Meet our 2020 Ability Award Winner!
Every year at Celebrate: Triangle, Inc.’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser, we honor a Triangle, Inc. program participant who embodies our mission and perseveres against all odds. This year, we are honoring Bruce, a program participant at Triangle’s Pearl Street location. In the previous weeks we’ve been posting blogs highlighting this year’s honorees, who will be recognized at this year’s event at the JFK Library and Museum on April 15. Event tickets and sponsorship information are available here.
Bruce started attending Triangle, Inc. day programming on December 4, 2014. When he first began at Triangle, Bruce kept to himself and was not interested in participating in daily activities and outings. Bruce’s goal was finding the right job, and he worked with Employment Specialists over the years on the hunt for an opportunity. Matt Selinger, Bruce’s primary Employment Specialist since March 2019, met with Bruce weekly to help apply for local job opportunities.
Bruce wanted to work 9am-12pm with no weekends, which made it difficult to find the perfect position. In June 2019, when a lead for a role at Five Guys came up, Matt thought this would be a great opportunity for Bruce. The only catch was that the position involved working weekends. When Matt first presented the job to Bruce at a weekly meeting, Bruce initially declined, but Matt urged him to sleep on it. The next day, Bruce had come around to the idea and decided that he would work Sundays but not Saturdays. At his interview with Five Guys a few weeks later, Bruce did a great job and impressed the Five Guys staff. During the interview, Susan, Bruce’s supervisor, asked if he could work Friday afternoons. Bruce agreed, and he was hired on the spot to work in the lobby on Friday and Sunday afternoons. His daily responsibilities include greeting customers, cleaning tables, sweeping up crumbs, and keeping the floor, windows, and doors clean.
Five Guys scheduled Bruce to work his first shift in July 2019. Despite not working competitively since 2005, Bruce picked everything up quickly. His supervisor only needed to show him what to do once and he quickly followed suit. He efficiently moved from one task to the next without needing any prompts. Every time Matt speaks with Bruce’s supervisor, she always mentions how Bruce does everything without being asked and describes him as a “self-starter.” Five Guys has random store visitors from their corporate offices who grade the store based on customer experience. Since Bruce has started, they have consistently received great scores on the secret shop due to his excellent attitude and hard work. When a store gets a strong grade, everyone working in the store gets a bonus. Thanks in part to Bruce’s efforts, he and his coworkers have earned a bonus on their paychecks!
Since he started working at Five Guys, Triangle staff members have noticed a huge change in Bruce’s attitude around day programing as well. He is participating in group activities and socializing more with his peers. He loves being part of the Triangle “Breakfast Club,” which meets monthly to try new breakfast spots around Malden. Bruce has been saving money from his paychecks to buy a new, nice TV to put in his bedroom. Bruce is excited and proud about winning the Ability Award, and in his words, “I can’t believe I did it!”
Please check out our social media channels and Connect:Ability email newsletter to read our previous blogs announcing the other honorees.