***We continue to consult with the Health Department and our partners at the State. We have been advised that Employment Horizons (Cedar Knolls facility) will need to be closed through at least Friday, April 10th. Please scroll for additional information.***
Edwin Vega came to Employment Horizons with the goal of finding a full-time position in the community. For a while, he was working for his family’s business, but knew that he wanted to become independent and find his calling. Little did he know that his calling would be in helping others.
At a young age, Edwin began to experience slight vision loss. In his teenage years, he almost lost all vision, but he could still see shadows. With assistance from the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, he was referred to Employment Horizons for supported employment services. Sue Peluso, Edwin’s Job Developer, immediately knew that there was something out there for Edwin because of his soft spoken and warm demeanor. When Sue heard that there was a position at NJ 2-1-1, she knew that this would be a perfect fit for Edwin. NJ 2-1-1 assists individuals through a crisis help line, whether it be someone experiencing a natural disaster, a family crisis, personal struggles, or in need of housing assistance, etc. Edwin is the first person that these individuals speak to when there is a crisis in their life. Sue explained, “As soon as I heard about this position, I knew that Edwin would be a perfect match because he could really put a person that is in a crisis or in a panic at ease. He has such a great heart and a wonderful outlook on life, and this is an opportunity for him to be able to pass it on to others, even complete strangers.”
Edwin is required to sit on the phone and in front of a computer for his entire shift. The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired accommodated Edwin by providing him a second headpiece that allows those who are visually impaired to use a telephone and at the same time access information using a text-to-speech conversion hardware. This requires him to multi-task efficiently and successfully.
NJ 2-1-1 has given Edwin a chance to show that his hard work and dedication has paid off. It also goes to show you that when you have determination and goals, anything can happen!