After completing the JVS Career & Employment Janitorial Training Program, Leonard started working at Mariano’s in 2017. He was hired to keep the store clean—his first paid employment opportunity!
A few weeks after he started working, Leonard’s JVS talent referral specialist Leslie Glazer received a call that he was always asking his co-workers to clock him in and out. “When I went to visit Leonard to figure out what was going on, I learned that he couldn't read, which was why he was having such difficulty following the steps,” said Leslie. “After learning this, we made him a picture flip chart so that he was able to log in and out on his own. Additionally, we found a literacy program in Leonard’s neighborhood where he attended classes and learned to read.”
Two years later, Leonard is still a valued Mariano's employee and was named employee of the month. He was featured in the community newspaper as someone who goes above and beyond his regular duties and makes everyone’s day brighter by his exceptional customer service. He has brought groceries to customers’ cars and wiped snow off their vehicles on snowy days. He has even shoveled the sidewalks in front of the store on his days off! Leonard’s manager has said that he makes her day better when she sees him and wishes he always worked every day that she did.
Working has changed Leonard’s world as well as his co-workers' and the people in the community who know him. We are so proud of Leonard and all that he has accomplished!