To celebrate here at The Ramble Collective we would like to highlight some of our graduates’ employment achievements!
Isabelle, Nothing Bundt Cakes
Isabelle has been working at Nothing Bundt Cakes since September 2021. Her love for baking makes her the perfect fit for this position. Isabelle helps customers select their cakes and carefully boxes them for the road. Amy Long, owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Boulder, has nothing “bundt” wonderful things to say about Isabelle. “Isabelle is such an incredible addition to our team! She has such a great energy and a wonderful work ethic!”
Diego, McGuckin Hardware
Diego has been working at McGuckin Hardware for 4 years. He works as a cashier and supports other staff.
For a time during Covid, he pivoted to curbside pickup. Diego’s job was to locate items and schedule them for customer pickup.
His favorite thing about working as a cashier is the camaraderie with coworkers and being able to connect with the customers and their dogs.
Kendra, Into the Wind
Hired in November 2021, Kendra works at Into the Wind, a Pearl Street Mall toy store. She receives new product while also filling and shipping online orders. Kendra says that the best part of her job is getting to work with all the colorful kites, especially the pink and purple ones, her two favorite colors!
Bailey, Hygiene Elementary School
Throughout her apprenticeship at Ramble on Pearl, Bailey often mentioned her desire to work with children.
Since January of this year, Bailey has worked as an assistant in the after-school program at Hygiene Elementary School. Her duties include supervising children’s outside activities, crafts and snack time.
Bailey says snack time is the best part of her shift!
Kacey celebrated her fourth anniversary at the Shinesty warehouse this January! Her responsibilities include hand picking the items chosen by online customer, packing and preparing the orders for shipment. Kacey loves being around all of the employees and their dogs. Travis, Kacey’s supervisor, had this to say abut her, “Without Ramble’s apprentice program we may never have considered hiring someone as awesome as Kacey. And we’re super glad we did!“
Gray, Boulder Housing Partners
Gray has been working with Boulder Housing Partners for almost three years. As a Maintenance Administrative Assistant, he keeps track of, completes, and closes all maintenance work order requests from BHP residents.
When asked about the best part of his job, Grey replied that he loves the flexibility of his position!
Will, King Soopers
Will works as a General Merchandise Clerk at King Soopers. He is a big help to the store where he unloads the boxes of items and makes sure everything looks organized on the shelves.
What’s the best part of the job? “Everyone is super nice.”
Kailey, Crumbl Cookies
Kailey joined the Crumbl Cookies team as an assistant baker in the beginning of December 2021.
“I love the people I work with, and the job is fun!,” Kailey explained while describing her position. Best part about the job? When her shift is over, Kailey gets a free cookie! Who wouldn’t like that?!
Meet Isabelle, one of Nothing Bundt Cakes’ newest employees and a resident at 30Pearl here in Boulder!
We’ve known Isabelle and her mom for a couple of years now and helped facilitate connections to help Isabelle find a part-time job in the past and an apartment at 30 Pearl. Most recently, Isabelle reached out to Ramble after she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. She moved into one of the affordable apartments at 30Pearl built by Boulder Housing Partners that were allocated to adults with IDD.
After getting settled into her apartment, Isabelle was ready to find a job and joined our Ramble Opportunities job placement program with hopes of finding a position and a company to allow her to shine.
While helping Isabelle with her job search, The Ramble Collective was featured in The Daily Camera with a story about how our organization and our apprentices persevered during the pandemic. Nothing Bundt Cakes was inspired by the article and reached out to see if we had any candidates to fit their needs. Isabelle loves to bake and jumped at the opportunity to apply for a position at Nothing Bundt Cakes.
After interviewing Isabelle, Amy Long, Nothing Bundt Cakes’ owner, saw a perfect fit and brought her on board! Isabelle started her new job in September 2021, and she loves it. “I love cooking, so this job was perfect for me.” Isabelle adds, “I am the person who frosts the cakes and I also help box up the cakes for customers; I’m learning a lot.” The folks at Nothing Bundt Cakes are delighted to have become one of our employer partners by hiring Isabelle and have been increasing her hours as she continues to show value to their organization.
Meet Will, Ramble On Pearl’s newest apprentice! Will approached The Ramble Collective while he was working at Goodwill to explore new career opportunities and expand his skillset. Like other apprentices, Will was first hired on as a candidate where he had a chance to explore the work environment and make sure the program was a good fit. During that time, Will also expanded his knowledge in customer service and learned valuable skills he could use in his future career, such as interacting with customers, working the cash register, folding clothing, and stocking shelves.
Will excelled during his trial period and quickly became a star at communicating with customers while keeping the store in tip-top shape. He attributes a big part of this to the work environment at Ramble On Pearl. “It’s my favorite work environment that I’ve experienced because of the people surrounding me and the positive energy,” adds Will. “A relaxed vibe and friendly faces are what really make it stand out.”
