When Transition Support Specialist Denise Rose met with Dakota Kvintus to discuss his plans after high school, it was clear that he wanted to get a job.
“He was always really shy, but once you get to know him, he was always right there,” Denise said. “He always listened and I always knew he wanted to work.”
After three years of hard work, Dakota recently accepted his first job as a lobby attendant at Wendy’s in Heath.
His support system is celebrating with him. When news of his job hit Facebook, through LICCO and the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities, almost 50 people responded with positivity and well wishes.
So far, things have been going smoothly, Dakota’s mother Rena said
“He really likes working,” she said.
Dakota’s journey to employment started in high school when he participated in several Summer Youth Work Experiences through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.
He started out in the Career Exploration program, visiting different stores and restaurants in the community to learn what jobs might be available.
After graduating in spring 2020, he spent this past summer completing a work experience at Licking/Knox Goodwill Industries before he connected with Jeannette Bush of LICCO, a division of the FUSE Network.
Dakota decided he wanted a job that involved cleaning, so working at Wendy’s — cleaning tables and trays — was a good fit.
Dakota works four days a week, — following COVID-19 precautions and wearing a mask and gloves.
“It’s been great to see him go through the stages of going through Summer Work Experiences, working with a provider to find a job and now he’s working,” Denise said.
When he’s not working, Dakota is involved in Newark Area Special Olympics where he competes in bowling and powerlifting. In high school, he was a runner on the Newark High School Unified Track Team.
Their family recently got back from Disney World, where they celebrated his high school graduation.