Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

November 27, 2013

Olive Hill woman seeks work, finds purpose

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer

Nov. 27, 2013 — At one point or another, we have all dreaded going to work in the morning but that’s not the case for local resident Jessie Fuller. She looks forward to work every day.

Just 11 months ago, however, life wasn’t going as well for the young mother of two.

Suffering from severe social anxiety, Fuller had never had a normal job before and didn’t have the slightest clue where to begin looking for one.

But with a young pair of fraternal twins to raise, she was determined to overcome her fears and become a productive member of the workforce.

That’s when Pathways and the Kentucky Department of Workforce Development stepped in to give Fuller the help she needed finding a job.

“Workforce Development and McDonald’s have always been such great partners with us. We felt confident we could help find Jessie work,” said Cleo Howard, who manages the Supported Employment Program at the Mt. Sterling branch of Pathways.

Fuller’s path to gainful employment was almost derailed before it began, though. On the day of her interview, her transportation fell through and she was faced with a tough choice.

Rather than miss the appointment, she walked a mile to the Olive Hill McDonald’s for her interview – a move that impressed General Manager Stephanie Boggs so much that she hired her.

“My only regret is that we weren’t able to hire her sooner. She’s been a fantastic employee,” said Boggs.

In her 11 months at the restaurant, Fuller has gone from cleaning the dining area to taking drive-thru orders for customers, a promotion in which she and all those who have supported her along the way take a lot of pride.

“We are so proud of everything that she’s accomplished here so far,” said Dawn Fannin, Fuller’s Workforce Development counselor who manages her case out of the Ashland office.

Fuller shyly played down all the compliments when asked about her work life.

She still deals with some shyness in social situations and she mostly reflects on how working has helped on the home front.

“I love being to be able to take care of my kids and my parents don’t have to worry about me as much anymore. But mostly, I’m just really glad to have a job,” she said.

Who said no one is willing to work hard these days?

Certainly not Jessie Fuller.