IMG_5782

Eli posing next to his favorite MU football player, Justin Smith.

When you walk around the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex (MATC) with Eli, you know he belongs there. He shows you around as if he runs the place. He knows everyone’s office. He knows where the players are in the building at all times. He knows exactly where his favorite players are honored on the walls.

And most importantly, he is knocking it out of the park with his job performance

He casually waves hello to everyone who passes, often times getting a “hello Eli” in response. You’d never guess he’s only worked there three months.

Finding meaningful employment for Eli was a no brainer for ACT Career Services (ACS) Career Specialist Dustin Murray.

Eli has always been die-hard about one thing: sports. So Murray knew he would be a perfect addition to the staff at MATC. (You can read about ACS’s relationship with University of Missouri’s Sports Park here.)

As the sun rises over the athletic complex, you can find Eli preparing the building for another day of successes. He ensures the building is spotless for the athletes and coaches. This makes him proud.

Eli giving his tour of MATC

Eli giving his tour of MATC

He arrives at 5:00 am and starts his day by cleaning rooms where hours and hours of game tapes are reviewed and coaches hammered out their game day plans. He winds up his day dusting the pictures that pay tribute to Mizzou’s athletic greats, some of whom once roamed those same halls.

“My favorite place to clean is Barry Odom’s (head coach of the MU football team) office,” states Eli. “Do you want me to introduce you to him?” “My favorite thing about the job is getting to know everyone here!” He exclaims.

In his 90 days working at the facility, he has made quite an impression on everybody, professionally and personally.

“All the players and coaches know him on a first name basis,” says Sandra Frey, ACS Career Specialist. He might have been shy at first, but now there isn’t a stranger in the house.

MATC’s Lead Custodian and Hiring Manager for the cleaning crew Mike Lindsay adds, “He goes above and beyond expectations.”

Eli’s devotion to sports has gained him some notoriety in the past. A University of Missouri journalism student filmed a piece highlighting Eli’s involvement with the 2015 5A State Champion Battle Spartans. He was known by everyone as the team motivator.

Whether it was his position on the Spartans’ team or his outgoing personality, his popularity earned him the Battle Spartans 2014-2015 court-warming king, a first ever for the three-year-old school.

Now at MATC, it didn’t take Eli long to introduce himself to the newly-named head football coach and suggest he fill the position of head motivator on the Tiger’s roster.

Eli thrives alongside athletic figures he looks up to. Now he is getting paid to do it. And he’s excelling.

“He loves it!” Frey says. “He loves sports. So, this is a truly perfect fit. He has really blossomed there.”

Eli now receives very little support from ACS. As one who receives services from ACS grows into his or her position, the amount of time a Career Specialist provides job coaching decreases.

Soon Eli will no longer need support from ACS and Frey, who is down to one day a week for less than an hour. That is always the goal for individuals receiving services in ACS.

It can be hard finding one’s professional sweet spot. We are thrilled to have helped Eli find his. ACT will be cheering you on all the way, Eli! M-I-Z…!