Jana Kennedy’s Recipe for Significant Employment

Jana Kennedy’s ardour for working within the prep kitchen stems from her relationship along with her grandma. Her grandma, who’s 83 years previous, now has a difficult time cooking. Kennedy took that as a purpose to be taught her method across the kitchen to make issues straightforward on her. It’s one thing she’s enthusiastic about and he or she takes it severely. “It means quite a bit as a result of which means I’m able to take that further load off her, so she gained’t should be like ‘oh, I’ve to cook dinner now,’” Kennedy says. “Like, no grandma, I obtained it.”

A woman smiles for the camera. She's standing outside in front of mountains.

Jana Kennedy used the abilities she developed on the taking part in subject to arrange her for employment.

Her dedication to serving to her grandma impressed her to search out full-time employment and turn into extra unbiased. And the trail to her present place at Steak 48 was one many people with mental disabilities can relate to. Whereas attending the South Facet Occupational Academy, Kennedy was launched to Particular Olympics. Athletics was the primary sport she educated and competed in and finally discovered her approach to snowboarding, flag soccer, and golf. However whereas she loves competing it’s the human interplay that she enjoys essentially the most.

“I really like seeing previous associates and the lecturers that I went to high school with,” she shares. “So, lots of people and the music and the dancing after all.”

For many individuals like Kennedy, Particular Olympics is a lot extra than simply competitors. It’s a pathway to residing an unbiased life and being financially secure. With the assistance of Particular Olympics Illinois employees member Melissa Garritano, Kennedy was on her approach to that aim.

“Melissa Garritano known as me up and requested if I wished to use for this job,” Kennedy says. After the preliminary dialog befell, the 2 started engaged on the applying. And with the assistance of certainly one of Garritano’s associates, Kennedy was in a position to redo and boost her resume a bit.

A group of 4 people pose for a photo in a restaurant.

Kennedy (entrance) and her household rejoice an evening out at Steak 48, the place Kennedy is employed.

Earlier than she was employed in 2021, they took her on a tour of the restaurant and gave her some historical past behind all of it. With a number of positions open, when requested, she opted for prep work.

It wasn’t her abilities with kitchen work or her ardour to be taught cooking for her grandma that gave her the arrogance to use for a job like this. It was Particular Olympics.

“Particular Olympics ready me for this job by telling me what to do and what inquiries to ask,” Kennedy says.

At work, she begins the day by placing on her white chef’s coat and getting ready the knives and different provides for prepping. Earlier than they begin, she all the time remembers to placed on her hair internet, that method nothing will get into the meals. With a tone of pleasure and a little bit of laughter in her voice, Kennedy says her favourite meals to prep is lobster.

“It’s actually enjoyable as a result of it’s troublesome and I like to be taught new issues,” Kennedy says. “They’ve dwell lobster and once they would open the field, you’d have to select them up and put them within the boiling water. Everybody was all the time scared and so I’d do it and joke with everybody.”

She likes to learn in her spare time and enjoys the considered what’s subsequent for her. For now, she’s going to proceed working within the prep kitchen, together with taking part in Particular Olympics and cooking for her grandma. Nevertheless, she’s fast to level out that she’s nonetheless younger and nonetheless within the strategy of discovering her true self, whether or not within the restaurant enterprise or finally going to an establishment of upper studying.