A Bronx resident has proven that if you put your mind to it anything can happen.
Cheyenne Wright, 21, of University Heights, went from being homeless to now on the verge of becoming a general manager at Chipotle Mexican Grill, making her the youngest in NYC.
Wright, who grew up in Queens, never imagined things would turn out this way. She took a job as a senior in high school at Chipotle in Forest Hills and figured she would make some extra cash to buy sneakers and go to the movies, but it turned into much more.
After graduating from Flushing High School in Queens, she moved to Florida with her mom Valerie. Things were not ideal there.
She had no car, wasn’t in school and the highlight of her day was going to Wal-Mart.
So, she returned to Queens and moved in with her sister Dorian, 25. She got her job back at Chipotle, but quickly her sister’s living situation fell apart and she had no place to live. So, for about six months she slept on friends’ couches and times were hard.
Staying determined, she told her boss Franco Ochoa about being homeless and he was willing to give her more hours and even overtime. Ochoa didn’t need to care, but instead showed empathy, she recalled.
“He was somebody who helped me greatly in this process,” she explained.
Being homeless was not easy. She carried her belongings with her everywhere and it was physically and emotionally draining.
In addition to Franco, she expressed gratitude to a close friend Sabrina, who let her stay at her grandfather’s house for two months while she worked in Forest Hills.
Eventually, she was transferred to a store in Manhattan.
She continued to work hard at Chipotle and went from crewmember to kitchen manager, service manager, and now an apprentice to general manager. She knows the fundamentals of the store, how to treat people, do a schedule and be a leader.
During this process, she also met her girlfriend, a Chipotle employee. The duo moved in together eight months ago in the Bronx.
Wright stressed how much she loves living in University Heights.
“I really love the culture,” she said.
Looking back, she still is in awe of how things are in her life. Chipotle was just supposed to be a high school job, but it turned into much more.
“My mom’s really proud of me,” she commented. “I’m really proud of myself as well. It always gets worse before it gets better.”
Today, she works Monday through Friday, wakes up at 6 a.m. and manages 37 people. But, she loves her job.
She was even recognized recently in a commercial in Chipotle’s national advertising campaign, Behind the Foil, which features its real employees across the U.S. and recently launched. You can see it here: bit.ly/
With a bright further ahead of her, she is ready for next role in the company.
“Chipotle isn’t made for everybody, but I think it’s made for me,” Wright said. “I would stay with Chipotle my whole life, but I also want to open my own business.”