Juan’s Story

Whoever said ‘nice guys finish last” didn’t know Juan Blevins! When Juan sees you, he smiles, says hello, and sincerely asks how you are doing. With his friendly demeanor and gentle ways, he has won over coworkers and customers at the downtown Safeway in Port Angeles, where he has worked as a Courtesy Clerk for almost 3 years. As a transition student at Port Angeles High School, Juan tried out various work opportunities including janitorial and office support. During this time, Juan met Mike La Grange, Safeway Store Director, in a jujitsu class and that connection led to a job opportunity when a Courtesy Clerk positon was open (see related employer story). Juan went to work in April 2016 and tried to learn the job on his own but found it difficult to adjust to the fast pace. At Mike’s suggestion, Juan asked Morningside to assist him in becoming an exemplary employee. Juan’s position requires him to work under pressure and keep up with cashiers while bagging groceries, gather carts, and check the store for safety and cleanliness. With Juan’s focus and hard work, and Morningside’s support, he soon excelled at his tasks. This afforded Juan new opportunities such as helping out in the dairy section. The independence of this assignment strongly appealed to Juan. He also really enjoys making trash runs where he is able to move through the store greeting and assisting customers as needed! When Mike was nominated for a Governor’s Committee on Disabilities and Employment award, King 5 News featured Juan and his coworkers in a report about Safeway’s hiring practices. The highlight of Juan’s year was attending the awards ceremony in Redmond with Mike, his mentor. When Safeway won, Mike brought Juan to the platform to share in receiving the Medium-Sized Private Employer of the Year Award. Juan spoke movingly to the attendees about how grateful he was for Mike as his employer. Building on his successes, Juan has become a more confident person, who has a new goal – a driver’s license! What a winner! Juan exemplifies what it means to be an all-round nice guy and top notch Courtesy Clerk!

Nice guys do finish first!


  Kelly’s Story

Kelly Kim is a 2018 Curtis High School graduate and knew exactly what she wanted to do and nothing was going to stop her from making her dreams a reality! Because of Kelly’s strong attention to detail and passion for reading, she knew she would excel in an office environment as a file clerk. While still in high school, Kelly began working to build as many file clerk skills as she could. Kelly knew exactly where to get the necessary skills so she began volunteering at a number of different worksites including the Curtis High School Library, The Tacoma Children’s museum, and the Pearl Street YMCA. In July 2018, Kelly was hired with the City of Tacoma Human Resources Department as a File Clerk working Monday through Friday, 20 hours per week. Kelly’s job consists of maintaining employee files for everyone employed by the City of Tacoma. Kelly identifies every piece of paper and then files it appropriately. With over 3,500 employees, this is no easy task. However, Kelly makes it look seamless and quite easy! Because of Kelly’s amazing work, other departments have reached out asking for her help. Kelly takes pride in what she does and is proud of how far she has come. She is making her dreams a reality.

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