Attention to Good Customer Service Makes Her Shine

Judith Richardson photo

Ft. Lauderdale, FL – If you walk into the Walgreens on Commercial Boulevard in Taramac and are greeted by a cheerful, smiling clerk, chances are you have just met Judith Richardson. A stroke in 1991 left her with severe cognitive impairment, but Judith was determined to get well and get back to work.

“She was extremely motivated,” says Judith’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor, Lynn Popejoy. “She had a lot of problems concentrating, focusing, and remembering, and VR provided the therapies she needed to help her become a success.”

Judith loves her new job as a self-service clerk at Walgreens and is grateful for the support from VR. “If it wasn’t for the services VR provided, I don’t think I would have made it,” she says.

To help Judith reach her goal, Lynn sent her to Job Coach Kenane Colvin, with Healthsouth & the Bridge. “Judith was one of the most determined clients I had,” says Kenane. “She was very motivated to find employment and keep a job. That is why everyone was excited when Judith landed a job with Walgreens.”

“Judith is very responsible, and she’s very devoted to what she does,” says Wilfredo Morales, Walgreens’ store manager and Judith’s supervisor. As a store clerk, Judith’s job responsibilities include stocking shelves and, where she shines the most, offering great customer service. “A lot of the customers know her by name,” says Wilfredo. “And she knows a lot of the customers by name, as well.”

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, local assisted living centers visit the store and Judith spends one-on-one time helping the elderly customers shop. “Because of her friendliness and commitment to the company, having Judith work here actually helps me grow, and my store too,” says Wilfredo.

When she’s not working, Judith enjoys putting together puzzles and hopes to one day save enough money to buy a new car and computer. It is a goal, she says, that is made possible through her progress with VR.

“I’m ecstatic,” she says. “I’ve come a long way, and I’m so happy that they believed in me.” Judith admits that she became frustrated at one point, but Lynn never gave up on her. “She stood by my side and was right here for me,” she says. “That’s what I needed.”

Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of America’s workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 111 offices across Florida, and last year helped 5,018 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.