GRAND AVENUE CLUB MEMBER PAUL LINDSTROM;
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"I have been a member of GAC since 2018. My doctor at Aurora Behavioral Health Center suggested my checking it out. I didn't know much about it, only that it could be helpful to me.

I vividly remember the warm welcome I received from everyone. I was immediately attracted to the third floor Membership-Education-Employment Unit where I worked as part of a team taking care of the unit area, the Students' Room, and the Library.

From this experience came a feeling of accomplishment and ambition to get something done. Then Joe Schultz recommended that I start a job with the Redeemer Lutheran Church Group Placement. I loved the idea of a paying job!

Working felt good to me so I also did the Group Placement at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, where, alongside my colleagues, I prepared materials for the United Way Campaign.

Then Joe trained me for a Transitional Employment position at First Baptist Church of West Allis. There I continued to work on my janitorial skills while staying connected to GAC.

During my time at First Baptist, I experienced myself as more confident; I knew that I was ready to work more independently. It felt good to know that once I knew what was expected at a job, I could do it.

Then Nikki Lelinski and Tim Voss trained me for the Transitional Employment job at BILTRITE Furniture-Leather-Mattresses. Things went very well there and BILTRITE extended the length of my T.E. to maintain my fulfillment between employment opportunities. It was tough to leave them and I learned a lot from my experience.

For some time I was determined to do GAC's Transitional Employment job at Foley & Lardner. Jenny Teuscher, a placement manager there, was aware of my interest. However, this was at the beginning of the pandemic with many Foley attorneys working from home, the GAC TE was on hold.

Jenny informed me when our TE was reinstated. I started to work there in August 2021 for 20 hours a week, 5 days a week, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

I love being part of Foley's Office Services Team. The work responsibilities are varied: we are messengers, do courier services, transfer parcels, handle the outgoing mail, and make certain that all office supplies are available to all 5 floors where the attorneys are working. We work directly with the paralegals. I enjoy the variety of tasks.

I also thoroughly enjoy the communication with Robb Marcrom, the Site Manager, and my leads Maryanne Clairday and Lakeyla Howard. All of them are wonderful for my self-esteem because they like the way I do my job!

Since the job is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, I can go to GAC in the morning and have a really great lunch in the Culinary Unit before work. I feel lucky to have a TE that is walking distance from GAC.

Since this is a 9 month TE, I would have finished up in April. However, Robb has asked my placement managers whether I could stay until the Foley modeling project is completed, and they have agreed... so I will be working there until then.

I already have my eye on one more TE's. After that, my goal is to secure Independent Employment.

When I first came to GAC, I thought that the place would make me feel better, but when I found out about all the employment opportunities, everything changed: I expanded my goals. My eagerness to work and my confidence have been restored by GAC and my employment experiences.

I could not have achieved any of this without the encouragement of Joe Schultz, Nikki Lelinski, Jenny Teuscher, and Tim Voss. Each has encouraged me and moved me much closer to my goal of Independent Employment.

Of course I am also grateful to the employers who have partnered with GAC to offer quality employment to members.

GAC members have been working for Foley & Lardner since April,1993. I am one of so many members who attribute our success to the wonderful employment opportunities offered to us by Foley & Lardner, LLP."
Above (l-r) Lakeyla Howard, Paul, and Maryanne Clairday at Foley & Lardner LLP.
"I have to give Paul a shout out. He is kicking butt!! We could not have made the transitions we had to make without him. His social skills have improved. His memory has improved. He cracks jokes that are hilarious. I am so proud of him."

-Lakeyla Howard
"I’m so grateful to have Paul on our team. He is hard working, conscientious, and ready to tackle new tasks when needed. We work in a very busy office, and Paul plays an important role in helping us exceed our goals. We’ve come to rely on him and appreciate his thoughtful kindness as well – he’s a great guy!"

-Maryanne Clairday
Above (l-r): Francis Holman, Paul Lindstrom, Mike from United Way, and Maria Elena Lepesquer at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, Summer 2017.
Above: Paul at his Transitional Employment job in October 2019, at First Baptist Church of West Allis.
Right: Paul Lindstrom and Joe Schultz collating The Phoenix in the Membership Education and Employment Unit, 2022.

WE ARE NOT ALONE--NOT NOW, NOT EVER!
 
The Colleagues of Grand Avenue Club