WashU Cashier Lillie Westbrooks Shows Signs of Hidden Talent

Do you know all the talents the members of your team possess? The Bon Appétit team at Washington University in St. Louis thought they did, recognizing the T-shirt designers, expert gardeners, and entrepreneurs in their ranks who regularly make a difference in their community. But recent events brought out talents in team members that until then hadn’t been fully revealed.

Cashier Lillie Westbrooks displaying the special gift she received for her no-longer-hidden talent

With most students gone from campus, Bon Appétiters have a chance to interact with different guest populations. These include summer campers and conference goers such as members of the International Catholic Deaf Association (ICDA), who returned for the second consecutive year.

In preparation, partners in the WUSTL Summer Conferences office provided training on how best to meet the needs of individuals who are hearing-impaired.

Turns out the Bon Appétit team already had a member who was super-prepared! Cashier Lillie Westbrooks began signing with conference members, astonishing her colleagues as they had no idea she knew sign language. (Lillie started signing when she was 11 years old, to communicate with an uncle.) The following day, a group of conference attendees presented Lillie with a special rosary as a token of their appreciation.

Lillie’s colleagues were proud of how beautifully she represented not only Washington University of St. Louis, but the entire Bon Appétit family. Her actions demonstrated a genuine commitment to excellent guest service, in language both spoken and signed.


Submitted by April Powell, Director of Operations