Jason stands in the Mid Rivers Mall cafeteria, wearing his work uniform and holding a broom and towel to clean with.

Jason is celebrating his 25-year work anniversary with Allied Universal at Mid Rivers Mall, and there’s no doubt that he deserves to be in the spotlight! Starting his career journey straight out of high school, Jason’s goal was simple: to make his own money and feel a sense of independence. With the guidance and support of his first Vocational Case Manager, Pam Westhoff, Jason was all set to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

His first job at the mall in janitorial services wasn’t exactly glamorous. Cleaning the restrooms wasn’t his favorite responsibility, but Jason showed up to work every day with a smile on his face. Fast forward to today, and Jason is still working at the mall, now responsible for keeping the food court spick and span for all the guests. “I clean the tables and usually clean the chairs and I mop a lot. If someone spills their soda or something, I’ll mop it up. Sometimes I need to bring the food trays back to Charleys,” he shares. Speaking of Charleys, it seems to be one of Jason’s go-to spots for lunch. “I order a California chicken sub with cheese fries,” he exclaims.

But beyond his responsibilities and favorite lunch, what truly sets Jason apart is his unwavering positivity and genuine care for everyone around him. “I like this job because everyone is friendly. I like to talk to the customers in the food court, but I shouldn’t talk to them too much because I’m working,” he says. Abbigail, Jason’s current Vocational Case Manager, mentioned that when Jason had to take some time off from work, the mall staff and customers noticed. They were wondering where he was, and when he returned, they were sure to let him know that they missed him. His coworkers have kind words to say about him too. One of them shared, “Jason is definitely a good guy. He goes around to all the vendors and makes friends with everyone. He’s a good person, a good friend, and a good worker.” His manager Dave said, “He is a joy to have around!”

Jason’s commitment to work doesn’t just stop at the food court. He has been working a second job since 2005 at McDonald’s. On Wednesdays, he juggles his day shift at the mall, and his evening shift involves cleaning and restocking the dining area at McDonald’s. “I’ve been busy,” Jason said.

Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending quality time with his family and is proud to be a big brother. He also mentioned that his absolute favorite song is “Uptown Girl.” And sports? Oh, he’s a true St. Louis sports fan. “I like to watch St. Louis sports like Cardinals and the Blues,” he shared with excitement. But Jason doesn’t just watch sports; he plays them too. He’s an all-around athlete, participating in softball, bowling, and even aiming to get back into basketball. His passion for sports extends to the Special Olympics, where he competes with the same dedication and spirit.

Jason offers some wise advice for anyone starting a new job: “Be friendly, be nice, and be kind. Always be kind to each other.”

Please join us in celebrating Jason for his positivity, 25 years of dedication, and the countless smiles he’s brought to the faces of everyone around him. His journey is an inspiration, and we can’t wait to see what amazing accomplishments he will achieve in the years to come!

Jamie – Director of Employment Services: “Jason is so friendly and dependable! He is one of those people that you see and instantly get in a good mood because his personality is that contagious. We are so proud of him for reaching this career milestone and wish him continued success!”

Abbigail – Vocational Case Manager: “Jason is wonderful, he is always excited to see me, and I am excited to see him! I visit Jason 2 times a month for 2 hours each. During the visits I am there to make sure he is doing what he should be and to help answer any questions he may have. I think Jason has been so successful due to his positive attitude. Jason is an inspiration to all. Not many people can say they have been happy at their job for 25 years. I hope one day I will be as fortunate to celebrate such a big anniversary!”

Pam – Vocational Case Manager: “I have loved watching Jason’s success at his two jobs, through the years.  He is appreciated by his employers for his dependability, consistency, and customer service at each job.  I first got to know Jason when he graduated from high school, many years ago.  He was anxious to get to work and willingly did some yucky tasks, cleaning restrooms.  He continues to have the same smile he had so many years ago and greets anyone he meets with that smile.  It’s been a pleasure to know Jason and watch him succeed.”

“Be friendly, be nice, and be kind. Always be kind to each other.”