Branden Hernandez

Branden Hernandez

Branden Hernandez would say it was his lucky day when he was referred to Lincoln Training Center in January 2007. Up until then, he had been unsuccessful in finding a job in the community after he graduated from Alhambra High School. With the help of Lincoln staff, Branden found a job as a Courtesy Clerk at the Vons market in South Pasadena. He was even taught how to take the bus to work from his home in Rosemead.

The fact that Branden loves what he’s doing is evident by his enthusiasm and dedication to his work. His job duties include bagging groceries, doing carry-out, retrieving carts from the parking lot, doing price checks, and occasionally answering the phone and paging staff. One of his favorite jobs is helping customers locate items in the store – “follow me,” he says.

With his warm and outgoing personality, he greets all the customers with a smile and a “Welcome to Vons!” When they leave the store, he always offers a few positive words for the day. Typical of how he takes customer service to a whole new level was one very rainy day when, umbrella in hand, he rushed to the aid of a customer and walked her to her car. Known for being dependable and hard working, Branden will gladly offer to cover shifts for his co-workers. He hopes to one day be transferred to Vons’ Produce Department.

Finding a job that he loves and being valued as an employee has given Branden a new-found sense of self esteem and self confidence. He even took on the challenge of public speaking last year and delivered enthusiastic testimonials at Lincoln’s open house and Board of Directors’ events. He is also proud of the fact that he donated blood at a recent community blood drive.

Branden lives at home with his mom, with whom he has a close, loving relationship. Earning a paycheck makes Branden proud that he is able to help his mother out with expenses. He also helps out around the house with chores. In his spare time he enjoys exploring “My Space” on his computer, getting together with friends from high school, and playing with his dog. He is an avid sports fan; his favorite teams are the UCLA Bruins, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Cowboys. Branden hopes to one day learn to drive.

Branden’s mother, Elizabeth, wrote a heartfelt letter to Lincoln thanking the staff for helping her son. She shared, ABranden now shines, inside and out. He is proud of himself and I’m proud to be his mom.