Rising Above. Going Beyond.

Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Richter

Jennifer Richter

Jennifer Richter’s journey has been marked by challenges, including struggles with addiction and loss. However, Jennifer’s determination to turn her life around has resulted in a remarkable transformation.

During high school and college, Jennifer experimented with drugs and alcohol and described herself as a “functioning addict.” Jennifer graduated college, married, had a child, and embarked on a career. However, personal struggles eventually led her to hit rock bottom.

She sought treatment for her addictions. As she was coming out of recovery in 2004, she found employment at Phoenix.

“Phoenix allowed me the opportunity to start again,” Jennifer said. “It has helped me to see that I’m capable of doing anything.”

Starting as a custodial worker, she embraced the job with humility and gratitude, determined to make the most of the opportunity.

“Knowing that I didn’t have anything just led me to let go of that connotation of a janitor and do the best job that I can do and appreciate the opportunity to work,” Jennifer said.

Her dedication and work ethic did not go unnoticed, leading to her advancement at Phoenix.
Today she is a supervisor of a custodial crew of about 40 people across two buildings, covering approximately 1 million square feet, at Redstone Arsenal.

Jennifer is an inspiration to her team and others facing similar challenges. She leads by example, fosters a supportive work environment, and believes in everyone’s potential.

“Some of these individuals have never had a real job,” Jennifer said. “I just want people to overcome, be brave and bold and courageous, and do what is set out before them.”

When Jennifer came to Phoenix, she was unemployable and had nothing to her name. Today, she is a homeowner, gainfully employed with Phoenix for 20 years, and raising her children.

Jennifer particularly likes the Phoenix mission to help people whom society sees as different.
“I relish in that because, for the longest time, society saw me as different. … Phoenix, as a whole, is allowing society to get past those barriers by employing individuals with challenges you may not even see.

“It may take a little longer for some than others, but that’s the primary mission here. And I love that. I didn’t realize that when I first started here that’s what they were doing. But I love seeing people excel who otherwise wouldn’t.”