Meet Sophie Lee: Airport Worker, Artist, and “Model for her Peers.”

As you may know, Chimes is one of the nation’s largest employers of people with disabilities. Through a number of state and federal contracts, we employ more than 1,600 people in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

What you probably don’t know is that one of our employees celebrated seven years on the job without ever missing a single day of work! Yes, you read that right — her name is Sophie Lee and she’s one of the 250 team members providing custodial services at BWI Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

Prior to starting with Chimes, Sophie worked at a convenience store, stocking shelves in the freezer section. She prefers her job at BWI — keeping the one-million-square-foot terminal clean and safe for travelers — much more. “I like the hustle and bustle of the airport, and the work isn’t easy, but it’s fun,” Sophie says. “I like working with my supervisors and managers and learning new things.”

Plus, Sophie notes, the working environment is much warmer than a convenience-store freezer section!

Eric Brown, one of Sophie’s managers, also started at Chimes 20 years ago, as a custodian, working his way up to Assistant Project Manager. “Sophie is a hard worker who needs little to no direction and is always going above and beyond to complete the task at hand,” he says.

Mark Baring, Sophie’s Shift Manager at BWI, agrees, calling Sophie a model for her peers. “Other workers at Chimes learn a lot just by observing Sophie’s work ethic,” he says. “She will do her work and help wherever needed on the way to her assignment, with no questions asked.”

In addition to being a conscientious employee, Sophie is also a prolific visual artist. She creates detailed, animation-based illustrations, which she shares with friends and family on social media. Her team at BWI takes great pride in the way Sophie has overcome adversity through hard work, dedication, and the support of Chimes DC.

Sadly, Sophie’s perfect attendance streak ended in late 2020 when she fell and broke her foot. In typical Sophie fashion, however, she was back on the job as soon as she had recovered — just a few short weeks later.

Chimes takes a holistic approach towards improving the lives of every person we serve, as exemplified by Sophie’s story of resilience and resolve. Your generosity helps us do it — thank you for supporting the training and employment opportunities that capitalize on what people can do, so that Chimes members like Sophie can experience the fulfillment and camaraderie of employment.

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