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If your hunger depends on Lenz, just say when!

For nearly 12 years, Amy Lenz has been delivering meals to hungry employees at Coronado Center who can’t leave their stores or kiosks, and she couldn’t be happier about it.

Through Adelante’s EmployAbility program, Amy works for Adelante’s Meal Delivery Service, which provides meal pickup and delivery at Coronado and Cottonwood malls in Albuquerque. “It means a lot to her. She loves her job,” says Debbie, Amy’s mother. “If I try to say something about ‘We might take a day off,’ oh, no!—she says she needs to be here, her customers need her.”

“She takes her job very seriously. I really like that, and I respect that about her,” says Martha, an employee at a kiosk who has been one of Amy’s regular customers for over a decade. “And I love the service because I can’t just leave.”

“She’s dedicated,” confirms Nikki, another long-term customer. “She’s always coming up with stuff to attract more customers, to make things easier. It matters to her.” Nikki explains what a convenience the service is to mall employees. “We cannot get down to the food court. And even if we could, we can’t wait in line. It’s just not possible—we don’t get real breaks, so it helps out a ton!”

Further illustrating Amy’s dedication and initiative, Debbie shares how Amy improved response time when answering calls to the Meal Delivery Service, saying, “She even went on her own, went up to Verizon and got herself an earpiece so that when she has the phone she can answer without having to pick up the phone.”

Amy and her customers aren’t the only ones pleased with the job. It means a lot to her mother, too. “I’m grateful for it,” Debbie says. ”And the people she has that work with her are really good—I mean she couldn’t do it without them. She knows the mall like the back of her hand, but she needs help.  So the job coaches are great. She really enjoys working with them.”

Debbie says Amy’s job through Adelante has had a lot of positive effects. “I’ve seen her grow as a result of having this job. She’s very confident. She speaks up, and I know her diction has gotten better, because she knows that she has to try to make herself understood plainly and clearly.”

And what would a job be without a paycheck? “My favorite part about it is getting money,” Amy says, which allows her to buy things she enjoys, like perfume for herself and presents for special people in her life. Amy also enjoys earning money to do one of her favorite activities: dining in restaurants.

An independent income is a strong motivator, but social interaction is a close second for Amy. “Everybody knows me,” she says. ”They will call me.”

And the positive effects aren’t just on Amy—her sunny disposition spreads smiles all across the mall.

“She is so positive,” Nikki says. “If you’re cranky, she will tell you to cheer up. If you’re cussing, she will tell you not to do that. You are not allowed to say anything mean, even teasingly, about anybody. That’s not allowed. I love Amy.”

“Amy is such a social butterfly,” says Marissa, one of Adelante’s job coaches. “She’s so popular here at the mall. It’s been great because you see how much people appreciate her, and her service.”

Nikki says that nothing seems to get Amy down. “Even on a rough day, she’ll say she’s having a rough day, but it’s going to get better. She’s just got an amazing, positive attitude. I think a lot of us could learn from her.”

With a preference and priority for competitive employment in the community, Adelante has the largest and most successful supported-employment program in New Mexico for people with disabilities, matching skills and interests with employment opportunities.

Adelante has been working on reducing the unemployment rates for people with disabilities for nearly 40 years, yet more than 70% of people with disabilities are not participating in the workforce in our country. We presume that people want to work, and Adelante believes there should be a full range of options available to ensure that everyone has opportunities to enter the workforce in the manner they choose.

If you’d like to hire a person with a disability, or would like Adelante’s support in finding a job in the community, please contact Melinda Garcia at MGarcia@GoAdelante.org or (505) 341-7124.