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Check Out Debra Perkins’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debra Perkins.

Hi Debra, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I grew up living with my mother, grandmother, sister and two brothers in a loving and nurturing home on 73rd Street & Broadway. Growing up, I was always confident in who I was and was constantly supported by my family and community. I recall my 5th grade teacher asking myself and my classmates to stand up every morning and say out loud, “I am somebody.” These are some of the most impactful words anyone has ever told me and really helped me to have the courage and drive to become somebody in none other than McDonald’s where I’ve worked for over 40 years and counting.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In high school, I went through bouts of instability moving from place to place after being separated from my mother. My dear friend at the time encouraged me to apply for a job at McDonald’s and the idea of having a set schedule and being able to provide for myself really excited me. I started out as crewmember and I remember being able to buy my first leather jacket and my graduation ring with the money I had earned from my job. It gave me an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment to be able to buy things that I really wanted for myself. I also really enjoyed the professional and personal guidance McDonald’s gave me working alongside supportive managers and owner/operators like Patty Yoon, Anita Ware and Mary Mahaffey. There were so many new challenges that I dove into headfirst because I had so many mentors within the organization that were always helping me learn new skills, leverage my strengths and move up to the next level.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Currently, I am a Director of Operations for the Yoon Organization’s McDonald’s Restaurants in Southern California. In this role, I balance Profit and People at a high-level execution delivering excellent service to increase our restaurant’s annual sales, this is not a solo effort but along with my awesome managers and crew. I feel we never fail because we always learn from every situation which makes us more knowledgeable for the next challenge.

What Am I known for: Many people have told me how helpful I am, especially with the elderly. I am very patience person and love working with people, getting to know their strengths and helping them build new strengths. I have so much love and respect for the people in my life that I am always looking for ways to support them and help them achieve their dreams.

I am most proud of what I have made of my life. I’ve managed to overcome negativity and thrive to become the person I am today. I try to envision what kind of person I would love to have mentor me and be that person for my team. I’m grateful to have had a strong support system over the years in both my professional and personal life that have helped me be confident in myself and my abilities.

What makes you happy?
What makes me happy are the simple things in life, spending valuable time with family and friends either vacationing, cooking or dining out together. Over the past four years, we all agreed on making beautiful memories together to carry us along our way. It’s truly amazing to have such strong bonds that have endured and gotten stronger over so many years. I’m thankful everyday that I have amazing people in my corner.

What sets me apart from others: I will find a way to make the most of any situation better, I get teased as I am always looking for that silver lining. I think it’s just the way I was raised – to always challenge yourself because personal growth comes from overcoming tough situations.

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