Chris H. explored a few careers when he began his employment journey. He started in athletics and worked in a hotel, but then it hit him, his real passion is cooking, and he wanted to become a chef. He expressed his desire to his job coach and they were off to find Chris a position that would allow him to learn the ropes and challenge him on to his next steps in becoming a chef.

Since April 2018, Chris has been working at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, St. Peter’s Health Partners. Chris’ Manager Heidi shared that “Chris is a wonderful success. He began his career journey here washing pots, then wanted something different so he began serving food on the units, one on one with the residents. He then did cold prep, making salads, fruit plates, then on to baking and making desserts for the residents.” Chris wanted more! He then began taking culinary classes at SUNY Schenectady because he wanted to try his hand at cooking and needed to build up his skills. “We trained him as a night cook and his growth has been exponential. Chris is always willing to try different things, he is a real go-getter in trying to find his career path.”

We asked Chris what he loved about being a chef and he stated, “I love when I’m cooking for a lot of people. People need to eat, especially at a nursing home. They love me there. When I’m there, they ask if I’m serving when I say yes, they say thank God! I think they like me best. My supervisors and other staff members are great, they have no doubt I can get it done.”

A special thank you to Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, a part of St. Peter’s Health Partners for their commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment. They have been a long-standing business partner in providing internship and employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.