Before he joined Omnitrans 9 months ago, Coach Operator Benito Zavalza was out of work, knocking on doors, offering to do odd jobs for people so he could support his wife and little girl. He put no price on his help. Instead he asked them to pay him whatever they felt his services were worth.
“I appreciated every single opportunity I was given and it made me a much better person,” said the quiet 24-year-old. “I learned so much along the way. There was one lady in particular who really motivated me and made me think. When she answered her door and heard what I had to say, she was furious with me. ‘I’m fighting cancer! Why can’t you fight your crisis?’ she yelled and then slammed the door in my face.”
”She totally opened my eyes,” said Benito. “This was someone who was battling for her life! It put my own struggle in perspective. I thought wow—she’s right. I can’t give up hope. I need to ask God to show me the right path and tell me which direction I should follow. The right opportunity will come if I just keep going.”
“Every person I talked to brought another lesson. I met another lady who is very active in her community and likes to keep up on local politics and events. For some reason, she saw something in me and decided to give me a chance. At first I helped her by cleaning up after the neighbor’s cats that would poop on her grass. She loved birds and would also have me clean windows and bird feeders. Eventually I earned her trust and went on to help her with odd jobs inside her home as well. It felt good. She reminded me that part of the joy in achieving something is being able to reach out and help others move up.”
Today Benito pays his experiences forward, serving others as an Omnitrans coach operator. He has received numerous commendations for his friendliness, professionalism, heroism and customer service. This month, he was honored with the Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter award, an accomplishment of which he is very proud. His 3-year-old daughter was there to cheer on her Poppy. “Everything I do is for her, to make her life better,” Benito smiles.
Benito’s goal is to eventually become either a field supervisor or trainer, where he can continue to make a difference and help others on their path to success.
“This is not work to me,” he says smiling. “I love what I do. And if you love what you do you will never work another day in your life.”
- Juno Kughler Carlson
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