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Success Highlights

Nikki’s Sweet Success

Nichole “Nikki” Loughlin has been working with Mountain Crest since 2015 and has been employed by a Tigard area restaurant since December of 2016. Thanks to the compassion and creativity of the General Manager, Jessica Howell, the store rearranged how the designated “cleaning hours” were used. The foresight shown by
Jessica resulted in the creation of a brand-new position that utilized Nikki’s strengths in a way that would serve as exceptionally useful to the restaurant. Nikki consistently shows up a couple days a week where she dedicates her time to cleaning the booths within the restaurant.

With the assistance of her Job Coach Carl Bartelt, Nikki remains focused at work and sticks to the task at hand using visual and verbal cues along with positive redirection. High-fives are a great motivator for anyone and Nikki is no stranger to the practice, especially when it comes to keeping her team excited about giving it their all.

The Vice-President of the company performs a yearly inspection of every restaurant location within the franchise. Part of this inspection involves visualizing an “invisible box” that is drawn around each booth to evaluate the cleanliness. When this occurred at the Tigard location, he was blown away by how clean the booths were and praised Nikki for her great work stating, “These are the cleanest booths in the company.” Due to Nikki’s hard work and dedication to her job, along with an open-minded General Manager that created an opportunity for Nikki resulted in recognition from the Vice-President. It shows that great  results can happen when a business has the patience and willingness to re-think the “normal” way they conduct daily routines finding a task that doesn’t get the attention it needs and creating a position for someone to address that need, embracing it, taking pride in it allowing the employee to thrive and the company to get recognized for a job well done.

With the assistance of her Job Coach Carl Bartelt, Nikki remains focused at work and sticks to the task at hand using visual and verbal cues along with positive redirection. High-fives are a great motivator for anyone and Nikki is no stranger to the practice, especially when it comes to keeping her team excited about giving it their all.

Chad's Bagel Success

Chad is a young man with Autism, who lives independently in downtown Portland. Chad enjoys running, walking around downtown, and playing video games. Chad’s journey to employment success started back in 2017, when his Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor referred him to Mountain Crest. Mountain Crest and the VRC agreed that Chad could benefit from PVSA services and worked him in this capacity for quite some time, helping him process anxiety about going back to work and to gain the skills necessary to enter the workforce. When he felt ready, we began to help Chad explore vocational interests and completed a Community Based Work Assessment in the community where Chad was able to demonstrate his work ethic, reliability, and his eagerness to do well in a job. For Chad, he not only demonstrated his employability, but he was able to gain confidence in his work skills and ability to successfully navigate and interact in a workplace environment. After successful completion of the work assessment and narrowing down his job goal, Mountain Crest accepted Chad into job placement. After just a few short months of looking for work, Chad was hired at a local bagel shop.

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Mountain Crest worked closely with the employer and Chad, ensuring that he was transitioning into work well. Chad stated that he really enjoyed the position and especially liked the perks of being able to take free bagels home at the end of his shift. For the first time, Chad is successful in a work environment. He has confidence. He feels apart of his community and benefits from the social interactions that he has at work. He is working a part time schedule, close to his home, and is paid above minimum wage. He is a valued member of the team and not only does he enjoy being there, but they enjoy having him. In May 2018, Chad was awarded Employee of the Month. He was ecstatic to receive a homemade pie and a $50 Visa gift card as a reward for doing such an excellent job in his first month working.


Chad’s story is a true testament to the positive success that can be had when we take the time to get to know a client - their strengths and needs and collaboratively work with the support team in place to find the best fit. Chad hopes to stay in his position for the foreseeable future and is learning invaluable skills about work, money management, social relationships, and most importantly, he is learning that he is capable and able to maintain employment.

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Sam at Fred Meyer

Sam is in his early 20’s and lives in SE Portland. He is on the Autism Spectrum which does not impede his interested in trains nor does it prevent him from spending time riding BMX bikes and bowling. Sam graduated high school in 2016, where he participated in the Portland Community Transition Program. It was through the transition program that he was introduced by The State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to Mountain Crest Counseling to assist with his job goals.

Ken Price, Employment Specialist Manager at Mountain Crest Counseling worked with Sam’s his friendly approach and retail experience to find a job that played on Sam’s strengths. With Ken’s help, Sam was hired at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer during the beginning of December.


Sam and his father had the following to say about their experience working with Ken in seeking employment for Sam:

"I'd like to thank Ken Price of Mountain Crest Counseling Services for helping me get a job at Fred Meyer as a Courtesy Clerk. Ken helped me set my work goals, assisted with writing a great resume, and prepared me for interviews. Ken also helped me apply to jobs online. When I got a call, Ken went with me to Fred Meyer and sat with me in the interview. I was hired on the spot. Now Ken comes to my job a couple times per week to check on me and talk to the bosses. So far, so good. 

Thanks Ken for helping me get a happy job.



