“Trust yourself!”

Interview with Oana Popa, commercial worker at Carrefour

How did you find out about the LEAD project?

I found out about this project from a former teacher, when I was taking cosmetics and massage classes at the School Center for Inclusive Education “Albatros”. She recommended that I enroll in project. I liked this idea, so I went to the Services Center for Supported Employment, where I met Olivia.

Why did you want a job?

I really wanted to get a job in order to become independent. I did not like to ask my parents for money for clothes, going out, and so on. I graduated high scool, I went at the University, but I dropped out studies, because I found it very difficult. Then, I took those courses at School Center for Inclusive Education “Albatros”, but I didn’t have a paid job until I met Olivia.

What do you like to do?

I like to go to opera and to theater, and I enjoy very much classical music. I love to travel with my parents, but I like to walk around important places to me, also.

What did you do after enrolling in the LEAD project?

I talked to Olivia about what I like and what I wish to do, so she could get to know me better. She figured out what kind of job is suitable for me. She noticed that I like to take care of myself, and I love to choose nice things for myself, and she thought of finding me a job in a clothing store. Firstly, I tried to get hired at Decathlon, but they did not employ me. Then, Olivia helped me obtain an interview at Carrefour. I knew the supermarket, because I used to go there often and I liked it very much, from the very beginning. Fortunately, I was hired. Now, I work in the clothes department and I am very happy. I have kind colleagues, who received me with open arms, and with whom I get along very well.

What did our project enable you to do?

I learnt to have more confidence in my strength. Also, I found out a path in life. When I joined the project, I didn’t know what to do with my life.

What are your plans for future?

I have two goals: to maintain my job and tostart a family.

What message do you have for people with disabilities who are looking for a job?

I advise them to trust themselves, and to have faith that they will find a suitable job for them! I urge them to do not lose hope and to ask for support from NGOs, for example. I advise them to go to the Center (the Services Center for Supported Employment from Constanța)! It was the best solution for me!

The project “Labour market Employment for young Adults with a Disability – LEAD” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

Cristina Șerbănescu



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