Kareem’s Story

I wasn’t born in Yonkers, and I didn’t grow up here either, I moved here about ten years ago from Queens with my family. I had a job working in construction and would work seasonally for Westchester County at Sprain Park. I did that for three years, but the construction company shut down and suddenly all I had was seasonal work – and that wasn’t enough to take care of my two kids. I needed a job, and I did not want to collect unemployment, but I was getting desperate looking, but jobs are hard to come by around Southwest Yonkers. That’s when I met Junior, he was a Ranger at Greyston, he told me to come to the office and sign up, so I did. I felt so lucky, I was able to start working right away. 

At first, it was just a relief to be working and getting paid fairly, and I didn’t mind that I was waking up at 6am or 8am to clear streets. I started to take such a sense of pride in the work of being a Ranger. It’s so moving to see how everyone appreciates what we do, especially because there’s a lot of small business owners around here, corner shops and so on, and they see how we are taking care of them as little guys. They know we are all from around here and working for the community. What surprises me still, is how people from the neighborhood look up to us – even to me. Where I live in Yonkers, there’s not a lot of people working, maybe they have a criminal record, or they didn’t finish high-school and don’t have a GED, and they just can’t find that one job. I get asked all the time by people on the street “Hey, are you hiring – where can I sign up?”. So, I tell them: Greyston. 

Because a lot of people hear “Greyston”, and they think of the bakery and brownies, but it’s more than just the brownies. They’re giving people all over Yonkers a chance to work, they have training classes, so you can go out and get different jobs too – not just in a bakery. I should know, I’m one of those people!