There has been a lot of talk lately about the millennial generation. People describe us as tech-savvy, ambitious, connected and collaborative, but unfortunately whiny, selfish, lazy and ungrateful have recently been added to that list. I’m sure you’ve seen the “open letter” one millennial wrote to her CEO about her perceived unfair compensation, and the numerous amount of responses, andresponses to responses that followed. Regardless of your opinion about these posts, one thing is for sure: millennials love having a voice, and sometimes that voice is used negatively. Something else I’ve found to ring true throughout all of this: millennials as a whole are getting a bad rap.

Despite being a millennial myself, I understand other generations’ woes. As a whole, we were raised to feel special, we were sheltered from anything that might harm us, and we expect instant gratification both professionally and personally (because everything else in our lives is instant). Some of us may be guilty for caring more about our circles of friends on social media than the current state of the economy or international affairs, and a few of us really are just plain spoiled.

But throwing every person born between 1980 and 2000 under this bus of laziness and ingratitude is unfair. There are many millennials who work incredibly hard, who have never taken a handout, and who expect no praise for the work they put in. I know so, because I work alongside some of them every day.

Millennials flock to startups for a number of reasons. Some may be attracted to the perks—free catered lunches, beer on tap, nap rooms and unlimited vacation—but most see the value in high-growth environments where any and all effort immediately affects the company’s growth and success. Seismic may not have the most competitive perks that some other startups boast, but we somehow employ some of the most hardworking, dedicated millennials this generation has to offer.

I’m lucky to have gotten to know a lot of my coworkers personally. Their stories, while drastically different from one another, all have a few things in common: relentlessness, hard work, and determination are in their DNA. Some of their stories are below, and they’re stories you wouldn’t hear them tell unless prompted for a blog post like this one.

My dad has always preached to me, “put your nose to the grindstone, go above and beyond and it’ll never go unrecognized.” I worked as a hotdog vendor at Fenway as well as a longshoreman, pulling cruise ships in to the Harbor. I’ve continued both of these jobs in my off-hours from Seismic, but Seismic has been the first job where I’m not just another cog in the machine. Jake Leary, Director of Client Development

I was contemplating going back to school to finish an Education degree. I was substitute teaching and working at a before- and after-school program when I got referred to Seismic. The first thing I noticed was the team-first atmosphere and the blue-collar work ethic, which was ideal for me. The more people we add to the team, the more ingrained this mentality becomes.Kevin Donovan, Inside Sales Manager

When my brother was in 6th grade (I was in 3rd) he suffered a rare illness called transverse myelitis that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He requires constant care. One thing that has pushed me to succeed ever since he got sick was the fear that, God forbid anything were to happen to my parents, he wouldn’t have what he needs in his everyday life. My goal is to work as hard as humanly possible now, so later on I have the resources to give him a good life.Craig Shadduck, Client Development Representative

Before Seismic, I was working as a bartender at a private golf club to pay for my undergraduate student loans and PA school. I averaged about a half-day off a week, until one of my regular customers asked me about my life plans. I told him about PA school, my loans, and my plan to continue bartending. He told me I was crazy…and I ultimately agreed. I considered a change, and told another regular of my new plan to sign a lease and move to Boston. He happened to be friends with our President Ed, and introduced me to Seismic. I’ve never looked back.Julie Hudececk, Client Development Representative

I got engaged at 21 and moved across the country with my fiancé to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. While there, my husband was deployed twice to Afghanistan. I worked some ad hoc jobs as a bank teller and selling print ad space out of my car, trying to piece together some sort of career in an unfamiliar place where nearly everyone’s first language was Spanish. I had no choice but to do it alone, but these challenges have made Seismic that much sweeter.Kaitlyn Merola, Senior Manager, Marketing Distribution Strategy

I was brought to Seismic by a bad back, my brother, and a leap of faith from the Seismic leadership team. I was a full-time firefighter when I injured my back, and had spent most of my adult life working hard but never having much money. Seismic’s work environment is similar to that of a firehouse—a brother (and sister)hood, where you know hard work is appreciated and everyone has your back. (On a side note, I’m 35 so I think I just miss the millennial category. Before Seismic, I had a preconceived notion of the generation a decade younger than I am; I thought they were lazy, out of touch, ungrateful and asked “why” too much. But Seismic has completely changed my mind. I work with a group of hardworking and grateful young people, and I’ve learned a lot from them.) Mike McDonough, Senior Director, Enterprise Sales

I’m not sharing these stories to prove that this group of millennials is any better than another group. We do enough competing and one-upping as it is. I’d just like to restore some faith in our generation, to prove that there are young people out there that still believe in hard work and that appreciate the opportunities they’ve worked for—and especially those they’ve been given. The reason Seismic’s culture works is because we’re a mix of millennials and Gen Yers and Gen Xers who all work towards a common goal. We know how good we have it at this company where people care about each other and want each other to succeed. While we may have different personal reasons for reaching that common goal, you’ll find us on the path towards it together, shoulder to shoulder.