Student Success Story
Submitted By: Colton/Redlands/Yucaipa ROP
Achieving Financial Independence
Chonjaceai graduated in 2012 from Colton High School. Her dream and life goal while in school was live on her own. Chonjaceai’s mom stated that shortly after her daughter graduated from high school, Chonjaceai was ready to move on. They both realized that in order for this to happen successfully, there was a lot of work to do.
Chonjaceai participated in the WorkAbility1 Program.
The first step was for Chonjaceai to establish a source of income. She applied for SSI benefits and became a client of Employment and Community Options Independent Living Services. Chonjaceai worked at the Dollar Tree. Some of the skills she gained from her work experience were how to maintain professional conduct, communicate with others and follow directions.
The second step was to learn the life skills that would be necessary for a successful transition. With the help of her family, Chonjaceai learned to do laundry, cook meals, clean, and be aware of her surroundings. These tasks were of great benefit to her independence. The greatest challenge that Chonjaceai faced was the repetitive routine of keeping the learned skills in place.
On August 1, 2013, Chonjaceai’s dream came true! She moved into her very own apartment! She has a roommate and they enjoy many of the same activities, swimming, watching movies, and just hanging out.
Chonjaceai says that she misses her family, but they are just a phone call away. She recommends this experience to others. Her smile alone tells a story about the great accomplishments she has achieved. Her family is very proud of her and will continue to support and encourage her in her life accomplishments.