My name is Michael Berglund, and I attend a program called Transition 99. If you do not know what Transition 99 is, I will tell you; it is a program that teaches young individuals vocational skills such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting your money, and how to dress, and act on a job. If you continue to read through this paper, you will learn about my favorite leisure activities, meals, three skills I need to work on, skills that I improved, job training, and finally how am I going to apply these skills over the summer.
While I was attending Transition 99, I noticed that some of my skills had improved. For example, I improved my professionalism of my emails. My emails are more articulate, and concise. I no longer digress from the main point. The emails I send are more formal, and professional. I also noticed that I have improved my ability to advocate for myself. Whenever I am struggling with a task, I will ask for assistance, or if I am having difficulty understanding something, I will ask for clarification. Another skill I have improved is my ability to manage my anger. Whenever I am feeling very stressed or frustrated with a task, I will ask if I can take a break.
Even though I made an immense amount of improvements in my vocational skills, there a few things I would like to work on. For instance, I need to be less apologetic, especially for simplest things. For example, I would apologize for walking in front of someone or if I am standing in their way. My colleagues and teachers would often tell me that I do not need to apologize. Another skill I desperately need to work on is time management. There have been times where I nearly miss my scheduled ride, because I am either too focused on my work or I just lose track of time.
There are still a lot of skills I need to work on, but in my opinion, Transition 99 has taught me the most crucial skill, and that is how to be professional on a job. Transition 99 has taught there students how to be professional by having the students work on job sites. If you do not know what a job site is, a job site is an internship where a student can earn valuable work experience while earning income. The students are paid by a government grant. Now that I have explained what a job site is, I will be talking about the job sites I worked on.
I job trained at the Downers Grove Township, and at Walgreens. I am a clerical assistant at the Downers Grove Township. I mostly did office work which would include making copies, mailing, organizing papers, and organizing people’s names on the computer. The people who I work with are kind, understanding, and fun to work with. There is a bit of a family atmosphere. The area where I work is very quiet and peaceful which helps me to focus on my work. The work that I do at the Downers Grove Township can be a bit boring at times. Since I sit for long periods of time at my desk, I need to take breaks to stretch my legs, and walk around. The work does not require a lot of physical labor, nor is it stressful. The building is normally quiet. I would not recommend this job to anyone who can’t sit still for long periods of time, and hates repetitive work. I would recommend this job to someone who enjoys working in quiet environments, and does not mind doing simple work.
Working at Walgreens was very different experience. The environment I worked in was loud, and sometimes chaotic. I was a stock boy at Walgreens. I mostly stocked, and removed products that were close to their expiration date. I have to carry and transfer heavy red or blue crates filled with merchandise. I was also required to assist customers or find someone who could help them. I had to remember a lot of passwords, and stand for long periods of time. Sometimes there would not be any work to do until the next shipment of boxes arrived, so I had to wait in the break room. There would be days where there was barely anything to do, and days when everyone was bombarded with work. I did not like job training at Walgreens as much as I did at the Downers Grove Township
Besides vocational skills, we did fun activities such as going out to eat, art, or cooking. One of my favorite places to go out to eat with transition is the Mr. Submarine fast food restaurant. I really enjoyed their submarine sandwiches, and fries. I was normally out of the building, so I rarely had a chance to partake in an art project. On the days when I was available to participate in an art project, I would become ecstatic, because I found art to be very relaxing, soothing, calming, tranquil, and quiet. These are the reasons why I find art to be very enjoyable. Another activity I enjoy doing is cooking. One of the reasons why I enjoy cooking is that I am able to apply this crucial skill in my everyday life. Another reason why I enjoy cooking is that I get to learn new dishes or recipes. Fr\or example, we the students of transition 99 learned how to make a blueberry shake. The blueberry shake is my personal favorite recipe, because not only is it delicious to drink, it is also refreshing and nutritious. These are my reasons why cooking is such an enjoyable activity. Cooking is a fun activity, and is a fundamental skill to learn in order to become independent.
I will apply the skills I learned from the Transition 99 program at home during the summer. For example, I will attempt to try some of the recipes I learned in Transition 99 at home with supervision. I will make a list of ingredients I will need for the recipe, and estimate the cost of the ingredients. I will also use my budgeting skills, and the transportation service Pace to go out to eat at a restaurant. Because of the skills that were taught to me by Transition 99, and the services they suggested to me, I am more independent.