Michael adapts to COVID-19 changes…and then adapts again!

Michael Cassel joined the Hopeworks Web Department as an intern early this year after completing the training and brought valuable skills to the UX (user experience) team and adapted quickly to working at home.  Shortly after shifting to remote work, Michael’s housing situation was unexpectedly interrupted due to the pandemic and he was forced to make an abrupt move.  But this didn’t deter Michael from his goals, rather it reinforced his desire to change his life!

Michael proudly tells us, “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis I have endured many challenges and distractions. First, I would like to thank the Hopeworks staff for literally holding my hand throughout my training process and then into my internship.

During COVID-19, I experienced having to make a sudden move to another state and found myself in an unexpected place in life. Hopeworks, even though impacted by COVID-19, remains productive and supportive to its youth.  Because of this, I was able to call on Hopeworks staff and within days they had my living situation handled.  I have settled into my new housing location and struggle with internet problems. There are moments while I’m  working when I might lose connection. It is very frustrating and difficult to focus on work when you’re constantly running into internet issues. Additionally, my supervisor was having difficulty contacting me while I was having connection problems, and I then lost an important file in the process!  Once again I was able to ask for help and we are working to fix the problems as I write this. 

COVID-19 took everyone by surprise, but I never let it, or any obstacle, discourage me. 

One of my long term goals is making it on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. But before I get there, I need to achieve my short term goals. I would like to develop a physical therapy app first and then create a clothing line. 

Lastly, I would like to get my Bachelor’s  in Exercise Science while becoming an entrepreneur. So with big dreams to chase, there are going to be a lot of late nights and difficult challenges. But COVID-19 is adding to my determination and desire. I already wanted to accomplish these things and COVID-19 really made me more flexible and resilient.  And, I improved my self-care. I even had time to start a garden!”

“If there’s one word to describe Michael Cassel, it’s positivity. His work on the UX team is valuable, but even more important is his sunny attitude and willingness to support his peers. No matter how much work pours into the department, Michael is sure to keep us going!” ~ Annie Rose Webb, Hopeworks Web Director

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