Zachary Hall, 29, really enjoys working for Sage Dining Services at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland. Zach shows up, ready to work, at 10 a.m. every weekday during the school year and is always happy to be there. He works in the school’s dining hall where he helps to serve over 1700 staff and students. An average workday for Zach includes cleaning, organizing, and restocking the dining hall’s condiment stations, stocking silverware, making oil and vinegar mixtures, and taking care of the trash. In addition, he willingly volunteers for any additional tasks. He says that he has learned a lot through this position, including how to work well with others and better save his money.
Zach has nothing but positive things to say about his job, however it hasn’t always been that way. His first job was working in The Arc’s landscaping department. Zach said that he wasn’t happy there because the work was hard and he didn’t like working outside in the heat.
After three years of work and deciding that landscaping wasn’t right for him, Zach began his new job at McDonogh School. He was excited for something new, but struggled with his job duties. His main job was to wash pots and pans in the kitchen, and sometimes it was too fast paced for him. “When it wasn’t working out, we didn’t give up on him,” said Janet Braun, McDonogh’s Food Services Director. Janet worked alongside Zach to switch his job duties to help him be more successful. “Without additional support from his job coach, in the first few weeks, it may not have been so successful. We are thankful for her,” added Janet. After this change occurred, Zach’s outlook on work began to shift.
Since making the switch, everyone has noticed a change in Zach. Others have said that he is much more positive and has gained a lot of self-confidence. He doesn’t hesitate to speak up for himself or to go to others for help when necessary. Zach has definitely made an impact on his workplace. “When he’s not here, we feel it,” Janet shared.
Both Janet Braun, Dining Services Director, and Larry Johnson, McDonogh’s Business Manager, support The Arc’s mission and are so grateful to have Zach as a member of their team. Zach has now worked consistently at McDonogh School for four years. He is saving his money to eventually buy a car and get his license. It is clear that Zach has made an impact on those that he works with, and they are all grateful that this has worked out.