Smiling with Confidence
“I am grateful that they recognized how a seemingly minor physical issue can have a significant psychological impact.”
I was in and out of hospitals for the first five years of my life. The medication that was used to improve my life took away my smile. My teeth looked rotten, so I spent most of my childhood being ridiculed and teased, even bullied. I was lonely and had few friends. My self-esteem suffered well into adulthood.
After being laid off from my job as a custodian, I spent two years persistently looking for work with no success. I had the ward welfare specialist working with me. Finally, the bishop asked if I was interested in trying the Deseret Industries program.
My first assignment was to work on the dock receiving donations. When I started, I had little patience and had problems controlling my temper. My job coach helped me to recognize triggers and deal with this challenge. Everyone at Deseret Industries welcomed me and was kind and friendly. My self-esteem began to improve as I started to feel like part of a family.
I told my job coach and development specialist that what I really wanted was to have a smile and to feel confident. Due to my lack of self-esteem, I was reluctant to accept the opportunities they offered me, but with their support I stepped way out of my comfort zone. As I worked toward becoming a certified cashier, I gradually I realized that I was good at cashiering. When I passed my cashiering test on the first attempt, the whole store heard me cheer. Who knew that it would be something that I was good at!
I had tried unsuccessfully to have my teeth repaired on several occasions, but with little to no success. However, through the combined efforts of my ward family and my Deseret Industries family, my dream came true when I was fitted with dentures.
I am grateful to Deseret Industries and the tireless efforts of my team. I am grateful that they recognized how a seemingly minor physical issue can have a significant psychological impact. I have new confidence, which I have brought with me to my new job with a major retail chain. Because of my cross training and experience in different areas of retail and maintenance, I was hired on the spot. I haven’t stopped smiling.
“Due to my lack of self-esteem, I was reluctant to accept the opportunities they offered me, but with their support I stepped way out of my comfort zone.”
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