“I know this is one of the best places I’ll ever work.”
This quote comes from 18-year-old Keaton Hall, who has been employed at Sans Souci since he was 16 years old. Like many employees at Sans Souci, Keaton came to Sans Souci struggling to retain employment due to struggles with his mental health and due to facing other types of barriers in education and work environment.
“This is actually the third time I’ve worked with Sans Souci,” Keaton said. “The first two times I tried to work here, I only lasted for a day because my anxiety was so out of control.”
Keaton first learned about Sans Souci by utilizing our low-cost initiative: shopping in the Sans Souci thrift store. After working for another thrift store in town, Keaton was seeking a work environment with similar responsibilities, but better management and more of a team-like environment. After applying, Keaton learned in the interview process that Sans Souci is a host site for McDowell Adult Education Center, where individuals can take classes to obtain their High School Equivalency (HSE).
“Getting my high school equivalency was something I wanted to do, because I dropped out of high school as a sophomore,” Keaton said.
At first, Keaton struggled to maintain full-time hours due to his anxiety and having trouble adjusting his sleep schedule to the 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m. schedule at Sans Souci. To help Keaton adapt and keep his anxiety under control, Sans Souci arranged a “building” work schedule for Keaton, gradually bringing Keaton into work at an earlier time and for a longer period of time.
“That’s one thing I wish people knew about Sans Souci,” Keaton said. “Just all the little things they are willing to do to help you succeed.”
Today, Keaton has overcome many barriers and has greatly improved himself over the past year. Keaton has now been trained in many areas at Sans Souci, including working on our online auction and being trained as a co-pilot for our donation pickup service.
In addition to all of the employment training Keaton has been through, he has also been able to maintain 40 hours a week since May 2022, has improved his credit score, obtained his driver’s license, purchased a vehicle and passed the HSE exam.
Keaton has also made positive changes in his physical health. Last year, Keaton was able to quit smoking, through a smoking cessation course that was offered at Sans Souci in partnership with Columbus Regional Health.
“This is the longest time I have ever been at a job,” Keaton said. “Someday I hope to move out on my own, get a reliable car and move into another type of career.”
Keaton aspires to be a participant in the next round of Sans Souci Build You so that he can learn more about finances, communications and what types of careers are out there.
“This is the longest time I have ever been at a job, all the opportunities Sans Souci offers is just awesome,” Keaton said. “No other job would do these things for you, but it’s also more than a job, it really is more like a family.”
While the Employee Development program is not a requirement for Sans Souci employees, it is highly encouraged to all employees because of the life-changing impact it can have on people, like Keaton, which carries out our mission of helping others live life “without worry.”