Rising to the Challenge!

Meet Bolton M.

Bolton came to Challenge from BOCES in 2013. He started in Challenge Day Hab(ilitation) and Pre-Vocational programs, working in the Ithaca College Dish Rooms and Contract Production with heavy support from these services. When he started the Pathway to Employment (ETP) program with Challenge in 2014, his inconsistent effort and attendance threatened his participation in both the Pre-Vocational and PTE programs.

But, in the spring of 2015, Bolton made a concerted effort, with encouragement and support from family and Challenge staff, to buckle down and take his participation and desire to become employed and strive towards independence more and more seriously. His hard work led to an opportunity to work at The Hangar Theater via the PTE program, through the grace of Production Manager, Adam Zonder and the Hangar Crew. This allowed Bolton to concentrate on his work at the Hangar exclusively as Bolton applied, got accepted and started working through NYS’s Employment Training Program (ETP) in the fall of 2015; all while being supported by Challenge staff Job Coaches for the entirety of every shift.

Within a few months, this led to Bolton working and getting paid as a NYS employee through ETP. With several more months of hard work, Bolton was able to need less job coaching and, in May of 2016, get hired on the Hangar Theater’s payroll for one day a week! Bolton still works that one day a week for the Hangar, without a Job Coach, as well as other days throughout the week on a more random schedule for ETP with a Job Coach working with him in a more minimal capacity. Bolton hopes to continue to become more independent inside and outside of work and get hired on for more weekdays at the Hangar Theater as he grows out of the ETP program.

Great Job Bolton! Hard work and persistence pays off!

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