Growing confidence and self-advocacy skills sets Tristan Olson up for success at Dollar General

May 2, 2024

Tristan DG

Tristan, 35, found Rise through a referral from a transition program after high school. Since then, he has tried various jobs, such as working at Rise Spring Lake Park, Cub Foods, and a computer repair center. “I’ve done a lot. Dollar General is like my 13th job,” Tristan jokes. During his shifts two days each week, Tristan stocks shelves, cleans aisles, unboxes products, and supports customers with their questions. As he explains, “I keep things organized. I like keeping the store in order.”

Finding the right job fit for Tristan involves his employment consultant Tammy Luczynski. Tammy works side by side with people who have a mental health diagnosis as they seek and maintain a job. She works with people who have jobs doing personal care, at Home Depot, data entry, pizza delivery, dietary, and more. Tammy finds the most joy when she supports people to achieve their goals. “I feel like their cheerleader sometimes. I have such a passion for supporting people and making things easier, so they can be more successful.”

Together, Tammy and Tristan have identified his talents. “I don’t think Tristan gives himself enough credit. He knows what he’s doing,” says Tammy. It was Tristan who took the lead when applying at Dollar General. “He suggested applying there because he lives close by. We drove over and met the general manager. Tristan was persistent to move the process along.” It’s clear Tristan’s time with Rise and work experiences prepared him to be more confident when seeking his current job.

Tammy has supported Tristan through the often-overwhelming parts of the employment journey, such as interviewing and completing job-related documents. “She helps me complete paperwork and trainings. When I need help reading things, she’s there for me,” Tristan shares.

A job that leads to growth and success is important. As Tammy notes, “Dollar General has been the best job for him. He’s grown tremendously.” Tristan is a go-getter. “I’m not usually standing in one spot. I always make sure to find something to do.” Tammy adds, “That store is super clean and organized thanks to Tristan!”

In his free time, Tristan enjoys watching movies and playing video games. The newest game Tristan is enjoying is Baldur’s Gate 3. Looking ahead, Tristan plans to stick around. “I’d like to keep my job. I like the people that I work with and the hours that I have.”

The people we serve, including Tristan, would face added obstacles to employment and independence without Rise’s services. “It’s important to have someone to lean on and bounce ideas off of when it comes to communicating needs and issues,” says Tammy. “With experience, each person gains confidence and comfort advocating for themselves.”