Previously, I spoke with Kelly Pavich at the Bridges From School To Work with the Marriott Foundation. The relationship has grown since 2016 and our dual relationship with ITKAN has developed even stronger.
In our next discussion with Bridges, we chat with Emily Daw, who brings candidates forward to employers that are productive and diverse.
Thanks for your time Emily. Can we talk a little more about Bridges?
Bridges from School to Work started in 1989 as part of the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. This is Marriott’s way of giving back to the community! We have several offices across the country including offices in Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston. Here at the Chicago office my team focuses on 18-24 year old candidates who have graduated high school, have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) and live in Cook County. Together the participant and myself work to find long term competitive employment in the city.
How did you look at working with AbilityLinks and find and partner with them?
Bill O'Connor and I were initially connected through my team lead, Kelly Pavich! In just a few short weeks we’ve had the opportunity to meet several times through 1 on 1 meetings and events in the city. Bill educated me about AbilityLinks and connected me with like-minded individuals in the area.
So, what is your position and responsibilities at Bridges?
I am an Employer Representative for Bridges from School to Work. My job is to work together includes resume development, weekly job club, recognizing appropriate interview etiquette and wearing appropriate interview attire. Every participant that comes to our program is provided a unique and individualized experience to match their needs and experiences.
Chicago is a U.S. leader in employment of people with disabilities. How does this impact Bridges Chicago office?
The Chicago office is the largest office in the Bridges network. I can’t say enough positive things about the office and the out of school team (what I’m a part of). My colleagues through the Out of School team are individuals with different career backgrounds and journeys that have led them to Bridges. Everyone I work with is so inspiring, engaging, incredibly intelligent and thoughtful.
So, what does the future hold for you?
As for me, I’m hoping to obtain a Master’s in Nonprofit Management, and possibly a JD. I’d love to sit on a nonprofit board one day and make as big of a difference as our current board members do now! In the meantime, I love discovering all the events and opportunities a city like Chicago offers.