Throughout her career in office support positions at Rise, Denise Coppess has always kept her sights set on working for a great company out in the community one day.
In her position as a financial office support staff at ARCH Language Network in Little Canada, Denise feels like she has made it.
Following high school graduation, Denise continued her education by taking college courses in office procedures. She came to Rise in 1997 and worked as one of the receptionists and clerical assistants at Rise Coon Rapids. In 2006 she started working as a data entry clerk with Rise’s Data Ability.
Given her skills and leadership abilities, Denise was one of the first people selected last year to work with a small team in the mail room at Cummins in Shoreview. She did a great job in getting this project up and running successfully. She honed even more skills and then felt ready to make the move into competitive employment.
With support in career planning and job placement services from Rise Employment Consultant Sarah Gustafson, Denise pursued her job search with hope and enthusiasm.
When Denise learned about ARCH’s mission and the career opportunities available, she was really excited. “I also liked that the company had started by working with newly arrived African refugees and immigrants,” said Denise. She was hired in December 2018.
ARCH provides professional interpreters and translators in more than 50 world languages for face-to-face interpretation and 100 languages for document translation services. They work with health care, education, legal businesses, and social service organizations throughout Minnesota and beyond.
Denise verifies people’s insurance coverage for interpreting and translating services and completes the paperwork for submission. She is trained in three health care insurance providers’ systems and verifies about 100 claims a day. Denise finds the work interesting and loves that she is learning so much about the insurance industry as well as world languages.
“I had a lot of training when I first started here so I could better understand ‘the big picture’ of what ARCH’s interpreters and translators do. It’s a really good company.”
Denise’s co-workers and supervisor find her to be accurate, dependable, and a good addition to their team. She thinks everyone is considerate and nice to work with.
“We are so delighted to have Denise working at ARCH,” said Director of Operations Twila Erickson. “We enjoy her smiles and willingness to jump into any task. Rise has been a wonderful organization to work with over the years. ARCH first hired an individual who is Deaf in 2014 with assistance from Rise. Their job coaches are always willing to assist when needed and offer valuable input so ARCH can provide a positive work space.”
Sarah follows up with Denise twice a month to ensure everything continues to go well on the job and address any work-related issues which may crop up. She also attends Denise’s training sessions and recently brought in an ergonaumics consultant to advise on a new way to set up her work area to meet her needs.
“Denise worked diligently to achieve her goal of working for a good company in an administrative support role,” Sarah noted. “She never doubted her dream and she never gave up. It’s wonderful Denise has found herself a perfect fit at ARCH Language Network.”
Having grown up with foster siblings who are Deaf and communicate with American Sign Language, Denise is fluent in ASL. Twila has suggested that Denise get her certification in ASL interpreting — another good career-building option for Denise to consider.
“I come from a family of three boys who are all very special to me,” she said. “They have shown me that if you stay the course on your journey, your dream job can come true.”
Denise takes Metro Mobility to work from her group home in Coon Rapids where she lives with three roommates. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, shopping, and is looking forward to a trip to Disneyland next year with her mom that a long-time good friend is treating them to.
This article appears in the June 2019 issue of the Rise Reporter.