Lindsey Nguyen is a born multi-tasker. Now, she’s sorting mail into cross sections,
paying close attention to the details. “These are supposed to be by state and then by name,” she says. Her nose and cheeks are peppered with freckles and her shiny hair bobs as she turns her head.
While she chats, her eyes flick around the room, watching over her colleagues, ready to step in with words of support should someone appear bogged down. It’s mid-morning, and the room is abuzz: sorting, packaging of various items and convivial chatter and laughter. Among other things, Lindsey is looking forward to her lunch break. “I bring my lunch. My mom packs different things. Today I have chicken and potatoes. I’m diabetic, and we have to watch what I eat,” she says.
At 34, Lindsey’s experience with Dale Rogers Training Center has spanned more than a decade, beginning when she was in high school at Westmoore. A job coach at the school helped Lindsey get into the School-to-Work program, which in turn led to her gaining valuable skills, and her job with DRTC.
“Oh, yeah, I enjoy it. I’m an independent person. I’m always busy and hectic. If I need help I ask and get it. I get paid on the 15th and the 31st, and I save up my money, or I buy CDs and DVDs. I love Disney and Nickelodeon movies,” she says.
She’s also a fierce competitor, playing on a bocce ball league, and competing in the Special Olympics in basketball and swimming. “My stroke is freestyle. And breaststroke,” she says. Lindsey plays bocce in Norman and Stillwater. In basketball, she’s a guard. When asked if she’s good, she replies with the confidence of a seasoned athlete: “Yes.”
At DRTC, Linsdey is the president-elect of Happy Trails Civitan Club, which meets every Thursday night to plan fundraisers and give back to the community. “Awhile back we raised money to help people with self-advocacy,” Lindsey says.
When she thinks about the future, she says some day she will progress to working at a job in the community.
Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.