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CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Seaton Learning How to Make Shopping a Pleasure

By Melanie Mowry Etters

Theresa Seaton, 48, recently began working at the Publix Supermarket at the Miller Road Shopping Center. Seaton, whose nickname is Tracy, works part-time as a Front Service Clerk for the Customer Service Department. Even though Seaton is naturally shy, she is still working on enthusiastically greeting every customer she encounters. Seaton’s responsibilities include greeting customers, bagging groceries, taking groceries out to a customer’s car, unloading carts for customers, and returning carts from the parking lot.

There is one job responsibility where Seaton shines. “Tracy does a great job in returning merchandise to the shelves. It is organized in a cart by aisle, and she goes down each aisle and puts the unwanted items back where they belong, said Customer Service Manager Laverne Thorp.

Thorp says, “Tracy is very easy to get along with and has a wonderful personality.”

Seaton is trying to improve her skills as a front service clerk. “It’s a challenge. Bagging is not as easy as it looks. I am working on it.”

Seaton began working at Publix earlier this year, after working 18 years for South Miami Hospital as a dining room attendant. She was furloughed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. She says Publix’s donations to Special Olympics were what drove her to apply for a job with the company. “I am very happy about my new job. Publix has been very supportive of Special Olympics for a long time. I have been involved in Special Olympics since I was in high school,” said Seaton.

Seaton has competed in bowling, swimming, tennis, and soccer at Special Olympics competitions. She received specialized leadership training to serve as a Special Olympics athlete leader. She says that helped her to be a stronger woman.

Seaton is also very proud of being a homeowner. Several years ago, her mother helped her purchase her own townhome in Miami. “I am a homeowner, which is a big dream come true for me. I have been living on my own since I was 24 years old. Words cannot describe how happy I am in this house,” said Seaton.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).

Theresa Seaton takes care of bagging groceries for customers at the Publix Supermarket at the Miller Road Shopping Center in Miami.