As spring turns into summer and Coronavirus restrictions are beginning to ease, lots of folks are eager to find safe ways to enjoy themselves and beat the summer heat. And at Leopold’s Ice Cream, a Savannah ice cream tradition and one of EmployAbility’s employer partners, Jackson is ready to help you beat the heat with their delicious menu of ice cream, sundaes, shakes, and other delicious snacks.
Jackson had just started his job at Leopold’s two weeks before the shelter-in-place order was enacted in mid-March and was furloughed along with the rest of his teammates. The job was a fantastic match from the start, and Jackson missed the energy and excitement of his job. So when the famed ice cream parlor re-opened a few weeks ago, Jackson was beyond eager to get back to work!
Jackson is responsible for sanitation – washing dishes, as well as following the new, rigorous Coronavirus cleaning and safety protocols to keep the dining room spotless for guests – and he takes his duties very seriously. He rides the bus from home to downtown and works 25-26 hours across four days each week, explaining, “I like working at Leopold’s because there’s lots of interaction and it’s a fun environment. There’s always something to do!”
Jackson’s job coach, Tiffany, boasts, “Because of his enthusiasm and willingness to jump right in and do whatever is asked of him, Jackson is being cross-trained to be a cashier in addition to his role in the back of the house, which I think is great! It opens up a lot of possibilities for him.”
General Manager Ross agrees, “Jackson cares a lot and is a hard worker. He’s very curious and wants to learn everything!” Ross truly enjoys having members on his team who might happen to have IDD like Jackson because “Having people on the team who are different from each other is good for the team. It helps us all to overcome preconceived notions and learn to work together. As a manager, it makes me think ‘How can we make this job fit this person, rather than make this person fit this job’ and makes me a better manager.”
In his downtime, Jackson spends time with his sister, taking walks and playing with their dogs. They like to watch movies together and, before the pandemic, go out to eat. And this summer, he looks forward to them enjoying a pint of either Coffee Chocolate Chip or Chocolate Chewies & Cream, which are his favorite Leopold’s flavors.
It’s open-minded employers like Leopold’s, and dedicated supporters like you, who are helping people with IDD create their own success stories each day.