AN INSPIRING STORY
She's bright, positive, and anxious to see what the future holds. She's balancing college classes and a full-time work schedule with a smile and an enormous amount of enthusiasm. Her name is Dennise Reyes, and she's someone you should know.
Just say "Dennise" and everyone already knows who you're talking about at Mace® Security International, Inc.
Mace® is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and is most noted as the maker of Mace® Brand pepper spray.
On the job, she works putting together products and displays. And get this, she usually works with a team that includes her mother and sister! That's right, it's a real-life family connection for her.
Linet Prado (mom), Dennise Reyes, and Cheyla Delgado (sister) make quite the family team at Mace® Brand.
"Most people have a 'work mom' or a 'work sister,' Reyes says, "But I work with my real mom and sister, and it makes things so much more enjoyable."
Her job is enjoyable, but far from routine. One day she's putting together a Mace® compact model pepper spray display for a retailer, the next she's gathering palm stun devices or personal safety alarms to ship out to a customer. Sometimes she helps with large, on-line orders for pepper spray. She says it's the variety of responsibilities that keeps her engaged.
Reyes was born in Queens, New York and moved to Cleveland, Ohio with her mother and sister when she was six years old. Since 2017, she's been enrolled at the Metropolitan Campus of Cuyahoga Community College. She's a nursing major.
Overcome obstacles, that's what Reyes has done throughout her life. And she's just 23 years old. When she was five, Reyes started having seizures. Some of them were so severe she would fall and lose consciousness. She had her first brain surgery when she was five, but that surgery did not entirely stop her seizures.
Her mom and sister say it was a "devastating and heartbreaking" time for the family. They wanted to help, but felt powerless. Dennise needed someone with her at all times. She says it was so stressful for her, she twice tried to end her life by taking pills. Her family pulled her through.
It remained a time of constant worry for everyone. She even had to finish high school on-line.
Things changed for the better in 2014 after Dennise underwent brain surgery in January and February of that year. This time, the surgeries were a success! Since that time, Dennise has not had another seizure.
What's a typical day like now? She tells us, in her own words:
Usually on my days off I tend to try to sleep-in until at least 7 or 8 am., my latest is 10am. When I wake up, the first thing I look at is my phone. I check my work emails, regular email, school email, and my Professor website for any updates from college...Mondays and Fridays, I will go to the gym for 30 minutes to 1 hour to help with my anxiety, stress, and PTSD. Fridays I usually wash clothes and study and re-watch my class lecture videos. Saturdays or Sundays I try to clean my apartment/ food shopping or both. I also take lots of naps throughout the days on my days off and have my doctor’s appointments on those days as well...Now, I know you must be wondering if I go out and have fun, but I really do not do much of that and really do not like to either.
My alarm is set to for 4:00am so I have enough time to get ready for work. I must be there by 6:00am. I give my dog Hercules his treat that helps his teeth/breath while I make his food. While Hercules is eating, I prepare my coffee and take care of any dishes that need to be washed or put away. When Hercules finishes eating I take him outside for a walk and make myself something to eat like a bagel, cereal, or oatmeal. Once done eating I pack my lunch and play with Hercules a little until my ride picks me up to go to work. On Wednesdays after work, I go work out for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
HER FUTURE PLANS
After earning her Associates Degree from Tri-C, Reyes wants to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Cleveland State University or Case Western Reserve University. Her ultimate goal? Medical school to become a neurologist that specializes in helping patients control seizures. She knows from experience what it's like to deal with seizures.
WHY SHE LIKES WORKING AT MACE® BRAND
It's the people. Dennise says there is now a great team in place to help her every step of the way. She says it's nice to work with her mom and sister, but says the entire crew feels like family and makes the company that much better.
Dennise Reyes and her family, making a difference at Mace® Brand, and helping to provide community and family safety through individual empowerment.
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