October 30 – Judy Woodson (NDEAM Success Story)

Celebrating Our Successes!

Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

The Philadelphia “Employment 1st, Employment NOW!” Steering Committee is celebrating this year’s event with a month of employment success stories. Each day you will be receiving an email containing a new story about someone who is contributing to their community through employment. We invite you to join us as we celebrate their successes!

Planning for Success!

Judy Woodson is a phenomenal woman who has her own mind, a youthful spirit, and great determination. Judy always knew that she wanted to work, how much she wanted to work, how she wanted to live, and what she wanted to experience in life.

Jim hired Judy as a Utility Clerk at SuperFresh Market in June 2000. She started out tidying up around the store, collecting carts and baskets, bagging, doing returns, and general cleaning.

Inside of a month Judy knew all the employees by their first name and most of the customers as well. She greeted people with a big smile and was very helpful. She would stop working to walk a customer to an aisle. Judy always assisted the elderly with patience and care. Now, if the customers don’t see Judy, they ask management where she is.

Travel training Judy was interesting. Staff mapped out the best route, with the least amount of transfers and the shortest walking distance. After all of that effort, bus riding and pointing out landmarks, Judy chose to travel a different route. Staff became curious and asked Judy why she chose a longer route and having to walk five blocks instead of one block. Judy’s response was classic: She smiled brightly and stated that she liked the horses and buggies that line up along 5th street. She can pet the horses and speak to the drivers; the horses are so beautiful. All I could do was smile and agree.

Speaking of travel, Judy has taken several cruises, has gone to the Caribbean and to Amsterdam. She wants to start taking more trips after she gets a place of her own.

Judy has always had roommates and she had often stated that she wanted to live alone. In preparation of her plans, Judy learned to shop for herself and to fix simple meals. She recently moved to her own apartment. She picked out her own furnishings and decorations. And she states she enjoys the peace and quiet.

Five store managers and two front end managers later Judy continues to work for SuperFresh. I’d call that Success.

~ Submitted by CATCH