In 2013, Ken was referred to the Paralyzed Veterans of America’s employment program, PAVE, by a PVA National Service Officer for assistance with employment opportunities. Ken is a U.S. Army veteran and PVA member who had been out of the workforce for over 15 years due to his injury. Working with his PAVE counselor, Ken decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree, and together they navigated the enrollment process using the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program benefits.

Ken achieved his goal and earned his bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2017. He described it as a great challenge, sometimes getting only four hours of sleep a night to complete large projects.

In October 2018, Ken, now 61 years old and with a degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta, was re-referred to the PAVE program. The veteran relayed to his new PAVE Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Genia Hachenberg, MS, CRC, that he desperately wanted to live a “normal life” complete with employment and colleagues. However, due to continued health problems and complications of his disabilities, Ken did not feel full-time work with a private sector company was an appropriate goal.

Genia is working closely with Ken, and together they concluded that he would feel most helpful and secure in a part-time job with a federal agency. This will allow him the flexibility to attend his doctor’s appointments, help him remain financial stable, and “get back to work like I used to.”

Genia has coached Ken on his federal resume, helped him identify positions with several agencies, and navigated the eBenefits site to fulfill various application requirements. Ken and Genia are consistently networking and pursuing positions with local, state, and federal entities.  Genia is most impressed with his unwavering desire to contribute as much as he can and achieve his vision of a normal life.

PAVE will continue to support Ken in his new chapter, making sure he receives first knowledge of direct hire opportunities, connects with hiring managers, and ultimately has the necessary job accommodations to maintain his long-term position.