October 16, 2020
An open letter from Liz and Greg Iorio, parents of #OCGoodwill Supported Employment Program Participant Ben Iorio, about how his Goodwill job coach has positively impacted Ben's life.
Dear Goodwill of Orange County,
I am writing to you about my son, Ben Iorio, who is on the autism spectrum and his job coach, Carlos Linos.
I believe Carlos has been Ben's job coach at Camp Pendleton for about 3 1/2 years. Within those years, Ben has grown and matured so much with the coaching, guidance and mentorship of Carlos.
Ben came to the job with not much knowledge of mess hall duties, let alone being on your feet for hours at a time, 5 days a week. Ben has been coached through the growing pains of manual labor with sensitivity, yet with strong instruction to get the job done correctly. Carlos is patient, kind and forthright when needed. He has a way of balancing the work expected to the limitations of the employee, being an advocate for Ben when its needed.
The consistency that Carlos provides is such an important part of Ben's growth. Carlos recently helped with Ben when he began driving the freeway to get to work by himself. Independence of any aspect, is the goal and Carlos helped facilitate this with following Ben in his car and getting him to the correct place with correct speeds and etiquette for the RapidGate entrance to the Camp Pendleton marine base. Of course, this was not a “one time” event. It was a process that took several weeks to accomplish. I am pleased to announce Ben now drives to work on his own and is always on time to work to meet up with Carlos.
In addition, the Covid19 pandemic currently has all of us saddled with worry and anxiety. Within the autism spectrum, anxiety is a huge affliction which Ben suffers from. He manages it pretty well but with this added global anxiety, Ben has been mentally drained, at times. Carlos has been a mentor to Ben and has coached him through this added anxiety at work. Ben feels comfortable talking with Carlos when something is bothering him. Carlos has been a refuge for Ben while at work when his anxiety surfaces. That quality in Carlos has proven to be a life saver in those difficult moments lately.
You often times hear about the things that are unfavorable within a work atmosphere and I wanted to highlight the positive things that have been going on for the last 3 1/2 years regarding our son, Ben, and his job coach Carlos.
Thank you, Goodwill, for providing the quality teamwork and heartfelt employees to help support our son gain valuable knowledge, work experience, acceptance and independence. It does not go unnoticed and we truly appreciate what your company does, day in and day out.
Liz & Greg Iorio