Blessed with Opportunities

“I needed to find a way to improve our situation, but I didn’t know how.”

Some years ago, my brother passed away and since my father was not in the picture, my mother and I were trying to make ends meet on our own.  I needed to find a way to improve our situation, but I didn’t know how.  I didn’t have the education and experience necessary to find a good job.  I was also extremely shy and would avoid people and social situations. 

When I began working at Deseret Industries, my first goal was to overcome my extreme shyness.  My job coach had a wonderful approach.  To help build my self-esteem, I was asked to look into the mirror every morning and find five things that I liked about myself.  Each day at work, she would ask me what those five things were.  If I repeated one from a prior day, I would have to come up with a new one.  It is amazing how after a while I began to believe the words I was speaking about myself.  She also introduced me to the April 2010 general conference address by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Your Happily Ever After.”  In this address, President Uchtdorf teaches that we become the heroes and heroines of our own stories as we overcome adversity, and that we are blessed with opportunities to achieve our own “happily ever after.”

With my confidence improving, I began working more hours and was given the responsibility for the inventory of the soft New Value merchandise.  I unpackaged, counted, priced, and stocked the items.  I also had to work with customers.  One day, a huge inventory of coats came in, over 800 items to price and sort.  My job coach said she had to leave me alone for a while to do something else.  We were both surprised when I began to joke with her about abandoning me.  I realized that I had come a long way from the timid girl who would have been afraid to communicate with a fellow employee or advocate for myself.  I felt proud of how far I had come.  My self-esteem, my confidence, and my communication skills had all improved drastically.  This was a turning point for me.

I received the opportunity to take a business technology course while at DI.  I have a learning disability, so there were those who didn't believe I could do it.  My job coach believed in me, and I believed in myself.  I proved everyone wrong.  Then, once I was doing so well in school, there were those who doubted I could find a good job because I was so shy.  DI provided me the opportunity to participate in the accelerated job search program.  This was a six week program where, with the help of a special job coach, I spent my days looking for a job.  With his help, I once again proved everyone wrong—I found a good job!

I came to Deseret Industries with much to overcome. The change in my life took time and patience; however, I soon came to realize that I was a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me and I am worthy to receive His blessings.  At this time in my life, His blessings came through Deseret Industries.

“We are blessed with opportunities to achieve our own 'happily ever after.'”

For more amazing stories like Jessica’s, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.