It didn’t take long for Ned Bealy to realize he had a friend at Salesforce. During a job interview nearly a year ago, Salesforce’s Marc Williams interrupted Ned as he began apologizing for his stuttering. Shauna Lozada recalled the moment when Marc said, “Don’t apologize; don’t worry how long it takes. I want you to be you.” From that moment on, “he has my back and I have his back too,” Ned says. He is among 15 people from AHRC New York City’s Employment and Business Services (EBS) working at Salesforce today.
Ned graduated from AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at Kingsborough Community College in 2015. He held several internships during the program which helped prepare him for paid employment. He developed a strong work ethic. Yet when Ned joined EBS, he struggled to find a job.
“No one would give Ned an opportunity because of his severe stuttering,” Shauna, Marketing Director for AHRC NYC’s EBS, recalled. An opening at Michaels craft store in downtown Brooklyn worked out well for 18 months. Ned enjoyed working there and Michaels’s staff liked his dedication and determination to do a good job. But the store couldn’t provide him with sufficient hours, so Ned began searching for another job.
At Salesforce, Ned cleans staff areas and equipment and organizes and stocks supplies in the snack and supply closets. He recently advocated for himself, expressing a desire to grow on the job. Today he delivers mail to four floors in addition to his other responsibilities.
A Second Home
Colleagues are drawn to Ned’s strong work ethic and his amiable attitude. “I’m easy to work with,” he says. “The more I work, the stronger the bond grows with my colleagues.” Ned credits the AHRC New York City workers and staff as well as Salesforce employees with his success on the job.
Salesforce is a second home for Ned. “I really like the friendly, outgoing workers,” he says. Since joining the company, Ned says his self-esteem and his confidence have increased in a huge way. “I feel capable, secure, active, confident and I feel like I am giving back to society since it has given me so much.”
Since his joining the company, Ned’s mom, Dayna Bealy, sees her son in a new light. “He has noticeably matured, and grown about two inches because he stands straighter since he feels great,” she said.
“It took him so long to get a job,” Shauna said. “People couldn’t see beyond that stutter. I promised myself if something came up I was going to provide him with that opportunity if I could.”
As job coaches worked with Ned, he told them that he felt they were rushing him to complete sentences. So he explained to his job coaches how to work with someone with a speech impediment. Today Ned performs many of his tasks independently and sometimes doesn’t need any job coaching. “Sometimes I assist my colleagues who don’t have the feel for the job down,” Ned says.
Ned’s advice for people with disabilities seeking employment is straightforward:
- Arrive on time.
- Whenever you have a problem or don’t understand something, ask. There will always be a job coach on your first day and then every other day.
- Just do your best and don’t stress.
- Dress appropriately and you will fit in quickly.
“We’re so proud of him,” Dayna said. “He’s the only person I know who sets his goals out publicly and pushes himself to reach them. He’s inspiring.”