Meet the dynamic duo helping to support our nation’s essential functions
The most iconic duos have made their mark in history: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; Sunny and Cher; Batman and Robin; Woody and Buzz Lightyear. One nonprofit agency based in New York has a dynamic duo of their own.
Maria Mazzeo and Josh Berman work at The Corporate Source, one of approximately 700 nonprofit agencies in the SourceAmerica® network. These inseparable friends are always ready to jump into action at the Internal Revenue Service mailroom in Long Island where they work.
Although best friends, Mazzeo and Berman could not be more different from each other. Aside from age and gender, they have differing disabilities requiring specific accessibility accommodations. Berman is middle-aged, married to his sweetheart Meredith ("wife of my life"), drives his own car to work, and handles the busy afternoon shift. His younger counterpart, Mazzeo, lives with her loving parents, commutes via Access-a-Ride, is a talented artist, and attends an afternoon recreational day program when her morning shift ends.
Despite these differences, Mazzeo and Berman consider themselves loyal "work brother and sister,” overlapping in their shared duties for only a few minutes each day to ensure a seamless and smooth transition from shift to shift. They process mail, ship packages, and organize every item in the mailroom throughout the day. Both Mazzeo and Berman work under the AbilityOne® Program, one of the largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.
"I love being a mailroom clerk," said Berman. "I like what I do, I like being capable and reliable...I also like that Maria and I also have a great work relationship."
Mazzeo also likes working as a mailroom clerk. “I have learned many things,” she said. “I look forward to coming to work every day. Josh and I always look for ways to help each other."
At the contract site, supervisor Ann Marie is their biggest cheerleader and completes their work family. “Maria and Josh always come to work prepared and eager to start their daily tasks,” she said. “They are responsible, reliable, honest, and confident. Both of them work great together. I am beyond happy to have them on the team.”
This job opportunity has helped Mazzeo and Berman carve a path toward independence, while forming an inseparable bond which lifts the spirits of those around them. The Corporate Source mission and support of these individuals has enabled Mazzeo and Berman to flourish and become some of the organizations longest-termed employees.
In addition to being star employees, Mazzeo and Berman are also an energetic advocacy duo. Thanks to The Corporate Source they have been empowered to share their inspirational stories about the pride and purpose they find through work with peers and other organizations. Their voices promote disability inclusion and equity so that others can also find the meaning and fulfillment they have found through their jobs.
The organization credits the AbilityOne Program and the employment opportunities it creates for the success of these talented individuals.
“Customized employment has allowed Josh and Maria to thrive in their work environment,” said Linda Berman, Community Development Manager at The Corporate Source. “At the same time, it has given them a chance to develop friendships and bonds with colleagues. Their story so perfectly illustrates how work opportunities through the AbilityOne Program create extraordinary lives for extraordinary people.”
To learn more about how you can employ people with disabilities at your company, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.