Stephen Jones has been a friendly, smiling face at Shore Medical Center for several years, first working in the linen department as part of Atlantic County Special Services School District’s (ACSSSD) School-to-Work Program, and now as a full-time housekeeping employee, where he is flourishing.
On Oct. 7, Stephen was honored by JEVS Human Services based in Philadelphia with its Inspiration Award for his efforts to overcome adversity to find fulfilling employment.
He accepted his award during a virtual version of JEVS’ 22nd annual fundraising event, “Strictly Business.” His acceptance can be viewed at the 24:00 mark of the video at this link: https://www.jevshumanservices.org/support-jevs/strictly-business-2020/
After graduation from ACSSSD, Stephen connected with JEVS Human Services’ hireAbility program, which assists individuals living with a disability or chronic disease by preparing them for competitive employment and community integration.
He wanted to continue working at Shore Medical Center, so hireAbility Career Navigator Kim Callahan worked with his manager to see if there was a position that matched his strengths. They negotiated a two-day-week to start, and Stephen was back working at Shore until the pandemic hit.
He opted to stay home until he felt comfortable, but when a five-day-a-week job opportunity at Shore arose in June, he jumped at the chance. While he found wearing a mask challenging at first, his mother and career navigator worked to find a mask that Stephen could comfortably wear.
Baylen Botts is the Director of Environmental Services, Patient Transportation and Linen Distribution, and is Stephen’s supervisor. He says Stephen has been a joy to work with.
“Stephen has an infectious enthusiasm that brightens everyone’s day,” Botts said. “He takes his work seriously and he often points out safety concerns around the building as they occur. He continually expresses how grateful he is to work here with us and he always speaks to everyone he comes in contact with. I am very proud of him, and I am glad to see him receive recognition for the things that he has accomplished so far.”