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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2011
Sharonda’s Participation In Pilot Internship Program Launches Career

Sharonda Johnson-Wilkes’ successful transition from a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary to a successful federal government employee began in the spring 2010. Sharonda had been working with Maryland’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to locate employment when she was introduced to a pilot internship program between the Financial Management Services (FMS), U.S. Department of Treasury, and DORS.

The DORS Business Specialist assisted Sharonda in obtaining an intern position in FMS’ Equal Opportunity and Organization Enhancement Division (EOOE). Sharonda’s performance was impressive and EOOE expressed interest in offering her a permanent position. During this time, other employment options were explored including the Schedule A Hiring Authority which eventually resulted in Sharonda’s full time job placement as an Office Automation Assistant in the EOOE Division on February 14, 2011. Sharonda and EOOE are thrilled with the outcome and FMS continues to work closely with DORS to develop other internship opportunities.

In addition to transitioning into the world of work, Sharonda has also been busy pursuing other new titles; last fall she participated in the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2011 content and was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Maryland on October 30, 2010.

The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services enabled Sharonda and the Equal Opportunity and Organization Enhancement Division to create a partnership that really works!

Sharonda’s story and many others can be found in the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation 2011–12 Investing in America Report at http://rehabnetwork.org/investing_in_america/CSAVR%20Investing%20In%20America%20%20Composite2011.pdf

Sharonda’s Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2011 story can be found on the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland website at http://www.ms-wheelchair-md.com

Sharonda’s Platform Speech can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjfxZkYRd5w

RESOURCES:

Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)

Website: http://www.dors.state.md.us

Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation
Website: http://rehabnetwork.org

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Disclaimer

This story was adapted from the story on the same topic at the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services website, along with other success stories, at http://www.dors.state.md.us/DORS/ProgramServices/Deaf+Services/success/. Permission to publish it was given by DORS, Sharonda Johnson-Wilkes to the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. Finally, the Department does not vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the referenced website, nor can it authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in the links on that site. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked site.

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Last Modified: 10/31/2011