Ethan’s Employment Story
During Disability Employment Awareness Month we are featuring Ethan Ross, a person we support who is an outstanding employee in Greensboro. You can read more about his story below and watch a short video from a day on the job with him.
Ethan Ross, a person supported at Monarch, graduated from the Beyond Academics program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013.
Beyond Academics is a four- year certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and once completed, Monarch works with many of the graduates to assist them in finding employment or gaining on the job skills.
Ross is now an employee at Food Lion in Greensboro where he works once a week. His direct support staff Melodie Welborn, or as she is known to everyone around her; Ms. Mel, has been with Ethan since he graduated.
She helps assist him during his shift each day where he spends his time sweeping, running the mop machine to clean the floor, sanitizing the bathrooms and gathering shopping carts.
“When he first started we couldn’t get him to make circular wiping motions. We had to do a lot of modelling. Once he got it down pat he cleans nearly everything. He loves the mop machine. He would do that the whole time he was here if he could,” she said.
Welborn says she has seen tremendous growth from Ethan since he started at the grocery store.
“Employment for people with disabilities increases their sense of self-worth, and it provides them new friends in the community. Ethan takes pride in saying ‘I’m employed at Food Lion and that’s my job,’” she said.
“People with disabilities are just like everything else. For them a job is incredibly fulfilling.”