Where Are They Now? Jake R.
With Marianne’s permission, I am delighted to share with you a wonderful story about Jake, a past student of The Glenleighden School:
When I returned to work at The Glenleighden School in 1998, I was fortunate to have been involved, as a speech language pathologist and level coordinator, with a remarkable group of young people in the senior end of the school. Jake R. was one of these amazing students, and came into my class when he entered Middle/ Upper School in 1999. Jake was always well mannered and quiet, with a subtle sense of humour despite his significant speech dyspraxia. In 2003, Jake left Glenleighden to attend a mainstream school, completing his high school years with Seton College and Clairvaux MacKillop College. During these years, Jake received awards for his marine, aquatic and business studies, despite battling chronic health issues with frequent hospitalisations during the school holiday periods. When it came to finishing school and finding a job, Jake had the dilemma of not being able to do heavy physical work, due to his health issues, but also needing to move frequently and not be sitting down all the time. Jake secured a logistics job with Logwin Air & Ocean Australia Pty Ltd based at Brisbane Airport, working there for 9 months before being asked by a representative of BHP Billiton to submit his resume for a job in Newcastle. Jake wasn’t successful, but a job in Gladstone caught his eye. After being offered a second interview, his mum advised him not to accept the job straight away if they offered it. They did offer him the job straight away, and Jake accepted the position as Ship Agent’s Officer two days later, doubling his salary and being provided with a company car, mobile phone, a laptop and five weeks annual leave. He is now renting a two bedroom unit by himself, with the plan to maybe get a roommate down the track. Jake enjoys organising the documentation for berthing and sailing of the ships, arranging for pilots to board the ships, tug boats, organising quarantine and customs, as well as other odd and unusual jobs, with frequent weekend work and night work. Most importantly, Jake loves the team spirit and friendliness of his new workplace, and after 5 weeks on the job was granted permanency.
I would like to thank Marianne (Jake’s mum) for ringing and letting me know how Jake is going. And I would also like to thank Jake for letting us tell his story. On behalf of the school community, I am very proud of his achievements as he continues to provide a positive and inspiring role model to young people with language disorders who are following in his stead.
Vikki Rose Graydon