If you’ve had the chance to visit our Elizabethton store, you likely encountered a warm and friendly gentleman named Samir.
Samir’s journey with us began in March 2021, but the unfolding of his story dates to December 2020 when Samir and his family became a part of our lives. Born with the absence of the corpus callosum—a bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain’s hemispheres—Samir faces daily challenges with communication and fine motor skills.
Starting with no prior work experience, our team decided on a cautious approach—testing the waters with a part-time position of 8 hours a week, split up between two four-hour shifts. Erin, our Director of Client Services, took Samir under her wing, and over time, natural support developed within the store. He eventually began working closely with fellow team member Darlene.
Initially assigned to the role of a textile hanger, Samir quickly distinguished himself. Going beyond the basic tasks, he showcased a keen eye for quality and an impressive ability to organize items by category. As weeks passed, his responsibilities expanded, seamlessly integrating into our rotation system and ensuring our glasses racks were both organized and well-stocked.
Samir’s impact extends well beyond the merchandise racks. He embodies the true essence of our mission and the purpose behind our stores’ existence.
Beyond his individual contributions, Samir has influenced our team’s communication dynamics, emphasizing the power of effective and inclusive communication.
The joy on Samir’s face upon receiving his paycheck is contagious. It’s not merely a financial reward to Samir, but a tangible acknowledgment of his capabilities and contributions. His enthusiasm for meeting people has left an indelible mark on his fellow team members, fostering a vibrant and supportive community within the workplace.
Above all, Samir has become synonymous with a smile that brightens everyone’s day. His positive energy sets the tone for a workplace where everyone feels valued and appreciated.
In a remarkably short time, Samir’s journey from a tentative start to a confident and valued team member stands as a testament to resilience, growth, and the transformative power of inclusion.