KELLER -- Most people do countdown to Friday. Cole Jolley sure does.

But only because Friday means it's time to go to work.

"I look forward to it all week," he said, smiling.

Jolley works a half-day each Friday, running a register at the self-checkout lanes at the Keller Home Depot. If he isn't behind that computer screen, he's straightening shelves, or interacting with customers. No matter where he goes or what he's doing, he seems to make people smile.

Cole is now 23, but when he was just a seven-week-old baby, a drunk driver crashed head-on into his family's vehicle. Cole suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"Any parent has a dream of their child having a fulfilled life, you know, whatever that may be. And when Cole had his accident, there was a lot of shattered dreams that happened," said his mother, Renee.

A job seemed a distant dream, even after graduation from Keller High.

But Renee got Cole involved in a transition program after high school, and then the Easter Seals of North Texas offered intense job training and one-on-one coaching. And his hometown Home Depot offered Cole a chance, because they could see potential.

Cole has been on the job a little more than a year.

"We have had a number of positive comments from our customers," said Cole's manager Kim Wood. "They like interacting with him."

Cole's job description doesn't include "teacher," but he certainly is one.

"He is just never in a bad mood," said his mother. "There is no negativity in his life, he inspires so many people."

When asked what he loves most about Home Depot, his answer is simple.

"Just having a job," he said.

"Everybody's life is able to affect someone else in all you do. All your actions rub off on other people," Wood said. "[Cole] has definitely shared some life lessons with us; things we all start looking at in a slightly different way."

Easter Seals places 39-to-45 people in jobs every year, and praises companies like Home Depot that are willing to give their clients a shot.

Cole is so well-liked and is doing such a good job, Home Depot is talking with his family about adding some hours to his work week.


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