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WATCH: Caribbean Immigrant Finds Path to the American Dream at McDonald’s

Bronx General Manager celebrates 26 years at the Golden Arches with top company honor

Patrickson Carrette began working at a local independently owned and operated McDonald’s restaurant in the Bronx in the summer of 1989 when he was 16 years old. As a recent immigrant from the Caribbean island of Dominica, he needed to earn some extra cash to help pay for school supplies and applied to his McDonald’s restaurant following the suggestion of a relative. The person who interviewed Carrette was franchisee Cathie Perna, who has been his employer and mentor for over 26 years.

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“My time at my McDonald’s restaurant has been invaluable; the organization helped me to adapt to the U.S., because I had only been there for one year prior to joining the team,” says Carrette, now 42 years old, and the General Manager of his restaurant. “I’m very thankful not just because she gave me an opportunity but also for her guidance and support.”

Adapting to a new country and culture was initially challenging for Carrette. At the time, the soft-spoken teen found it difficult to make new friends as he struggled to connect with his American-born classmates. Fortunately, his duties as a cashier required him to interact with dozens of customers on a daily basis, which boosted his confidence and helped Carrette better relate to his peers. Carrette continued working as a part-time employee throughout high school and college. After graduating from college, he decided to continue his career full-time. Today, he’s a husband, a father and an embodiment of the American dream.

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“Patrickson is very calming to his store, and he has taken this restaurant to new levels,” says Perna, who owns several McDonald’s brand restaurants in the Bronx. “He’s been Outstanding Manager five years in a row, he’s won numerous awards. I’ve watched Patrickson flourish over the years, and I’m not surprised at all. He’s a wonderful leader.”

Recently Carrette was named a recipient of the 2014 Ray Kroc Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes the top 1% of restaurant managers at both independently-owned and operated franchisee restaurants and McDonald’s corporately-owned restaurants across the United States. In addition to his mentor, Carrette attributes his success to the love and support of his wife and two young sons, as well as his staff.

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“Family plays a big part in what I do and how I do things. From work to home it’s the same thing, it’s just a different family,” says Carrette. “I learn new things from them everyday, and I get to teach new things everyday. And that’s why I keep going, that’s why I enjoy my McDonald’s job.”

 

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