ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Roger Youngs, a janitor who is legally blind, won New York State Industries for the Disabled’s “Employee of the Year” award. He is employed by Sheen & Shine Inc., and does his work at the Norris Addiction Treatment Center of Rochester.
Sheen & Shine, Inc. — a Rochester-based business that provides janitorial services throughout the Northeast — is a New York State Industries for the Disabled partner business. They also won NYSID’s Corporate Partner of the Year award last week.
Youngs has been working as a janitor for 15 years, and calls himself a “jack of all trades.” He’s back at it after break training dogs and the COVID shutdowns.
“It’s good to have a job, have a purpose in a day, and go to work,” Youngs said of returning to a regular gig, after giving up his dog training business.
Youngs has a condition called “aniridia,” meaning he was born without irises. Pupils cover most of his eyes. This begs the question… How does a blind person clean? Youngs says it’s not just about thinking outside the box, but about perseverance too.
“If I feel I can’t do it, I will ask for help,” Young said. “That’s something I really don’t do much, but honestly I do the job twice, just to make sure I got it done…
“I don’t know anything different, so I just keep on going, I don’t let anything stop me from doing the job, the activity,” Youngs continued. He also said he enjoys basketball and football.
“I always wanted to be like everyone else,” he said. “I am not my disability, I am a whole person”
And like it is for everyone else, it’s special when you get “a job well done.” Youngs was named Employee of the Year by NYSID after he started working at the Norris Addiction Treatment center for only about 8 months.
“I won a whole year for it, so I must be pretty good at it,” he said, with a beaming smile. “It was a great moment… People see me, and acknowledge my work, and I really appreciate that.”
“Roger goes above and beyond his responsibilities,” said Israel Cuyler, the founder of Sheen & Shine Inc. Cuyler is a Vietnam War veteran, and says he is disabled himself. “We focus on the ability that our people and veterans have.”