Nicolas Rogers, Ambulatory Service representative at Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham, was busy filling out billing and clinical forms when he remembered someone from his former job who loved office work. Rogers had been an assistant teacher at The Learning Center in Waltham in a school for 6- to 22-year-olds with developmental disabilities. It dawned on him: Why not give some of these students a chance to get work experience at Children's? "Work makes an amazing impact on people's self-esteem, but it's difficult for people with disabilities to get jobs," he says.
Rogers trained four students to work with him three mornings a week, with help from their job coaches from The Learning Center. Now, Mark, Cory, Kathleen and Samantha help put together billing and clinical forms for doctors to fill out and help stock nurse's rooms so the rest of the staff can focus on scheduling appointments and attending to families' needs. As it happens, many of the students at The Learning Center are also Children's patients. "They feel like they're giving back to a place that has helped them," says Rogers. "This really gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment."
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