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Kira Abrahamson: Gaining confidence and a career

When Kira Abrahamson first came to Courage Center in the fall of 2012, she had gone through many temporary jobs. She was frustrated and discouraged. Would she ever be able to support herself? "When people keep telling you that you can't do a job," she says, "you begin to wondering what you can do."

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Kira is now making steady progress toward her goal of independence. With help from Courage Center's Work Readiness program and a dedicated vocational team, she learned to identify her strengths and reasonable workplace accommodations. She took a seasonal position in the Courage Cards shop, where she worked in a retail environment under the supervision of vocational evaluation staff. Supported on all sides, she began building her job skills and her self-esteem. Her positive energy brought smiles to customers' faces. "The people at Courage Center had such faith in me," she says. "I learned to trust myself on the job."

Kira has since used her experience and references from Courage Center to obtain a position as a teacher's aide at a Montessori school. "This is one of the challenges I've wanted to have in my life," she says. She loves being involved with the children through playtime, crafts, and reading aloud to them. "I don't know where this job will take me, but I now realize I would love to work with kids with special needs. I feel like this is a good fit."