Hard work really pays off for Oswego special ed student

Eddie Vonasch, a student at Oswego High School, recently learned that hard work really does pay off.  

Through the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative’s (KCSEC) Vocational Program, Vonasch has been gaining real-world work experience for the past two years. Last month, Aramark Education offered him a paid position. 

He recently shared what his favorite part of his new work in the East View Elementary School kitchen is: 

“The kids and the staff.” 

In October 2013, Eddie began working two days a week in a volunteer/training position with Aramark Education at the East View Kindergarten Center in Oswego. 

While participating in the volunteer/training experience, Vonasch received a variety of supports through the collaborative efforts of Oswego High School, the KCSEC Vocational Team, District 308 Aramark staff, the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). 

Vonasch quickly became a valued member of East View’s kitchen staff, led by Spencer Underwood. Underwood and his staff were particularly impressed by Vonasch’s customer-service skills and ability to interact with East View’s youngest customers.

“Eddie completed our team and allows us to run the kitchen much smoother,” Underwood said. 

As a result of Vonasch’s hard work and the collaborative efforts of all, Vonasch was able to gradually increase his work experience to five days a week, successfully mastering the skills necessary to obtain a paid position through Aramark, beginning January 2014.

KCSEC’s Vocational Program was designed and developed to provide career awareness and vocational education for students with disabilities as they prepare for employment and life after high school.  In addition, the KCSEC Vocational Program helps students develop work skills, set realistic goals, and gain valuable work experience in a real-world community based work setting. 

The KCSEC team is always looking for new training sites in which students can gain work experience and develop marketable job skills. 

Individuals or businesses interested in partnering with the KCSEC Vocational Team, or would like more information regarding this vocational program, call the cooperative at (630) 553-5833.