Robert Zerance, Jr. has been awarded the 2015 Employee of the Year for the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities. Robert was nominated for his dedication to his work at Grauls Markets in Hereford.
Robert has been able to overcome many obstacles and break the mold for typical disability stereotypes through his excellence and commitment with his job at Graul’s Market. Robert’s passion for work and his hobbies has allowed him to increase his independence and friendships within the community.
Employment has allowed Robert to experience opportunities and independence he could have never imagined. Robert has been working full-time at Graul’s Market in Hereford, Maryland for over 8 years. As a Parcel Pick-up Associate, he is in charge of collecting carts from the parking lot, assisting customers with loading groceries, and maintaining the cleanliness of the front of the store. His supervisors, Ken, Dan, and John, have echoed one another when speaking on his performance. Robert is polite, helpful and reliable. He is consistent with his performance and they appreciate his help. He routinely interacts with customers and often leaves them with a smile on their face. Customers have been known to shop at Graul’s Market because of Robert!
Through his employment at Graul’s Market he has been able to experience things most people never will! Robert has been able to go skydiving (three times!), he is currently working on his fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and is an avid Nascar fan and has attended many races. The social capital he has gained from the interaction with his coworkers and customers has been invaluable. Robert currently takes trips with a coworker and her family to Nascar experience events. Robert was able to move from a Penn-Mar group home to his own apartment due to his increased income.
Robert also is a member of the Board of Directors for Penn-Mar Human Services, being an advocate for employment and services for people with disabilities.