Success Stories

Visible Pride

DK came to Orion through a School District in our Work Experience program. His home life was chaotic and in the years prior to coming to Orion, he struggled with anger and negative behavior with others. He received special education support in school for a Learning Disability and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and he also struggled with Depression and Anxiety. Through his Work Experience with Orion, DK gained enough credits to earn his High School Diploma.

After earning his diploma, DK got a number of facial piercings. While others might judge DK by his facial piercings, they were a celebration of his success in school and a source of pride for him.

During his Work Experience, DK experienced significant difficulty with attendance. Through the support of DVR, he worked with Orion staff and an Independent Living Specialist to resolve some of these barriers which interfered with attendance.

Staff at Orion saw the potential in DK and knew he had the mechanical aptitude to succeed in the manufacturing industry. After improving his attendance, he was made a mentor to another Program Participant.

In the fall of 2009, he found employment with a local manufacturer. A couple days into his new job, some personal concerns prevented him from continuing employment. The employer had been so impressed with DK that they allowed him 30 days to resolve these concerns. Orion supported him through this process and DK returned to work after 30 days. Last we heard, DK had volunteered for overtime during the holidays and weathered a round of layoffs with his new employer.

His uniqueness was a significant source of pride and we are proud to have been able to assist him in his journey.

The Courage to Succeed

BK struggled for years with her mental illness. She experienced a period of instability which scared her. It was a wake up call. If she wanted to keep the people who were important to her and find a good job, she would have to take her medications, get counseling, and seek a job training program.

While in her 40's, BK had never applied for a job, gone on an interview, or had to compete against other applicants for employment. She had limited job experience but wanted to work in an office. Her self confidence was very low. She came to Orion through DVR. She enrolled in the Clerical Customer Service Program and her self confidence increased as her skills increased. She took advantage of several training programs that increased her computer proficiency, improved her customer service skills and taught her general office processes. BK expressed concern about her ability to interview and about failing to meet the employer's expectations once she got a job. Upon completion of the training, BK actively participated in Orion's job search classes. She felt the intensive interview practice was especially beneficial. Orion's model of supporting individuals for at least 90 days on the job was important to her success. BK has recently celebrated her one year anniversary on her job, is in a committed relationship, is helping her son pay for college and will soon be buying her first home.


Staff at Orion first met DM when he attended our manufacturing training program in 2004. DM had multiple head injuries which resulted in concerns with his memory including his ability to remember past events and form new memories. He presented well but struggled with remembering work instruction. Through Orion, DM found employment at a manufacturer in Seattle. After almost 3.5 years of employment, DM was laid off as a result of the economy.

DM independently looked for work before connecting with Orion during the summer of 2009. DM became a participant in our Projects with Industry program. DM's job search was difficult as he had received special education due to learning difficulties, and had never earned his high school diploma. An additional obstacle was his lack of a driver's license despite attempting the written test 13 times!

An Orion Job Developer supported DM in organizing his job search, locating and applying for job leads and improving his interview skills. Assistance was provided to DM on preparing for his drivers license test which he passed on his 14th try! DM found employment with a local organization performing production work. He has proven his value through a positive attitude and work ethic and will tell you the training and support provided by Orion has changed his life.

Case Studies