Frontline Initiative Credentialing

My Job Coach, My Best Friend


Oscar Turner lives and works in Richmond, Virginia

My name is Oscar Turner. I am 35 years old and I have a developmental disability. Ellen Strickland has been my job coach for two years. Ellen helped me get a job at Castlewood in January 1998 as a laundry person. She came and stayed with me as I washed clothes and rags and towels. Then I got another job in the pulp area. She came to work with me in learning that job really well and to help me talk more to my coworkers. She stood beside me as I learned my job duties. Ellen takes time to help me as my job coach. She comes to see if I need her to help me do something, like if I can’t understand what my boss wants me to do. She tells me about the job and lets me try the job before I decide to take it. She lets me make up my own mind about the job and whether I want it or not.

There are so many things I can say about Ellen as a good person and friend. Ellen is a person that cares about others and makes them feel good. Ellen is a good person because she takes time to get to know me as a person and as her friend. She taught me to believe in myself as a person first. She taught me to speak up for myself when I need something. Ellen is a person who lets you know that you can do anything, if you are willing to put your heart and soul in whatever you want to do, whether it be finding a job or just needing a good friend to talk to about your problems.

Ellen believes in me and when I ask her to help me with my problems, she always does what she said she will do. Ellen has done so much for me. She tells me that I am doing well and my boss is happy with the job that I do. She tells me that she is happy for me and wishes the best for me. Ellen is the best there is and the best there was and the best friend I could ever have.