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Never say no to opportunities,” said the unassuming kitchen-hand at Hank’s Seafood Co in Penrith, as he busily prepared the dining room for the onslaught of lunchtime patrons. “You never know where opportunities will lead you.”
With that piece of advice, Kenny Carr darts off again, weaving in and out of the kitchen and dining room with such tangible enthusiasm and determination. I get the vibe that Kenny’s simple mantra of grabbing opportunity by the scruff of the neck has been a key driver behind his success story.
Kenny came to Ability Options Employment in Penrith in late 2014 looking for a job. As a school leaver with a disability and with no work experience, Ability Options enabled Kenny to get work-ready in a variety of ways, starting by instilling a sense of self-belief.
“They helped me learn job skills and how to prepare for an interview. They helped me meet new people,” said Kenny, who initially was looking for a job in retail, but saw an opportunity in hospitality.
“They helped me get things that I didn’t think I could get, like my Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. And they helped me get this job of course.”
Heidi Van Gender was Kenny’s Job Support Consultant at Ability Options Employment. She was instrumental in matching Kenny with Hank’s Seafood Co, and says it has been rewarding to see Kenny’s confidence and sense of self-worth grow by the day.
“Kenny’s hard work and dedication is inspiring,” said Heidi, who fondly remembers first meeting Kenny at the Penrith employment office as a fresh out of high school jobseeker.
“He’s come so far. Its great watching him excel at his job and joke around with his workmates. He’s making the most out of his opportunity, which as you can see has positively impacted his whole life and future.”
It’s not just Kenny reaping the benefits at work. Rod Webster, Restaurant Manager at Hank’s Seafood in Penrith, says Kenny was a brilliant find and a welcome addition to his team.
“Kenny is fantastic, I wish I had three of him,” said Rod, who along with other restaurant staff, have been quietly impressed by Kenny’s inner drive and can-do attitude.
“From the time he gets in to the time he leaves, he just keeps on going. He is extraordinary.”
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