Matthew’s Story

Key Factors to Matthew’s Success

Youth Factors

  • Taking classes in school related to career goal
  • Connecting with an internship while still in school
  • Using support systems to get a job interview
  • Valuing independence
  • Seeking assistance when needed
  • Demonstrating a positive attitude

School Factors

  • Encouraging career exploration through classes and other school-based activities
  • Supporting youth in preparing for future work experiences
  • Connecting students to potential internships and other hands-on work experiences

29 year old Matthew Drumwright holds down two jobs. He is a service clerk at Publix Grocery Store. He bags groceries, hands them to customers, and carries their bags to their car. Even though it can be hard standing on his feet all day, Matthew has fun talking with the customers at Publix and working with other adults.

courtesy of Michael GomezMatthew also works at a photography studio. His high school teacher arranged an interview for him with a local photographer Michael Gomez. In order to prepare for this internship, Matthew took photography classes in school and enrolled in yearbook class to practice taking pictures. At the studio, Matthew helps Michael set up photo shoots and arrange lighting on the set. On tasks that are challenging, Matthew seeks out assistance from his parents and his boss.

Matthew’s job has helped him enhance his photography skills. One of his pictures has even received national attention. Matthew took a picture of an oak tree in his front yard one evening after a snowfall. This picture, “Night Snowfall,” has been displayed in the Smithsonian Institution. Matthew enjoys working because he is able to be independent and be around other adults.