Meet Erin Thompson
Erin is an accomplished professional and advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As a Best Buddies Capital Region Jobs participant, she has been mentored and supported to excel in her career, advocacy, and personal growth.
Since January 2011, Erin has been happily employed at Rosetta Stone in Arlington, Virginia. Her position as office assistant has given her opportunities to learn a variety of skills from clerical and office organization, to social and professional knowledge and proficiency. “I love my job! I especially like working with all the wonderful people at Rosetta Stone. They support me in my job and make me feel like I am an important part of the team,” Erin says.
Erin first became involved with Best Buddies in high school. While attending the George Mason University’s LIFE program for students with IDD, she became a buddy ambassador and the buddy director. Erin’s world opened up to the power of advocacy. Through the encouragement of Best Buddies and her experiences at the annual Best Buddies Leadership Conferences, Erin was provided a significant platform to improve her oratory and communication skills. In addition to the personal skills that were reinforced, Erin continued to learn the value of self-advocacy that would transfer into the world of employment and being a professional.
Erin continues to learn new skills at her job and accomplish professional and personal goals. “My favorite responsibility at my job right now is working with the Excel program and inputting travel expenses for the staff. I told my supervisor I wanted to keep learning new things and they always give me that chance. I like to work hard and I take my job very seriously!”
Having a job has given Erin a sense of community with her friends and co-workers at Rosetta Stone. She is valued and respected. It also gives her the greater independence that she desires. She takes the subway to and from work and keeps busy with many activities outside of her job.
“My Best Buddies Jobs’ coach is always there to support me in my job. If I have questions or need to work on a skill they will help me. In my future career, I want to continue to work hard, learn new skills and expand my job role. I want to become more independent, too. I hope that someday I can have my own apartment and be even more responsible.”
Finally, Erin says that “Best Buddies Jobs has helped me be successful and happy in my career and in my life!”