Karl's Employment Successes
“I’m proud to have an employer that values my strengths and sees me as an important part of the team. I want every person with a disability to have this opportunity.”
Determined. Upbeat. Reliable. Hard-working. These words not only describe most employers’ ideal employee, they also describe 21-year-old Karl Hoecke. The next time you visit the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, you might see Karl’s smiling face helping guests in the gift shop or maintaining the dining area at Tuskers, the zoo’s very own restaurant.
Karl is able to connect with people, make them feel comfortable, and is a wealth of knowledge on all topics related to the zoo. His multiple positions at the zoo utilize these strengths, and his passion for the animals and the guests is clear.
In 2017, Karl participated in the Youth Leadership Forum where he decided he wanted to be part of the SC Employment First Initiative and help pass a bill that ends the practice of allowing sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities. Karl is proud to have an employer that values his strengths and sees him as an important part of the team, and he wants every person with a disability to have this opportunity. Karl is currently working with local agencies to advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities and hopes to educate our state’s representatives on the benefits of hiring inclusively.