October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month… what better way to celebrate inclusivity than to highlight Carmen, a loyal and hardworking employee at MOD Pizza. We would like to call it Down Syndrome Achievement Month for Carmen’s many talents she shares with others including ventriloquism, teaching downhill skiing to people with different abilities, a Gold Medal Special Olympics dancer, and serving as GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis Talk Show Host… but those highlights are for another blog one day!
Today in Maryland, Carmen was interviewed by a production crew from Seattle, with the goal of highlighting a variety of valuable MOD employees. Seven other individuals located in major metropolitan markets across the country were also interviewed in their hometowns. The crew filmed Carmen at her job, her home, and at GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis where she was giving a speech to her peers enrolled in GiGi Prep, a Career Development Program.
Carmen enjoys her work at MOD Pizza and was selected to be interviewed and filmed for MOD internal training videos. She has worked at the location nearly three years, making her one of the longest-tenured employees at the restaurant location, south of Annapolis, and has her sights set on becoming an “All Star Employee!”
Carmen works several days a week, about 20-25 hours, and enjoys picking up shifts when they become available. She describes the MOD Squad as “generous, friendly, and excellent.” In her role at MOD Pizza Carmen greets people, works on the pizza making line, and interacts with customers.
MOD believes in celebrating inclusivity and hiring all types of people. In October 2020, MOD signed the Delivering Jobs Pledge, an effort to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace. Along with a coalition of companies, together they committed to creating 1 million new employment and leadership opportunities for people with autism, intellectual and developmental differences by 2025. They also plan to provide comprehensive training resources to create an inclusive support system across its 490+ restaurants system-wide. In 2020, MOD reported to have more than 300 Squad members with IDD and, last year, a few of them helped to create this inspiring video Our World.