Moving up the ladder from student worker to supervisor/manager, Aldrin Loyo and Nakita Brown exemplify Seabrook's Everyday Heroes.
Tinton Falls, N.J. (February 26, 2018) Aldrin Loyo enjoys the many perks of the benefits package from his employer, Seabrook, an Erickson Living developed and managed retirement community in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. He receives discounts on his cell phone bill, concert tickets, sporting events, hotels, Six Flags, rental cars, and a gym membership.
But what's worth more than all that combined? Loyo received two scholarships to attend college through the community's Scholarship Fund. This time next year, he'll graduate with an associate's degree in criminal justice and a paralegal license from Brookdale Community College with little college debt.
Since 2001, Seabrook has provided 1,164 student worker scholarships valued at $955,000. The Scholar's Program is funded by the residents, staff and community partners to support high school students employed on campus who have shown commitment to serving Seabrook's community.
To be eligible for consideration, students typically work 1,000 hours in the dining services department during their junior and senior years in high school. They must also remain in "good standing" as determined by their manager.
"Working at Seabrook has been a great experience overall, and the scholarships mean so much to me," says Loyo, who started as wait staff in November 2013 at the age of 16. Over the past four years, he has been promoted several times to host to service coach to supervisor, due to his work ethic, team spirit, and willingness to help where needed.
"We know the students are the future, and affording them their first job opportunity at Seabrook gives them a head start. At Seabrook employees work in a safe environment, where they are trained on a number of skills and learn the values of caring, respect, and team work," said Director of Human Resources Jim MacDonald.
"At Seabrook, we place a high priority on helping our employees grow and thrive," says Executive Director Paula Digerness. "Employee benefits like tuition reimbursement, scholarships, employee discounts, an employee health and wellness center, and more help us attract and retain everyday heroes like Aldrin."
And that's exactly the type of response that makes Loyo happy to come to work each day.
"I appreciate that I'm appreciated," Loyo says. "I've only been here for four years, and I've moved up. My managers tell me every day how much they appreciate me."
He says he also feels appreciated by those he serves—the people who live at Seabrook. "I have a resident, Betty, who gives me a hug and a kiss every day. She calls me her grandson. That interaction is the reason why I love it so much here and has made me appreciate what I have because I learn from them every day."
Like Loyo, Nakita Brown says the best part about working at Seabrook is the connections she's formed with residents. "It makes your job seem more important rather than just coming to work every day," Brown says.
Also like Loyo, Brown started as a student server when she was in high school. The year was 2004, and she's still there now, 14 years later.
"At that time, my friends worked there," Brown recalls. "They were saying it's a really good place to work. The company offered a scholarship. There was transportation so I wouldn't have to worry about how to get there after school."
Brown didn't end up using the scholarship—she got a full ride to Lincoln University, near Oxford, Pennsylvania—where she earned her degree in psychology. But as in Loyo's case, Brown's managers noticed her potential and promoted her along the career path to her position today as assistant manager in dining.
"I try to make my degree relevant in helping the staff think in new ways, working smarter not harder, and to create the culture that I first experienced at Seabrook," Brown says. "The culture is what makes Seabrook special. I've been to other places where we don't have that family teamwork culture, where not everyone is trying to work toward a common goal. At Seabrook, it's really a team effort. I genuinely look forward to coming to work every day.
Seabrook employs more than 800 full- and part-time employees and was voted a Best Place to Work by NJ Biz in 2017. Also in 2017, Seabrook promoted 30 employees, 20% of whom were promoted from hourly to managerial positions. From 2013 to 2017, Seabrook promoted 187 individuals.
Employee benefits include tuition reimbursement, 401k, paid time off, comprehensive medical benefits, on-site employee health and wellness centers, employee discount programs, and much more.
Loyo and Brown are the types of everyday heroes Seabrook is recruiting. When people join Seabrook's team of everyday heroes, they gain more than a great job in a booming industry—they gain unparalleled access to an array of rich experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that will prove invaluable to their personal and professional growth. What's also rewarding for them is that they get to change lives for the better. For more information about Erickson Living careers, visit https://jobs.ericksonliving.com.
About Seabrook: Seabrook, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 98-acre campus in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. The community is located in Monmouth County and is home to more than 1,400 residents. Additional information about Seabrook can be found at SeabrookCommunity.com.
Story written by Julia Collins