Job Placement Program Helping Donka Grad Gain Employment

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In 2003, during his final year of high school, Juan Carlos Quinonez connected with Donka through his counselor at the Division of Rehabilitation Services. He worked with instructor Rick Schopp to learn to use Dragon Naturally Speaking, software that lets users control their computers by speaking.

In 2022, Juan Carlos has returned to Donka for job placement services with Carlos Johnson, our job placement specialist. After losing his job at the start of the pandemic, he’s been searching for a chance to re-enter the workforce, and he says that working with Carlos has boosted his efforts. 

“He gives a sense of hope, and it opens up my possibility to be able to obtain a job,” Juan Carlos said. “I’m very fortunate to be connected to a program like this.”

He’s had negative experiences with job placement in the past, working with some people and organizations that didn’t seem to be interested in his case. But working with Carlos, is different, he said. It’s obvious how focused he is on helping Juan Carlos find a job.

“It’s very reassuring to know that someone actually cares, and they actually try,” he said. “That makes my job a little bit easier because it takes work to get work. It’s very awesome. I feel very confident that I will land a position here soon—with Carlos’ help, of course.”

The two have worked together for a few months now, sending job leads back and forth, identifying opportunities, and setting up interviews. While searching for positions that would be a good fit for him, Juan Carlos also identifies jobs that could be a match for Donka’s other job placement clients and passes them along to Carlos.

It makes sense that he’d have an eye for job opportunities—before the pandemic, he spent nearly 2-and-a-half years working as a recruiter. Juan Carlos said he’s always enjoyed working with people and helping them to find employment was a great way to do that.

But now, he’s hoping to move on to a government position where he’s able to help people navigate the systems he’s worked with for most of his life. He’s been applying to positions with the Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, and the Department of State. 

“Being disabled, I’ve dealt with them over the years, since I was really young,” Juan Carlos said. “I was always intrigued by how the system works, and I love working with people in general. 

Being in that branch of government would keep me connected to the public, and I like making an impact. Government is not a job for me—it’s the job. That’s always been one of my goals.”

While looking forward to new career opportunities, including a pending interview with the Social Security Administration, Juan Carlos reflected on his start at Donka 19 years ago. Training with Rick Schopp, he built computer skills he now considers fundamental.

“That’s another genuine man right there, he’s an inspiration,” Juan Carlos said of Rick. “I always remind him of how slow it used to be back then.”

He’s grateful for the doors opened by Donka’s training and job placement services. Thanks to our donors, volunteers, and staff, he was able to build the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly online world. 2-and-a-half years working as a recruiter. Juan Carlos said he’s always enjoyed working with people and helping them to find employment was a great way to do that.

But now, he’s hoping to move on to a government position where he’s able to help people navigate the systems he’s worked with for most of his life. He’s been applying to positions with the Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, and the Department of State.

“Being disabled, I’ve dealt with them over the years, since I was really young,” Juan Carlos said. “I was always intrigued by how the system works, and I love working with people in general. 

Being in that branch of government would keep me connected to the public, and I like making an impact. Government is not a job for me—it’s the job. That’s always been one of my goals.”

While looking forward to new career opportunities, including a pending interview with the Social Security Administration, Juan Carlos reflected on his start at Donka 19 years ago. Training with Rick Schopp, he built computer skills he now considers fundamental.

“That’s another genuine man right there, he’s an inspiration,” Juan Carlos said of Rick. “I always remind him of how slow it used to be back then.”

He’s grateful for the doors opened by Donka’s training and job placement services. Thanks to our donors, volunteers, and staff, he was able to build the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly online world.

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Contact Information:
Donka, Inc.
400 N. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: 630.665.8169
Email: info@donkainc.org

 

Business Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed

 

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