(Boston, MA) – There is a very special place in Boston, where play and learning collide, imaginations soar and fantastical worlds are built. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston is a LEGO® universe like no other; it’s the ultimate indoor playground for lovers of LEGO®, the iconic “building blocks” of so many childhoods. “We’re all about playful learning,” says Jennifer Chopelas, Human Resource Coordinator at LEGOLAND. “We have LEGO® brick pits, a 4-D theater, a LEGOLAND Discovery Center Master Model Builder on site, a Build and Test area; everything is based around LEGO®. It’s where kids come and use their creativity, to have hands-on fun, to collaborate and problem solve and to have their curiosities piqued. And it’s not just for kids, adults are really into it, too.”  

The success of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston is built, in part, on the iconic LEGO® brand, but it’s also steeped in the hard work of many–the incredible team of people that are committed to creating “remember when” moments for the children that visit. Among them, is Jensey Gonzalez of Charlestown, MA.

“One of the things we strive for is a clean, comfortable facility,” says Chopelas. “Working with kids we need to provide a safe environment that’s sanitized and germ free. Jensey plays an integral role in making sure that happens. As one of our best custodians he’s proactive, a hard worker and an important member of our team. We depend on him to get the job done.”

Jensey Gonzalez is a young man living with intellectual disabilities; he also has a form of epilepsy. “It doesn’t stop him,” says Dan Kent, a Career Resource Specialist at Work Opportunities Unlimited. “Jensey is a motivated guy and he made it known that he wanted to work; he wanted a job where he could use his skills and interact with people. At Work Opportunities, we believe all people can work, that everyone has skills to contribute. Our specialty is breaking down barriers to employment and helping people with disabilities access the workplace, so, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.”

“Work Opportunities Unlimited reached out to us and we set up a meeting,” says Chopelas. “They explained the process, and the work that they do; we thought it would be a great partnership. We told them what we needed and they recommended a great match in Jensey.”

“Initially, Jensey was supported while on-the-job but now he works independently,” says Kent. “Jensey knows exactly what’s expected of him and how to get the job done. He works out on the floor and in the back of the house, keeping things clean and organized.  Jensey is one of the hardest workers that they have; he’s part of the team, which is incredibly important. He’s not just a client from Work Opportunities, Jensey’s a true LEGOLAND employee and everyone sees him as that; it’s fantastic to watch.”

“What’s great about Jensey is he greets each day with a huge smile on his face,’ says Chopelas. “He’s very approachable and he interacts really well with our visitors. Jensey takes pride in what he does and it shows in the quality of his work; he does a fabulous job. In fact, he’s one of the reasons that we continue to partner with Work Opportunities. We’ve had really great success with the program and have hired two more people as a result. We couldn’t be happier.”

“The administration has been so supportive at LEGOLAND – so welcoming,” says Kent. “It shows how having good role models and model employees has made work possible for other people.”

“You know, when you hire someone with disabilities, you do great things,” adds Kent. “You not only give the individual an opportunity to grow and learn and earn a living and build self-esteem and make friends outside of their family – all things that we take for granted – but most important of all, you build awareness and you change perspectives; you change the way in which others view people with disabilities. You create a better cultural awareness of what someone with disabilities can do and the impact they have in the workforce – and that’s huge.”