Alexander Auayang Achieves Career Goals Thanks to Monarch’s IPS Team
In 2019, Alexander Auayang, 27, set goals for himself to find a job close to home and live more independently as a young adult diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Fast forward to today, with the assistance of Monarch’s Individual Placement and Supports (IPS) services team in Stanly County, Auayang’s goal has been realized. He now works as a stock associate at grocery retailer Harris Teeter, averaging between 18 – 27 hours a week. During the past year, Auayang has made a number of improvements from learning to advocate for himself, communicating specific needs to his employer to appropriately handling feedback from his supervisor.
As an essential worker, Auayang had to adjust to strict COVID-19 policies and procedures. Still, he has managed to keep a positive attitude.
“It’s a great first year of work,’ Auayang says with enthusiasm. “The community needs us now more than ever.”
Monarch’s (IPS) services are designed to get the people we support employment that fits their needs, explained Tina Moore, Auayang’s lead employment support professional. Since May 2019, they have worked together to develop the tools he needed to find employment.
“When I first met him, I thought to myself, ‘This a very intelligent young man and all he needs is chance’,” Moore recounts.
Initially, Moore and Auayang met three to four times a month to develop his resume, improve his job search skills and enhance his presence during job interviews. Auayang jokes that the skill he has picked up the most is learning how to answer the interview question, “Tell me about yourself?”
Moore is proud of Auayang’s achievements and reaching the goals he set for himself and thriving in his current role. “This was the first job that he’s had in a while,” says Moore. “He lives with his family, so he has been very dependent on them in the past. He wanted to change that. His family wanted to support him in changing that.”
Auayang adds that his family has been supportive of his career aspirations and continues to encourage him.
“Mom gives me lunch and breakfast every day. I’m just fortunate to have a loving family. Having that right now in these uncertain times, you don’t really think about how fortunate you are until you really think about it. There is not a lot I can ask for,” he said.
Now that Auayang is working, he has developed budgeting skills and contributed to his savings account while financially assisting his family. Auayang is proud that he was able to assist his mom with medical bills and bought an industry-grade flashlight for his brother, a Mecklenburg County law enforcement officer.
As Auayang continues to find success at his job, Moore checks in monthly. She says his job experience has helped him understand direction and channel any frustrations into positive energy. “I think the job has helped him find purpose,” Moore suggests.
“Nope. It’s helped me find patience,” Auayang laughs.