Will hopes to find a stocking position soon. His other aspiration is to become a voice actor for one of his favorite animated shows – something he enjoys doing in his spare time, along with spending time with friends. Welcome, Will!
Daniela came to Boulder Treasures in Summer 2019 hoping to work at Walgreen’s — a goal she attained by December. It’s been highly rewarding. A job “makes me feel that I am part of the community. . . . I also like the money,” she laughs.
At Ramble, she became skilled at the cash register. “The money piece, I mastered,” she says. “I didn’t really think I would be able to do [that], because I’ve always had a hard time counting money.” At Walgreen’s, she became a main cashier on her shifts. Daniela credits Ramble or helping her become successful. “Ramble did an excellent job teaching her skills,” notes her mother, “and continuing on once she was hired at Walgreen’s was very useful and helpful.”
Daniela worked through the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress of masks and protective gear finally became too much. She needed a break. Ramble’s training proved helpful again. Apprentices learn to plan their leaves. Accordingly, Daniela gave notice so her manager could adjust. If you just leave, she points out, “you won’t get a good recommendation.” She handled it so well, her supervisor says she is welcome back as soon as she’s ready.
Across Boulder County, hundreds of adults with developmental disabilities are looking to join the workforce. They are capable, willing, and hardworking, just like Master Apprentice Nino, a young professional, Psychology major at CU-Boulder, and an individual on the autism spectrum.
Individuals with developmental disabilities deserve the chance to feel the satisfaction of a job well done. They deserve the connection to community that employment provides.
All they need are some resources, moral support, and that ever-important first job on their resume. And, that’s exactly what our Apprentice Program at Ramble on Pearl is all about.
Ramble helps Nino come out of her shell and learn life skills, like:
- greeting customers,
- sharing Ramble’s mission,
- providing high quality customer service,
- handling clothes in a retail setting,
- cleaning the store, and
- taking initiative!
She has also become more responsible at home, like when taking out the family dog, Ripley, for walks and being more thorough in her household chores.
Nino’s grateful to her mom, who was supportive in helping her connect with the Apprentice Program at Ramble.
Her favorite parts of being an Apprentice are the relaxing atmosphere, focused tasks, and calming music at the store.
Nino says that she is still learning to trust her judgement and take initiative, and is making progress on developing those skills every day!
When working at the store, Nino’s favorite responsibilities on the job include:
- “beautifying” the store,
- working in back of the house,
- steaming clothes,
- selling at the cash register,
- and greeting customers.
She’s even promoted Ramble online, with this virtual tour in the video below!
Your Support on Colorado Gives Day Makes our Apprentice Program Possible for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
You help make dreams come true when you contribute to Ramble’s Apprentice Program.
100% of your gift is tax-deductible and supports Ramble on Pearl as we create pathways to employment for adults with developmental disabilities.
Thank you for making Apprentice opportunities possible!
Schedule Your Donation Now
$100 – Sponsor an apprentice with one week of wages at Ramble.
$300 – Sponsor one of our program graduates with one year of monthly check-ins.
$2,500 – Sponsor the wages for an apprentice for the duration of their training at Ramble.
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Gray came to Ramble on Pearl having some paid work experience and excellent skills. Immediately Gray’s job coach could tell that he was one of the most thoughtful, diligent, conscious apprentices that she had encountered. However, Gray felt his confidence was his biggest obstacle to obtaining meaningful community employment. Gray was very nervous around his job coaches, coworkers and especially customers. Recognizing early on that confidence-building would be critical for Gray’s ability shine in community employment, we immediately went to work building that self-assuredness in him. Through the supportive Ramble environment, Gray learned to make autonomous decisions, trust his judgment, and perhaps most importantly, allowed his incredible personality and attributes to shine through, to customers and coworkers alike!
Gray demonstrated his growth again when it was time to look for jobs in the community. Although he was still nervous about this process, he approached it with an amazing attitude and confidence like his team had never seen. Not only did he rock his interview and get offered a position on the spot… after starting he immediately began to integrate into his new work culture. His job coach watched him very intentionally work to get to know his co-workers at Boulder Housing Partners. The clearest example of this was when Gray, not even a month after starting the new position, participated in a group costume event for Halloween! Gray and all his coworkers dressed up as a flight crew and attendants with Gray, a pilot, absolutely embodying the theme.
Gray’s journey has been a shining example of the personal and professional growth that Ramble on Pearl staff get to witness every day.
Jared started at Ramble not having any sense of what type of profession he would like to pursue. He had never had a job, and was unsure if he would enjoy working with clothing. However, Jared’s job coach soon recognized that he did wonderful work with the clothes in the store, as well as with coworkers and customers. Jared’s has an infectious sense of humor, which quickly made his coworkers and job coach giggle right alongside him. One day, while working on a glittery window display, Jared coughed and then said “I think I swallowed some glitter. I must be sparkling on the inside!”
