Special Olympics of Wisconsin recently reached out to us about Anthony, an associate at our Germantown store. The organization has been writing feature stories about their athletes that are employed across the state to help make people aware of how Special Olympics is more than just sports. Special Olympics also provides leadership opportunities and helps build its athletes’ confidence ,which can help them improve their employability. I’m so happy to share this piece from the Special Olympics of Wisconsin on Anthony– thanks to them for sharing!
Special Olympics Helps Build Confidence and Improve Employability
“I was very shy before I started Special Olympics. I didn’t think I could do anything because I had a disability. School was tough, and I didn’t think I was good enough,” said 37-year old Anthony Porter, a Front End Associate at Sendiks in Germantown, Wisconsin.
Porter’s shyness melted away after he joined Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) and the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program 14 years ago. Today, Porter works at Sendiks, a position he thanks Special Olympics for helping him secure. “Special Olympics showed me I can not only do sports like other kids, it showed me I am capable of doing anything they can do,” said Porter. “[Special Olympics] showed me that people with disabilities can work. Special Olympics showed me that I can do it.”
Porter is just one of the 1,150 athletes who is currently employed. Porter attributes his time management skills in part to his participation in Special Olympics. “Since I started participating in Special Olympics, I’ve gained confidence and learned how to be responsible,” said Porter.
When Porter isn’t competing or practicing two or three nights a week, he’s at Sendiks, bagging groceries, collecting carts, helping customers load their vehicles and returning unwanted items. In the summer, he works as a Uniform Attendant for the Milwaukee Brewers. According to Porter, sports and work are very similar—it’s about being part of a team. “The cashier and I work together and rely on each other, just like teammates,” he said.
Anna Schildgen, Sendik’s Germantown Front End Manager, couldn’t say enough about Porter’s performance on the job. “Anthony always has a good attitude and is very personable,” she said. “He has developed strong relationships with customers throughout the years.”
“It shows the community that people with intellectual disabilities can hold a job and be successful,” added Porter. “It’s important to see people like me succeed.”Blogs, Featured, Red Bag Insider | February 7th, 2014