As the world continues to navigate towards a more inclusive and diverse society, there are few individuals as dedicated and passionate about empowering those with disabilities as Theresa Garcia, Chief Empowerment Officer at Rubi’s Positive Empowerment. With her vast experience and knowledge in this field, Theresa has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives aimed at providing individuals with disabilities the support and tools necessary to reach their full potential. In this interview, we’ll delve into Theresa’s inspiring journey, her valuable insights into disability coaching, and her thoughts on the future of inclusivity in our society. Mystic Mag has a privilege to talk with Theresa today.
What inspired you to become a Coach for individuals with disabilities, and what do you believe is the most crucial aspect of helping them find their passion and enhance their skills?
To be honest, I wasn’t initially inspired by job development as a career. But once I met the individuals receiving services, my heart was immediately drawn to them. Witnessing their hope and excitement from achieving results after years of fruitless job searching made my heart soar.
For me, the most crucial part of job coaching is instilling confidence and nurturing self-belief in the people we support. Once they believe in themselves, it’s easy to identify their true passions and what they will enjoy doing as a career.
The majority of my work is helping people identify and address limiting beliefs, providing support and tools to overcome challenges, and reminding them of their strengths and value.
What type of services do you offer?
At Rubi’s Positive Empowerment, we provide a range of services to support people with disabilities in finding meaningful employment. Our services include job development, job coaching and worksite setup.
We take the time to understand the unique needs and culture of each business we work with and match individuals with employers that align with their goals and skills. We create detailed profiles for each individual working with us, conduct job skills and gap analyses, and provide training and natural support as needed.
Personal growth and skill development are often key components of finding one’s passion and purpose. How do you work with individuals with disabilities to identify and develop their skills, and how do you help them build confidence in their abilities?
We collaborate closely with the individuals we serve to identify their perceived limitations and strengths. Our coaching approach is hands-on and visual.
We provide specific feedback on each response during mock interviews. We actively listen for limiting beliefs, blind spots, and areas of growth and encourage people working with us to self-direct their own personal growth journeys.
We help them shift their perspective on failure by sharing examples of people who failed tremendously before finding success just a bit further down the road. We encourage them to identify their strengths and interests and offer advice if requested. We use a variety of tools and activities developed by the experts, such as LinkedIn Learning, Skills to Pay the Bills, HeartMath, positive affirmations, and Psych-K, to build confidence and skills.
We also provide options for self-care to enhance the mind-body-soul connection.
Many individuals with disabilities face societal and cultural barriers that can limit their opportunities for pursuing their passions or enhancing their skills. How do you address these external factors in your coaching approach, and what strategies do you use to help individuals overcome such challenges?
We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their careers.
We raise awareness and provide options to people facing societal and cultural barriers. We offer benefits counseling to help them understand how working may affect their benefits. If we encounter abusive or unhealthy work environments, we provide honest feedback, but ultimately, we respect the individual’s right to choose whether or not to stay in those environments.
Our approach centers on promoting independence and respecting their choices, regardless of whether it aligns with what we perceive as the best option
What is the most important detail in maintaining a relationship of mutual trust with clients?
Authenticity and transparency are key in building and maintaining trust. We actively listen to the individuals we support, and we trust them to direct their own career growth.
We are open and authentic about areas in which we’re improving so they know they aren’t the only ones on this journey of self-improvement. We aim to be present, attentive, and respectful of their choices at all times.
What do you love most about your profession?
What I love most about my work is seeing the people we work with transform from lacking confidence to lighting up over their own potential. Witnessing people achieve their career goals and grow their confidence and independence is one of the greatest gifts of the field.