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Connecting Passions and
Purpose Through Work

Meet Susan. She’s a graduate of New Trier High School who has hearing loss. Her life was greatly impacted by COVID. She lost her job, and when the world started wearing face masks, she lost her opportunity to read lips. This diminished her ability to join in social conversations and left her feeling defeated and isolated. 


In the spring of 2022, she asked TotalLink to help her find a job. We learned she is most productive in the morning and that she is skilled at organization - everything needs a place. We also learned she loves the color purple, especially wearing purple clothes.

Susan’s mom came to us and said, “I know the nicest manager at Marshalls, I think you should talk with her.” We learned that Marshalls needed help organizing the store before it opened in the morning. Many of the tasks were an exact match for Susan’s strengths.


We visited the store with Susan to see if she could envision herself working there; she immediately started lining up and straightening products on displays. One interview later, Susan was hired and began working at Marshalls in June 2022.


Face masks are still around, but Susan has a strategy now, thanks to TotalLink. She asks the person to write it down. These accommodations may not have been possible without TotalLink providing education and support to both Susan and Marshalls. 


Susan is a valued member of the team, works independently, and loves using her employee discount to buy new purple clothes. 

If you know anyone who could be a resource or provide an employment introduction to TotalLink’s job seekers, please contact TotalLink Employment Specialist, Greg Spigelman at or 224-412-4718.

TotalLInk participant at her job at Marshalls.
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