Success Story – Sara Heredia Villanueva

Sara Heredia Villanueva was working in a JDT program at New2U Computers following several prior unsuccessful VR cases when she applied for services again in March 2018.

Sara has an intellectual disability, and in each case with VR in the past she was determined not to be capable of competitive integrated employment following work hardening experiences and community based assessments. Sara is a self-proclaimed “girly-girl” who always had an interest in working with clothes. She expressed this interest in each of her VR cases, and was not happy ending up at New2U Computers working in a safety mask and dissembling computers. With a dedicated period of Discovery under Customized Employment services, and the assistance of a committed community action team, Sara achieved a customized dream job at Plato’s Closet.

Her action team included Mayor Hilary Schieve, who expressed dedication to disability inclusion in the workplace following our first meeting and showed dedication to helping Sara thrive.

Sara continues to work at Plato’s Closet with a smile on her face and described her job as, “Finally feels like me.” Sara is a valued team member of the Plato’s Closet location in Reno.

Sara’s increasing independence throughout her VR experience translated across all areas in her life. She made immense strides in different areas of life and Sierra Regional Center decided she was ready to have less hours with support staff for the first time in six years.

In our last meeting before case closure, she said her next goal will be learning how to manage her own money.

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