Coffee with the CEO

Chimes School graduate William Gets a Surprise Visitor at Work

As a student at The Chimes School, William was an artistic kid. Always drawing and doodling. Chimes helped nurture his talent during a summer art program.

Teachers and staff remember William as a well-rounded, hardworking student. He was rather shy and quiet by nature, but learned critical socialization skills at Chimes.

While participating in our job readiness curriculum, William learned basic kitchen and food preparation skills. He took woodworking classes and learned janitorial skills – all of which prepared him for his current job at Keithrys Floworyx.

Chimes also prepares students for the job application and interview process. After William applied and aced his interview, he began work as a dishwasher and busser. William keeps tables clean and orderly between customers and, due to his timeliness and work ethic, is well-liked by his coworkers.

During his first week on the job, William got quite a surprise when Chimes CEO Steve DaRe stopped by the Café. Steve helped bring the Café on as a Chimes campus tenant with the hope that the restaurant would provide opportunities for people with disabilities — and when he heard a Chimes graduate was working there, he just had to stop in and see for himself.

Steve chatted William up about his time at the school — and shared how personally inspiring it was for him to see a star student come full circle, achieving his goal of employment in the food service industry.

In the decade since William graduated from The Chimes School, programs helping students transition from school to workplace have evolved significantly. Students and families know their children will “age out” of the school environment and need to find a path.

Job, skills, and interest surveys help students find their way. Then, Chimes programs promote specific job readiness skills – navigation using maps, conducting practice interviews, using Chromebooks to learn how to write notes to supervisors, and more.

Thanks to friends like you, William is just one of many Chimes graduates thriving in the workforce — but not everyone has had the chance to greet the CEO at their workplace!

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