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  • Yolanda Chisolm

Being autistic is not holding Donovan back

He seizes every opportunity that comes his way.

Donovan hard at work with the City of Durham, DOT Signs and Signals Shop (Photo credit: Donovan)

Donovan is an autistic young man who functions on a very high level. Throughout his 19 years, he has faced some challenges which makes him work a little harder than his peers. Despite having to work a little bit harder, he successfully graduated from high school and knew exactly what he wanted in life – a career in transportation and logistics.


“Donovan joined the NextGen program in March 2018 and has taken advantage of every opportunity that the program has offered him and more.” – Crystal Taylor

Meeting his goals… Plus a little extra

To start off, one of his personal goals was to obtain his driver’s license. Donovan was so determined to get his license that it only took him one time to take and pass the test. In terms of interviewing skills, many of us may struggle with this task but not Donovan. He is so independent and confident that going on interviews was not a problem for him. He used his independence and confidence to obtain and complete a work experience with the City of Durham’s Department of Transportation (DOT) as a Sign Fabricator. He really enjoyed this experience and his supervisors enjoyed having him there.


In addition, Donovan received the Most Dependable award at our 1st Annual Youth Choice Awards Program last November. He received this award because of his spotless attendance record. He has never been late to or missed an appointment, attended every monthly RAP session (workshop) and never missed a day of work.


Next steps for Donovan

Donovan is very passionate about working within Transportation and Logistics. Now that he has completed his internship, he will use the experience he gained from the City of Durham DOT to apply for full-time positions. He would love to continue doing sign fabrication work. #NCWorks #NextGen continues to work with him to provide assistance with completing applications and preparing for interviews. Donovan has already proven how successful he can be and with his determination, he will continue to be successful while accomplishing all his goals.

This blog was written by Career Coach, Crystal Taylor.


#Durham #youth #StudentInternships #careers #transportation

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