As CORE continues to add counties to our service areas, we are always amazed at the number of businesses who welcome our participants with open arms. The idea of extending discovery, work experience, or job placement opportunities to individuals with disabilities can make some business leaders uncomfortable. Their concerns can sometimes outweigh their desire to help those with the greatest need. We are so thankful for those business leaders who recognize our participants’ abilities rather than their disabilities. Jeremy Young, Proprietor of The Whoochi Japaneses Fusion and Bar in South Bend, is one of those leaders. When we approached Jeremy with the idea of providing CORE participant Damari with an opportunity to act upon his desire to work in a Japanese restaurant, Jeremy did not hesitate to assist. After hearing Damair’s story — his passion for the Japanese culture, his quest to teach himself how to write in Japanese, his dream of living in Japan one day — Jeremy realized that he could make a difference in this young man’s life. CORE’s program, which offered unpaid time for Damari to assist with various aspects of the restaurant business while providing an Employment Specialist to be with him during his time at the restaurant, diminished any concerns Jeremy might have had about opening his doors to this young man. It didn’t take long for Jeremy to see just how much Damari could offer to his restaurant. When a position opened for a dishwasher position, Damari applied for the job by completing an online application and participating in an interview. It wasn’t long before Damari was offered a paid position at Woochi! Jeremy understands that Damari is still exploring his career interests and goals, but he is excited to have Damari on the Woochi team. And, Damari is thrilled to be earning money while he continues to explore his career options. Thank you to all of the businesses who have welcomed our participants and continue to provide opportunities for soft skill and job skill development. Thank you as well to the many businesses who have hired our participants giving them a chance to earn money in their chosen careers.

“I don’t understand why any other business would be afraid about anything before giving [CORE] a try…It’s a double win.” — Jeremy Young