Ryan became a Best Buddies participant eight years ago when he was in the Access Transition Program at Lynn University and joined their Best Buddies chapter. “It was challenging in high school and beyond because it was tough finding friends that understand who I am as a person with a disability,” said Ryan, adding that he wishes there had been a chapter in his high school. Since joining Best Buddies, he has participated in Ambassador Trainings, gone to two Leadership Conferences, and is a Buddy Director in the Florida Atlantic University Best Buddies Chapter.
In 2017, Ryan Hoffman found himself finished with school and thinking about employment. He was just in time for the start of the Palm Beach’s Jobs program and became the first participant placed.
With the help of a member on the Palm Beach County Advisory Board, Best Buddies was able to get Ryan a job at MDVIP in August of 2017. Ryan would be the new Facilities – a position that did not previously exist. By conducting a Workplace Analysis, Best Buddies was able to carve out a position specifically for Ryan.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, Ryan takes the bus from Boynton Beach to Boca for his shift from 7:00am to 2:00pm. When he first gets to the office, he stocks all of the large conference room refrigerators with the sodas and waters they will need for their meetings. Once he finishes that, he gets the mail and delivers it to the mailroom. One of his biggest jobs is making sure the four break rooms and kitchen are clean and stocked including all of the coffee stations. Finally, he cleans the counters and arranges the chairs in all of the many small conference rooms.
Ryan says he is happy because he gets to use his people skills and is learning how to receive feedback (both positive and constructive). This has been a life changer for me because now I feel confident with myself that there are people that understand where I’m coming from and who I am as a person with a disability,” he said.
Best Buddies will continue to support Ryan in every way it can. In return, Ryan shares our mission with everyone and has been a great ambassador for people with disabilities.
Best Buddies placed Ryan into our corporate office in such a seamless fashion, that Ryan immediately became part of our workforce. Their training and expertise made the experience effortless, and now Ryan is part of the MDVIP family working in our organization on a daily basis. It’s a win for MDVIP, a win for Best Buddies, and a win for Ryan.
– Matthew Hashem, President & Chief Financial Officer, MDVIP