For the past 4 years, Tyrone Quick, has traveled first by bus and then two subway rides to get to his job in maintenance from his Highbridge neighborhood apartment in the Bronx. To Tyrone, the work he does for the McDonald’s on 241st St. is important, as a clean restaurant is a busy restaurant. Recently he was rewarded for his all-star efforts and was promoted to Manager of Maintenance for this McDonald’s.
Under ordinary circumstances, a promotion is an achievement most of us seek. But Tyrone is anything but ordinary. He is a young adult with a developmental disability, who was one of the tens of thousands housed in institutions not that long ago. The professionals at The Center for Family Support gave him the tools he needed to leave the institutionalized life and to live in his own apartment, navigating the mass transportation system, shopping for and cooking his own meals and enjoying a freedom that most young adults take for granted. Coupled with The Gateway Employment Pathway Program, Tyrone not only was living on his own but he was able to earn a living and be a productive member of society.
When you ask Tyrone what he thinks about his job, he says,” It’s great! It’s great! I have been there a long time. Just last week I became the Manager of Maintenance Work.”
He beams with pride as he explains how he now trains his staff to keep his McDonald’s clean and neat. “I tell my staff that this is a dining room and how it needs to be always clean and neat. If they miss something I talk to them nicely about it and remind them what needs to be done during each shift. I tell them we are a team and we can finish together. Our McDonald’s is very popular and when customers come in they give us the thumbs up,” he explained.
The Center for Family Support taught Tyrone how to dress for success with a clean uniform and for work and his appearance
While Tryone usually works 3 day shifts each week, he is always ready to come in to cover an extra shift for a co-worker who is sick or needs a personal day. In addition to his job, he volunteers on the weekends at The Split Rock Nursing Home, taking care of the elderly residents. He pushes them in the wheelchair, teaches them to feed themselves and has even learned how to administer CPR. “I like to keep busy and this gets me out of the house on the weekends. Sometimes I stop in on my way home from work too. I like to say hello to my friends there and I like to see them smile,” he explained.