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Heather Loves Hosting

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Heather's skills and confidence have grown substantially since joining Courtney's House.

Heather Joannes began working at Courtney's House three years ago. "A big challenge for Heather was her voice control," says Erin Lawrence, Program Manager and Job Coach. "When two people are having a conversation, that voice level is probably a 2 or 3. For Heather, she often started at a 6 or 7. We worked with Heather to be aware of her voice and bring down the volume."


Heather worked with her job coaches at Courtney's House and developed the self-confidence to transition to another restaurant. Today, Heather enjoys working as a host at Berry Hill Bistro, a restaurant in Paso Robles.


Erin explains, "As job coaches, we are here to guide and help our interns. But as training progresses, we also give the interns lots of space to be independent and learn how to solve problems on their own. They need those skills to transition into another job away from Courtney's House."


Heather achieved that level of independence and successfully transitioned to Berry Hill Bistro.


"I love working at Berry Hill Bistro. It's a really busy restaurant and I like being able to do my job without a job coach," says Heather.

Heather continues to work part-time at Fig Café hosting, bussing and helping with catering events.



"I learned a lot at Courtney's House. They taught me how to work with the public and how to work on a team. They helped me to learn how to lower the sound of my voice and to stay focused," says Heather.


Heather has also learned life skills and made friends in the enrichment classes. "I like to have fun and laugh with everyone. We learn as we do interesting things."


Heather's parents, Tim and Nitzy have witnessed their daughter's growth in self-confidence and self-esteem. "She is proud of her job and accomplishments," says Tim. "She enjoys going to Courtney's House to work and to have fun and friendship during the enrichment classes. It has given her life more purpose and a place to belong and be included."


Empowering those with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

Courtney’s House is a nonprofit organization offering vocational training and employment, in addition to social & life skills training for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/D), an underserved population in our community.

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