By Karen Morfitt

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– For at least one day a week, Jessicann Smith is at work, and she has no complaints. It’s something she looks forward to.

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“I always as a kid was like into fashion and clothes,” Smith said.

She has been an employee at JCPenney department store for more than a year. For Smith, the work was in finding and landing the job.

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“Sometimes there are like places that don’t work with certain people or it can be difficult,” she said.

That is when she found Bethesda Lutheran Communities and their employment support program for people with disabilities.

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“We try to focus more on the abilities not the disabilities we look at their abilities by doing different assessments, work trials,” Sheree Perez said.

Perez is an employment coach for Bethesda. She says after helping students narrow down interests they go to work with their students.

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“Everything is a process together so they never feel alone,” Perez said.

They train with and even assist students while they are on the clock until they are comfortable working on their own.

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“I have many different jobs, I feel like,” Perez laughed.

For Smith, it was more than a resource to land her first job. It was her first step toward a future in fashion.

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“It’s tough but I like it,” Smith said.

At the end of the month, she will graduate from high school and start as a student at rocky mountain college of art and design in the fall.

LINK: Bethesda Lutheran Communities

Karen Morfitt


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