"I'd like to thank Ken Price and everyone at Mountain Crest Counseling Services for helping my son get a good job here in Portland. Ken took my eager 19-year-old and worked with him on setting several work goals. They met to freshen up his resume and his interview skills and to apply to jobs online. We all know how stressful job hunting can be. Ken made sure Sam stayed upbeat and focused through the entire process just like the best coaches do.  Ken supported Sam through the job interview at a local retailer and assured the new bosses he'd support him through his first few months on the job. He's kept his word with friendly, encouraging weekly check-ins and the store managers say Sam's getting the job done at a store he enjoys working at. 


If you have a young person in your family who might need a bit of help in the local job market, please give MCCS a call. I'm sure glad we did.



Sam's Father 

Danny at Burgerville

Danny Pill-Kahan began working for Burgerville in June 2019. Ken Price has been working with and coaching Danny for the past 6 weeks and Danny has already made great strides in learning his daily tasks and working independently. In addition to learning new tasks at work, Danny also needed to learn the bus system so he can get to and from work independently. The employees at Burgerville are very supportive and have made Danny feel like he is a valuable part of their team.

Danny works at the Burgerville o Allen and Scholls Ferry so if you happen to work at WA County OVRS stop by and say hello!


Eric and Tyler at Safeway

Eric Cook has been a customer of Mountain Crest Counseling for the past 4 years. He worked as a Dining Room Attendant in the Beaverton area for close to 3 years before moving to Wood Village, OR. After the transition we began working with Eric and his family again to seek employment opportunities in his neighborhood. Eric eventually found a great opportunity at Safeway in Wood Village.


The employees at Safeway are very supportive and can’t say enough positive comments about Eric and his work ethic. Tyler has been a great natural support and has taken Eric under his wing assisting with Eric’s daily tasks. Thanks to the Wood Village Safeway for making Eric feel part of the team.

Erika and Brian at Safeway

Erika has found great success and happiness working as a Courtesy Clerk at the Hyland Hills Safeway. She

has worked with the company for over ten years, and recently was able to acquire more work hours. Erika’s success and happiness also stems from the support of her many co-workers and managers; a term coined “natural supports”. Because Erika feels accepted and understood by her fellow co-workers and managers, the probability for job retention (i.e. holding a job long-term) is higher. Furthermore, this can be a reality for any other individual in the workforce. 

Pictured is Erika with her co-worker Brian. Brian has been an excellent natural support for Erika, occasionally assisting her with commu- nication, priority of tasks, and e ciency at work. Beyond working well together, Erika and Brian enjoy conversing about

their interests and other topics for which they have reciprocity. Erika is aware that she can ask Brian for help when needed, as they have established strong rapport.


Preeti's Path to Safeway

Preeti’s Success Story began when she enrolled in Mountain Crest Counseling’s Virtual Job Readiness Workshop in October of 2020. In this course students learned how to navigate online applications and employment opportunities, research companies, prepare for interviews, develop resumes, cover letters and thank you letters, follow up with employers, and prepare for their first days at work. Throughout the course Preeti was an outstanding student who never missed a class, was always on time, and submitted excellent work. After completing this course Preeti moved into Job Development working with Ken Price and her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Taryn Cochran from the Washington County office. Once we determined her job goals it was time to move forward with seeking employment opportunities. Ken asked Preeti “What do we do now?” Preeti knew exactly what to do based on what she learned in class. Ken was there to assist her but Preeti completed the majority of the work on her own with little limited help from Ken. Today Preeti is working as a Courtesy Clerk at Safeway in Beaverton. Ken continues to work with her through Long Term Supports. In the short period she has been there Preeti has become the lead trainer for new Courtesy Clerks. Our short-term goal is to become the Employee of the Month and log term goals may include cashiering or possibly a management roll. If you are ever shopping at Safeway in Beaverton stop by and say hello. You can’t miss that smiling face!

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Sophie Mickola at The Stafford

Sophie’s employment journey began back in 2015 when she was first referred to Mountain Crest Counseling Services. With the help of Job Developer Kayla Beckman Taylor, Sophie found a position that allowed her to explore her interests and maximize her talents. She ultimately accepted an opportunity working as a Dietary Aide at The Stafford, a local retirement community in Lake Oswego; this would be Sophie’s first job.

Fast forward to 2022 and Sophie has been employed with The Stafford for over two years now, being one of their longest tenured dining room team members. While on shift, she can often be found clearing tables, delivering meals, and ensuring the dining area and kitchen is well maintained. According to her most recent annual review from management, Sophie does a phenomenal job, a sentiment that is echoed by her coworkers.

When Sophie initially began working at The Stafford, she worked closely with her Job Coach; Madelyn Duer to ensure her transition into employment went smoothly. Sophie picked up on her job tasks quickly and with her friendly demeanor, easily integrated into the team. Within a couple of months, Sophie was working independently with weekly check-ins from Madelyn. All seemed to be going great, until unexpectedly, the pandemic hit. Fortunately, Sophie maintained her position within The Stafford and once able to return to work, adjusted well to the drastic changes COVID brought with it.

Despite the events of the past couple years, Sophie remains diligent in her work and an invaluable member of The Stafford team.

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