In the summer of 2011, Kerry was a high school graduate who hadn’t yet had the opportunity to experience the world of work. She learned of Portal’s Employment Services program, which assists individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities explore and obtain employment with community businesses.
Approximately 3 - 5% of Wisconsin adults live with serious mental illness. Only 22% of those adults receive services through the Wisconsin Public Mental Health System (2010 National Alliance on Mental Illness — Wisconsin Statistics). Portal provides services to this adult population, including Kerry.
Like any teenager, Kerry liked to express her personality, which included her hair streaked bright red, and to show her love of animals by wearing a dog collar necklace.
In January 2012, she secured a job at Critter Supply in Cedarburg. Unfortunately, the job ended for a variety of reasons. After considering her options, Kerry pursued an educational path at MATC, but this path ended quickly. She reconnected with Portal, Inc. for resources and support. An excellent candidate to develop and learn self-directed approaches in securing employment, Kerry developed skills in resume preparation, successful job search techniques, soft skills and personal presentation. Skills provided through resources Portal established with monies from United Way Northern Ozaukee.
On May 16, 2014, Kerry was hired at Ker-Mor Pet Grooming. She’s involved with the animals, learning to groom dogs. By September, Kerry was considered a “successful closure” by Portal, meaning she was actively continuing her employment. Being successful at a dream job — what more does anyone ask for? Congratulations, Kerry!
United Way of Northern Ozaukee has been a partner with Portal since 1977.