Clare Marchok was new to Evans, Georgia and looking for her dream job — working with young children at a daycare.
Once the family had settled in their new home, Clare started job hunting.
“She called four daycare centers and was offered interviews with two but was not successful. The fact that she persevered shows strength of character on her part and a maturity that was not there a few months ago,” her mother Maeve Marchok said.
Driving through town with her parents Clare spotted a child care center that looked promising. She called to find out more, secured an interview and was quickly hired.
Now six weeks into her new job, she loves talking about the babies and toddlers she cares for at the center. She’s making $9 an hour — with a raise to $10 after her first 60 days —and has a great relationship with the daycare’s director.
This would be impressive for any 19-year-old, but for Clare, who spent her younger years very quiet and shy, showing that much initiative and confidence is a huge victory.
Her parents believe that the experiences and support she got from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities while they were living in Pataskala, helped set her up for success in her new life in Georgia.
“All the services we received set her on the right path and helped with her confidence so that she could make these moves on her own,” Maeve said.
When Service Coordinator Dorothy Booth, first met Clare, she remembers her being very reserved.
But one thing was always clear. Clare knew she wanted to work with young children.
“Whenever I would see little kids outside or at a store, it just clicked,” Clare said.
She spent years volunteering and working at her church’s childcare, gaining lots of first-hand knowledge.
As a sophomore at Watkins Memorial High School, she connected with LCBDD and began working with a service coordinator and Transition Support Specialist Teresa Valentino.
In their conversations, it became clear that Clare needed more experience practicing other workplace skills, such as following directions and completing tasks.
She spent two summers participating in Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities’ summer work experiences — first completing a Career Exploration program and then working at Rural King.
She also spent two years in the I-TEC program at C-TEC.
When she graduated from high school, Clare had experience on her resume as well as an increased sense of confidence. She knew she could show up on time and do the work asked of her.
“It also showed me the types of job I didn’t want to do,” she said.
She considered participating in Project SEARCH at Licking Memorial Hospital, but decided instead to really focus on her dream of working in child care.
She was considering some day care centers in the Pataskala area, when her family made the decision to relocate to Georgia.
Although they moved in July 2020, Maeve has been keeping Dorothy updated on her daughter’s success.
Clare adjusted well to following all the daycare’s COVID rules and is forming great relationships with coworkers.
“My director, she is amazing and she helps me through any questions. She is always there for me,” Clare said.
The staff of the daycare recently threw Clare a surprise birthday party, complete with a cake she could enjoy, despite several allergies.
She’s also been establishing herself as a babysitter in her new neighborhood and is looking forward to finding a church and getting to know her new community.
“It’s just been great watching Clare develop,” Dorothy said during a conversation with the Marchoks via Zoom. “It’s great seeing her on here, participating and sharing about herself and her work.”
Maeve and her husband Don said they are thrilled to see their daughter thrive in Georgia and it’s been great to see her hard work pay off.
They are looking forward to seeing what Clare does in the future and are thankful that her time in Licking County was so beneficial.
“Everyone at the LCBDD was so helpful, it was a wonderful experience. They went above and beyond,” Maeve said. “All the opportunities we had were great, they reinforced to Clare that the one thing she wanted to do was be with young children. It helped her get to the point where she was calling and doing interviews, she was doing it all herself.”