A career leap | Ohio Wesleyan University

A career leap

Ohio Wesleyan Student Interns as a Job Coach, Guide People with Disabilities in the Workplace

By Cole Hatcher

Sonia Levin says Cleveland holds a special place in her heart and she was thrilled to be part of the Summer on the Cuyahoga program. (Photo courtesy of Sonia Levin)

Name: Sonia Levin ’23
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Major: Zoology
Minor: Psychology
OWU Login Live: Summer internship with Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP)

Levin worked as a job coach with Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP) in Cleveland, Ohio. The non-profit organization is committed to being “an agent of positive change, working to advance participation and equality in society for people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio.”

My missions

“My main duties are to train and help people with disabilities navigate the workplace,” Levin said before his internship ended. “The job site I am assigned to is at Petco and I have a group of 3-4 students that I am responsible for. Currently my students are learning how to store, clean and understand proper work behaviors. I work alongside them while they accomplish these tasks and I support them in various ways Some of the means include verbal and gestural prompting, sending reminders and demonstrating effective work.

My favorite moment

“My favorite moment was watching my students improve their new skills throughout their time in the summer youth program that LEAP offers to high school students. As this is the first job for many of these students, I can see and be part of their experience, which is something special.”

Lessons learned

“Some of the lessons I’ve learned from this experience are just to be kind and compassionate to those who may have a harder time understanding or understanding something, whether it’s a physical or cognitive limitation of ‘a person.

“I’ve learned that not everyone has the patience that I can have, but I think in many cases patience is what gets you where you want to be. Working in a non-profit organization isn’t what I thought it was, but learning about what many nonprofits are doing for the community makes me want to get more involved.

“Even if I don’t pursue what I study, I find new experiences and these new experiences will guide me towards what I might want to do in the future.”

My experience in Cleveland

Levin’s internship is coordinated by the Summer on the Cuyahoga program, which aims to show promising students from nine US colleges and universities what the northeast region of Ohio has to offer.

“Since living on the outskirts of Cleveland, Cleveland holds a special place in my heart. I was happy to stay here for the summer, meet new people and see new places I haven’t been before. .”

My career connection

“I had the honor of Mindy Agin (assistant director of internships and externships) helping me to obtain this internship. She first helped me by reviewing my resume, and I continued to use the Career Connection office to meet with Mindy to work on writing a resume, writing a cover letter, then the organization of a fictitious interview.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had with Mindy to go over all of these as they are important if someone wants to apply for a professional job or get an internship like me.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose to attend Ohio Wesleyan for a variety of reasons. I wanted something that reminded me of home, had the major I wanted, and had a sense of community that I can say I found after three years at OWU.

My plans after graduation

“My plans after graduation are undecided, but I would like to either work closely with animals or continue working and learning more about nonprofits. At OWU, I was able to follow many different courses that may not be relevant to my major, but through them I broaden my knowledge and can apply it to real life.

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