward to growing our partnership with the May Institute.
To provide some background about James and the partnership, here is a letter written by Nicholas Wagner, Vocational Coordinator at the Todd Fournier Center for Employment Training and Community Inclusion (part of the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities):
James is a student at the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Randolph, Mass. He is in a class with six peers in the May Center’s Employment Center, the Todd Fournier Center for Employment Training and Community Inclusion where he receives instruction in functional academics, social, vocational, and life skills.
James excels in various vocational skill areas especially cleaning tasks. He has always had an interest in working in the food service industry and has worked in the Todd Fournier Center’s cafeteria, Todd’s Café, for several years doing food preparation, dishwashing, and various cleaning routines. In the winter of 2017, James got a job at Sodexo - Curry College as a part-time utility person. He works alongside his job coaches to clean tables in the dining room, maintain food service areas, as well as sort silverware in the dish room.
With the help of Keith, Julio, Karen, and many more amazing staff members in the Curry College kitchen and dining hall, James feels right at home at Curry College. He loves going to work and takes immense pride in the work that he does. With the opportunity that Sodexo-Curry College has provided James, he has learned valuable vocational skills and, of equal importance, he has built meaningful relationships with his coworkers.
Thank you to everyone in the Curry College community for welcoming James!