Hello! My name is Hannah Rose Kandel. My family and friends sometimes call me Hannie or Rosie, but I also like to be called HannieRosie. I’m 27 ½ years old and live in Naples, Florida. I’d like to share with you some recent steps I’ve taken toward an office job and a bright, fulfilling future.
When I was 25 years old, my mom asked me if I was interested in finding programs that would help me in the office world. My parents were so proud of me that I wanted to be an adult and to live more independently. We spoke with Kris, a family friend, and she agreed to live with me in Doral, Florida, for 10 months, so I could attend the Dan Marino Foundation Program. The Dan Marino Foundation serves college-aged students with additional needs.
Dan Marino offers three different tracks: Hospitality, Microsoft Office, and A+. I enrolled in the Microsoft Office track because I knew I wanted a job in an office setting. I went to technology classes on the Florida International University campus multiple times a week for the 10-month period. I found these classes interesting.
Also during this period, I spent six months at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office as an intern doing office work so I could gain additional, real-world, real-life experiences. The internship was challenging in the adult world, but it was very helpful. The time in Miami was also a bit of a challenge, but it gave me the opportunity to live out of my parents’ house for the first time.
In June of 2018, I passed all three certifications on the Microsoft office track – Word, Excel, and Outlook – and completed my internship at the law office. These completions made me feel happy and accomplished. Then, it was time to move back home to Naples.
I thought it would now be easy to get an office job. Not so easy! I wanted to get a job at the courthouse like my internship in Miami, but the courthouse said I had to go through Kelly Services first. It’s a company that helps you find office work. The staff at Kelly Services said I had to improve my typing skills first at typing.com in order to become an office worker. Once I did that, I had several interviews but still no job offers. Idela and Jazmin at Interpreting & Application Services LLC helped me more with job searches and interviews. During the four months after Miami, I learned a lot about job-hunting!
After four months of searching for a job, I accepted a job offer at the STARability Foundation as an administrative assistant. It was a great match for me and for STARability! STARability is a nonprofit organization that supports adults with additional needs. I work there three days a week, and I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary. I love to work on my assigned tasks at hand, such as paperwork, filing, shredding, and organizing.
My colleagues have become my friends. One of them is Susan, who became my roommate! Now, we have an apartment together and she is helping me grow my independent living skills. We have so much fun together! Living with Susan is awesome and we are great friends.
I’m looking forward to one day working full-time, having a family of my own, traveling and living independently, and continuing to make friends and learn from new experiences. I’m looking forward to the growth of my life!
Written by Hannah Rose Kandel