COUNCIL BLUFFS – If you’re ever at Taco Bell and in a quandary about what to order for breakfast, Jennifer Ueding has a suggestion for you – the Breakfast Crunchwrap with sausage, a grilled tortilla filled with breakfast fixings that fits in the palm of your hand.
Jennifer, a Vodec consumer, is somewhat of an expert on the subject. She works the morning shift three days a week with other members of the Taco Bell crew on East Broadway in Council Bluffs. “I like to make it clean for customers, and I like to make my boss happy,” she said.
The Glenwood native is responsible for cleaning the restaurant, including keeping the grounds free of cigarette butts – a position she’s held for two years. “I’m excited and happy I have this job,” Jennifer said. “It helps me pay bills and buy the groceries I need.”
Jennifer is picked up at 6:45am each work day by her job coach, who remains on site, oversees her work efforts and delivers her home at the end of her shift. On a recent trip to work, she told her job coach, “I’m going to work hard today, no buts about it.”
Jennifer first honed her job skills on the work floor at Vodec in Council Bluffs. Staff taught her the importance of being on time, staying on task and asking your supervisor for help if you’re struggling with something. The experience helped build Jennifer’s confidence and led to her eventual placement at Taco Bell. “I was really nervous about the interview, but everyone was so nice that I was able to get through it okay,” she said.
On her days off, Jennifer attends Vodec’s day habilitation services in Council Bluffs, where she enjoys hanging out with her friends and participating in all the activities the program offers.
When she’s not on the job or at Vodec, she likes to draw and paint at her Council Bluffs home with her roommates. She also likes to spend time with Richard, her fiancé, and visit with her mother, Mae, who works two jobs and cooks for local veterans’ groups as a volunteer. “I love my mom because she takes care of me, and I’m proud of her,” Jennifer said. In the future, she’s thinking about attending Iowa Western Community College to pursue her interest in art. But for now, her days are full of life and community experiences.
For more information about Vodec’s supported employment program, contact Erin Gantz at firstname.lastname@example.org.