Richard, or Ricky, as he prefers to be called, was a high school senior who wanted to build his future. He originally enrolled in Blueprints’ Work Based Learning Experiences (WBLE) program, which Blueprints offers in partnership with The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Work Based Learning Experiences are designed to assist 14-21 year old high school students with disabilities with 90-hour paid placements with local employers in the community.  The students receive valuable work experience, along with an hourly stipend and realize their potential to succeed upon high school graduation.

Ricky worked closely with his caseworker Lee as they searched for a positive placement.  Eventually, they located a local contracting company that was willing to participate in the program and accepted Ricky as a general laborer.  Ricky worked there until the summer came to an end and his services were no longer needed.  Because Ricky still had remaining hours to successfully complete his 90 hour placement, Lee reached out to Blueprints’ Maintenance department. Ricky was successfully placed with the maintenance staff and continued to learn different skills. He also gained valuable work experience that would assist him with his future endeavors.  While in the process of participating and completing the program, Ricky was hired on part-time as a store associate at Dunham’s Sporting Goods where he earned a promotion as a team lead.

In the fall of 2017, after creating a resume with the help of Blueprints’ staff, Ricky was hired for a full-time custodial position at Allegheny Intermediate Unit.  The position included a health and wellness benefits package, along with many other perks. Lee continues to remain in contact with Ricky and recently learned that he was able to purchase his own car. Ricky continues to grow as a young adult both personally and professionally. We are proud of him and glad that our imprint on his life made all the difference.