GULF BREEZE — Danielle Horne has her hands full but doesn’t let anything slow her down. She is a maintenance associate at Walmart Neighborhood Market, a wife, and a mother to a 1-year-old boy.
About 30 hours a week, Horne keeps the store spotless and keeps customers happy. She cleans the restrooms, fills paper towel dispensers, wipes down the glass doors in the frozen food aisles, stocks shelves, and makes sure the carts are ready for customers to use. She is known for being ready and willing to help with anything and is sometimes asked to be a greeter or monitor store departments as needed. She often arrives early to work and is willing to stay late if they need help. Aside from being very effective and successful at her job, Horne is devoted to her family and enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
Horne receives services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with disabilities and the employers that hire them.
When asked why she likes having a job, Horne answers, "Because the money and it gives me somebody to talk to and have friends outside of the house." She also enjoys being able to help customers have a good shopping experience. "Elderly people can’t get the carts out, so I try to get the carts out for them and make it easier for them to shop."
Her supported employment coach, Chandra Walker, describes Horne as being "very ambitious" and "a go-getter." Three and a half years ago, Horne told Walker that she wanted to write her own resume and job application for Walmart. Since starting her job there, she has received the Employee of the Month Award twice (August 2015 and September 2016), earned raises, and achieved her goal of living independently. She worked throughout her pregnancy and only stopped working a week before her son was born, which impressed her supervisors and coworkers.
The store’s Customer Service Manager, Desiree Kee, is Horne’s supervisor and loves working with her.
"She’s a friendly face, she’s very quick on her feet, and she’s very determined," Kee said. "I’m proud of her, just from when she first started out, like being really shy, not sure about herself, to showing that she is a strong, independent woman, and even through having a child that anything’s possible for her."
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).