Community Partnership

Gaining Confidence & Building Skills

"Emily is really funny and nice, and she tries to help where she can. We like having her here a lot”

Theresa Schrand

a woman wearing a hair net and apron arranges small milk cartons in a kitchen
a woman wearing a hair net and apron high-fives her coworker in a kitchen

Emily Boehl likes to keep things neat and organized at her job as a part-time, cafeteria assistant. She keeps a steady supply of milk lined up in rows by flavor, carefully making sure students can see the labels as they file through the line.

Boehl, 21, has been working at St. Clement’s School in St. Bernard for the past six months, thanks to a program called Pathways to Employment at Scarlet Oaks.

She began attending Pathways three years ago, after her senior year at St. Rita’s School for the Deaf. At first Boehl, who has an intellectual disability and apraxia, was anxious and struggled to communicate with her iPad.

“The teachers and coaches at Pathways have helped Emily to feel proud of herself, more confident in her abilities, and build her vocational skills,” said Olivia Cope, her HCDDS service and support administrator.

Boehl and her family regularly attend Mass at St. Clement Church, and the familiar faces helped boost her confidence on the job. “Emily is really funny and nice, and she tries to help where she can. We like having her here a lot,” said Theresa Schrand, her supervisor.

She overcame significant hurdles and, when asked if she likes her job, Boehl gave a very confident “thumbs up” and a big smile.

Boehl graduated from Pathways in May and received the R.A. Horn Award for outstanding student achievement at a ceremony in Columbus on June 11. The Pathways to Employment team also earned the Franklin B. Walter Award for outstanding educators.

This story first appeared on our Employment Spotlight blog in June 2019. See more stories here.