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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Best Buddies Helps Participant Get Jobs at Star Market in Brookline – Boston News, Weather, Sports

By Vaseline May31,2024
Best Buddies Helps Participant Get Jobs at Star Market in Brookline – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BROOKLINE, MASS. (WHDH) – We’re just days away from a bike ride that could change lives. Riders will cycle up to 100 miles in the Best Buddies Challenge on Saturday, and 7News is a proud partner of the organization.

It’s all to raise money to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tonight we meet someone who benefits from cycling.

Working at Star Market in Brookline is more than a job for Nick Jenkins. It makes him feel part of the community and makes him proud.

“I don’t like sitting on my hands and twiddling my thumbs,” Jenkins said. “Coming to work every day, being happy, doing my job and then just having fun.”

Jenkins got his job as a produce clerk through Best Buddies. The charity helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities build friendships, find work and live fuller lives.

Liz Navarro is a supervisor at the Best Buddies Jobs program.

“Many people with disabilities cannot find work and it is very challenging for them,” says Navarro. “So I think our program is a huge help. It makes them part of the community and allows them to make money and have an income, and make friends at work, and just really be part of society, just like everyone should be. It has a huge impact on their lives.”

And a huge impact on the companies where they work.

“Nick is the model employee,” said Mike Beaton, Star Market store director. “He is the person you go to when you need something. And I think he represents Best Buddies like no other.”

“Every day he comes in with a positive attitude, two hours early for his shift, raring to go and working four days a week,” Beaton continued. “I don’t think he’s ever called in sick in the 10 years he’s been with us.”

Currently, approximately 200 Friends contribute at companies throughout Massachusetts. And the organization hopes to boost that number even further by raising money for its largest fundraiser: the annual Boston to Hyannis Port bike ride.

“By raising all of these funds, they all go right back into the programs to help guys like Nick,” said Patrick Shaughnessy, the senior director of Best Buddies.

“His attitude is infectious. He’s an important part of the building, I would say. He is my VIP associate,” Beaton said of Jenkins. “He is the reason why Star Market shines.”

Jenkins also works part-time at Fenway Park with the Red Sox. And in another major achievement, he is now eligible to graduate from the Best Buddies program.

If you would like to participate in the Best Buddies Challenge or donate, please visit bestbuddieschallenge.org.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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