“I feel more comfortable and confident with my disability,” Bryan Parrish says after graduating from the Starkloff Career Academy. “Seeing other professionals with disabilities living and working showed me that I can do it too.” 

Bryan came to the Career Academy with an MA in Human Resources Management from Webster University. 

Bolstered by the self-assurance and courage he developed at the Career Academy, Bryan scored a job at Gateway Sales Consulting as a Job Title Recruiter for sales people in the business-to-business sector. Gateway Sales Consulting is committed to being the largest outsourced consulting firm in North America. 

Bryan has been at Gateway since June, when he began an unpaid internship that lasted 2 months. “I was applying for jobs and saw this ‘unpaid internship’ opportunity,” he says. “I took advantage of it to get my foot in the door.” 

“My most meaningful work experience is building relationships with job seekers, making them feel more comfortable,” Bryan shares. He finds a common interest they can talk about, helps them relax prior to their interview. “I learned this from the Starkloff Career Academy.” 

Before coming to our Career Academy, Brian was sending the same resume to every job opportunity. “I learned the hard skill of customizing my resume for each job.” He believes this is the most important expertise he developed. 

Bryan has Cerebral Palsy. He uses a manual wheelchair to assist with his mobility disability. 

“The Career Academy made me more comfortable with my disability, more confident,” Bryan shares. He has come to find that his disability helps him be more adaptable, flexible, fluid and creative. “These are great transferable skills for any job or career.” 

“Bryan was very dedicated, hard-working and professional in class,” recalls Susan Menhard, Career Academy Director. “He never missed a day and always challenged himself. He set a great example for others.”  

To new Career Academy graduates, Brian advises: “Don’t judge a book by its cover; keep an open mind always.” 

The Career Academy helped Bryan find his inner confidence, become more open and friendly. “It changed my life.”

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