Jackie. Photo courtesy of Capital One.
Jackie remembers walking into her office one day in the spring of 2010 and seeing a sea of coworkers wearing blue for Autism Acceptance Month.
They were all dressed up to show their support for Jackie and her then 2-year-old daughter Jaimie, who had recently been diagnosed with nonverbal autism, a condition in which a person cannot communicate with someone through speaking.
“I asked my manager and a couple of coworkers to wear blue, but I wasn’t expecting nearly 50 people,” said Jackie, a customer service team leader for Capital One Bank. “I was so happy and teary that day.”
Every year since Jaimie’s diagnosis, Jackie’s colleagues have observed Autism Acceptance Month. It’s one of many ways that Jackie feels supported at Capital One while caring for her family and still growing her career.
After Jaimie’s diagnosis, Jackie joined CapAbilities, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for associates who have a disability, as well as caregivers and allies. CapAbilities hosted conversations on raising children with disabilities that gave Jackie insight into home assistance, schooling and finding future jobs for Jaimie.
Webinars hosted by VOICES, our BRG for Black associates and allies, also helped Jackie plan a comprehensive financial and retirement plan while raising her daughter.
“There were so many resources, experts and new friends that I had no idea existed,” Jackie said. “I became a better mother and caretaker for my daughter because of my Capital One community.”
As Jackie’s confidence grew in raising Jaimie, she found opportunities to advocate for her daughter and share stories about their journeys. She became a board member of Maryland’s Howard County Autism Society. Jackie also told thousands of associates the story about her daughter’s diagnosis during a Capital One series that highlighted the lives of several associates who act as caregivers to loved ones.
Photo courtesy of Capital One.
“As I’ve opened up, I’ve had colleagues come to me to share that they’ve started telling more people they have children on the autism spectrum,” Jackie said. “If I can help one person open up or get help in taking care of their loved one, then I’ve done my job. We’re stronger when we can lean on each other and share our victories.”
While Jackie has been hard at work advocating for neurodiverse families, she’s also kept her focus on career development.
Since joining Capital One in 2004, Jackie has earned promotions that have taken her from customer services representative to team leader. She manages a team of 14 associates who assist customers with their checking and savings accounts.
She’s participated in multiple in-house training programs that taught her how to provide feedback, lead successful meetings and create a culture of trust and belonging. Jackie’s leaders even helped her adjust her schedule—from a day shift to a night shift—so it best suits Jaimie’s needs.
“Life at Capital One means acceptance,” Jackie said. “It means putting your family first. It means always bringing your whole self to work. My life, and Jaimie’s life, is better because I’m here.”
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