When it was time for Jared to find employment in the community, he was very open-minded and explored many possibilities. But he realized that he really enjoyed working with fun clothes. Therefore, Jared and his job coach explored the possibility of a position at Shinesty, Inc, which produces the most fun and outlandish clothing available on the market. Jared interviewed for a fulfillment and distribution team position and was offered the job! Jared packs clothing orders and includes a handwritten, personalized note in each one of them. After a short time on the job, he is almost as quick in his tasks as his seasoned coworkers, and has grown quite fond of working with them. Now he prefers asking his coworkers questions rather than his job coach… and that kind of independent working is precisely the objective of the Apprenticeship Program at Ramble on Pearl!
June 2017 Introduction:
Matthew is currently a Master Apprentice at Ramble on Pearl and never fails to brighten up the day with his sense of humor and great outlook. Matt has demonstrated that he has an exceptional inclination for retail and customer service! Customers are consistently impressed with the exceptional level of service they have received from Matt, and he regularly gets comments that he has done a great job or that he was the best part of their shopping experience at Ramble! Matt has an amazing greeting to incoming customers that explains that Ramble on Pearl is a nonprofit store that teaches job skills to adults with developmental disabilities. Customers always respond so positively to Matt’s greeting, and it makes them more inclined to purchase at the store. Matt is also an exceptional artist, and has done artwork for the chalkboard sign that sits outside the store to attract customers inside.
Matt has demonstrated his proficiency in all the tasks that Ramble on Pearl’s Apprenticeship Program wants individuals in the program to achieve. Therefore, he has graduated into the Job Development program, which means that Matt and his job coach are currently looking for independent community employment. Matt’s enjoyment and exceptional skill at customer service make him an ideal candidate for a retail position. He is specifically interested in Target, Best Buy, or Toys R Us. Matt will undoubtedly proved to be an absolute asset to whatever team he ends up being a part of in community employment!
November 2018 Update:
Matt has now been a member of the stocking team at Target for over a year, and during that time his position and responsibilities greatly expanded! When the store experienced a fire this past summer and needed to completely restock the entire store due to water and smoke damage, Matt stepped up alongside his team and for a short period of time, worked mornings nearly every day of the week. As a result of this hard work, the store was quickly restocked and Matt was thanked for his dedicated team contribution.
Several times over the months, Matt has been recognized by his supervisor in front of his entire team as being vital to the department. We heard Matt was beaming ear to ear as his contribution has been met with applause and cheers. Matt is an incredible example of what an asset Ramble graduates are to community employers!
Within several weeks of his apprenticeship at Ramble on Pearl, Zachary demonstrated his incredible work ethic and desire for autonomy at work. Every day, Zachary would come in and demonstrate through his actions his desire and appreciation for employment. Zachary’s job coach was always able to trust that he was being thorough in all of his tasks and never cutting corners. Zachary quickly became a Master Apprentice and graduated from the program, then he and his job coach began looking for community employment. Zachary’s dream job was working at Target and that is the first place they applied. Zachary got an interview at Super Target of Superior and wore the Target uniform of a red polo and khakis to his interview for a cart attendant position. He was offered the job the spot!
Zachary has excelled in his position at Target. He comes in every day with a great attitude, prepared for his shift. Zachary’s supervisors have noted that Zachary never complains when other employees would about some of the physical demands of being a cart attendant. They also report that he has become efficient at his tasks and is a great example of the work ethic that Target values in its employees. Zachary has also developed great bonds with his his fellow employees. Zachary’s coworkers love seeing him in action and even report that he brightens their days! Zachary has been able to pick up additional shifts and responsibilities due to this work ethic and consistency. Target has ended up being a perfect fit for Zachary and his contribution is incredibly valued there. We’re proud of and excited for you, Zachary!
Bryan has always had big dreams of being independent. Upon first entering the Apprenticeship Program at Ramble, Bryan told his job coach that he wants to gain independent employment because he wants to become self-sufficient and be able to support himself. Bryan excitedly explained that he has ambitions of becoming a chef. Being a chef would allow Bryan to do something that he would be passionate about while providing him a way to be more autonomous in his day-to-day life. Bryan eventually wants to have his own apartment, pay his own bills and have a family. Bryan came to Ramble on Pearl understanding that independent community employment will not only allow him to utilize his strengths in a way that makes him feel fulfilled and accomplished, but will also help him attain his other goals like financial self-sufficiency.
Bryan is only a couple years out of high school and during that time, he has explored multiple approaches to achieve his dreams. Bryan was able to grow substantially both professionally and personally as a result of these experiences but ultimately he decided he wanted to utilize additional supports in his quest to achieve all of his aspirations. Since beginning at Ramble, Bryan has made momentous steps in developing professional skills that will aid him in community employment. Bryan excels at being thorough and complete in all of the tasks and he always strives to have exceptional work ethic. Bryan has a great attitude every day and is eager to learn new tasks. His favorite tasks are counting the register during opening procedures, cleaning mirrors and placing Ramble logo stickers on bags. Bryan continues to learn new skills every day and his drive for independent employment is a shining example of Ramble on Pearl’s mission.