Each year, over 300 of the people supported or employed by The Arc gather for dinner, dancing, and awards at The Arc’s annual banquet. Six of the thirteen awards (some with multiple recipients) recognize individuals or businesses within the community and the remainder recognize the efforts and achievements of people supported or employed by The Arc. Read more about all the 2018 award winners below.
Volunteer of the Year – One award for overall agency to an individual who has provided outstanding volunteer service to The Arc Southern Maryland and toward helping citizens with developmental disabilities.
Awarded to: Roberta Parran, Calvert County Parks and Recreation.
Roberta works at the Community Center in Sunderland. We would like to thank her for all of her support and hard work, shown to our staff and individuals we support. Every day, Roberta greets the individuals with a smile and shows compassion to them. Whenever we have functions at the community center, she always shows her support and asks if there’s anything we might need. If we have to relocate to another community center, Roberta is always willing to go with us to make the transition easier for the individuals we support. Her support and kindness are greatly appreciated!
Educator of the Year – Up to one award per county to the teacher, counselor, or support services person who has made outstanding contributions in advocating for the inclusion of students with cognitive and developmental disabilities in regular education settings.
Awarded to: Jennifer Haley-Walker, Transition Specialist, St. Mary’s County Public Schools.
Jennifer has been a great advocate, partnering with The Arc to provide supports to students that are transitioning from school into adulthood. She has been instrumental in making the transition process a priority for St. Mary’s County students. Jennifer has been able to grow the Summer Work-Based Learning Program, which has provided students with a hands-on experience of different job skills. We want to thank Jennifer for all that she does for the individuals that we support.
Employer of the Year – One award for overall agency to the employer who has shown significant dedication towards employing people we serve.
Awarded to: Crothall Services.
Crothall Services provides contractual environmental services for University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. Under the leadership of Director Langhorne, Operations Manager, Mrs. Greenwood, and an Arc mentor, a program has evolved over the last four years. This program allows paid employment opportunities for volunteers that demonstrate potential to meet expectations. This opportunity is in addition to other volunteer opportunities, to gain work experience and consideration for competitive employment which is open to the public. Crothall has the same expectations of everyone ans recently referred to two individuals from The Arc as “outstanding individuals.” Thanks to Crothall Services for providing this opportunity to the people we support!
Professional of the Year – One award for overall agency to the non-Arc employee who has shown commitment towards improving the welfare of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through his/her chosen profession.
Awarded to: Christina Semego, Coordinator of Community Services, Charles County Health Department.
Christina assists with the transitioning of youth to the Community Supports program at The Arc. She has a good rapport with the individuals, providers, and family members and helps to facilitate the transfer process. She always responds quickly to anything that is requested of her. Christina is appreciated as a valuable partner to The Arc’s Community Support program in Charles County.
J. Patrick Collins Award – This award recognizes an individual or group that has provided outstanding service in a variety of ways over an extended period of time to The Arc.
Awarded to: Ahna Miller, Community Coordinator, End Hunger in Calvert County.
Ahna Miller is a part of End Hunger’s Culinary Training program. The program trained the people we support in food prep and cooking and helped to prepare them for employment opportunities within the community. There was a celebration ceremony at the end of this program, with all the graduates receiving a certificate of completion. Thanks to Ahna for partnering with us to bring these individuals into the program and for all of her support and kindness!
Meritorious Service – Up to ten awards agency-wide to individuals or groups in the community who have distinguished themselves through a service, activity, or achievement which has substantially benefited citizens with developmental disabilities.
Awarded to: Comcast
Comcast has partnered with The Arc to help create and support our Tech Coaching Center. This partnership began in 2016, providing the funds to purchase the technology which would help train the people we support in digital literacy. The Comcast learning lab at our Prince Frederick office location has become very popular with with people we support. They use the lab to write resumes, check emails and social media, find directions, search for recipes, create presentations, and more. Many do not have a computer at home and the lab gives them the opportunity to use one. Comcast has also helped The Arc to promote the lab. Through partnerships with us at the local level, and with The Arc US at the national level, Comcast has reached out to other chapters to provide assistance. The Arc values the partnership with Comcast and looks forward to continuing it!
Awarded to: Bonnie Elward, Executive Director, Southern Maryland Community Resources.
Bonnie is the Executive Director for Southern Maryland Community Resources, a nonprofit that connects individuals with disabilities to recreational opportunities in the community. Bonnie has made it her mission to help bridge the gap between individuals with disabilities and their community. With Bonnie’s many partnerships within the community, many of the people we support have has more opportunities to participate in exercise programs, bowling nights, movie nights, monthly dances, game nights, and an annual prom – many for free or little cost. Having this connection with Bonnie is truly a great asset to The Arc!
Awarded to: Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation
Dominion’s foundation has supported us through grants and sponsorship of our events – including our annual Trick-or-Treat Trot 5K/1K and our Pat Collins Golf Classic. They also have a match program which matches donations given by their employees. This year, they increased their sponsorship of our Trot and were our largest donor for the event.
Awarded to: Kara Jordan
Kara was employed with The Arc in the past but left to further her education. Since leaving in 2016, she has continued to support The Arc with volunteering her time helping out with Special Olympics. She assists staff at practices for the athletes and also travels to Towson for the final games. Kara follows The Arc’s van to Towson and assists with anything that is needed. Kara has been a huge asset to these athletes and has developed friendships with many of them. The Arc wants to thank Kara for her continued support!
People We Support
Personal Achievement – One award for overall agency to an individual served by The Arc Southern Maryland who has set goals, either short or long term, and has accomplished them. An important focus of this award is on personal persistence and diligence. The recipient of this award serves as a model for other people we support and must have demonstrated, among other characteristics, a responsibility for his or her own actions. One award recipient and up to two nominees may be recognized.
Awarded to: Erica Young
Erica Young works at Tiffany’s Bakery and is focused on her future. In addition to increased responsibilities at work, she has also advocated for additional hours. She has focused on personal growth and started journaling every day and researching subject matters that are beneficial to her well-being.
Nominee: Charles Windsor
Charlie lives in St. Mary’s County and received Vocational and Residential services from The Arc. Charlie has struggled in the past with accessing his community. He has made great strides in many areas of his life. One of the most notable achievements has been becoming competitively employed. He has a job delivering mail at the St. Mary’s County State Carter Building. Charlie also volunteered at numerous places, including Meals on Wheels, the Cedar Lane assisted living home, and the St. Mary’s County Adult Medical Daycare Center. Charlie also enjoys his time in the community by visiting the gym, watching Redskins games, and participating in Special Olympics.
Outstanding Employment Achievement – One award for overall agency to an individual served by The Arc Southern Maryland who ranks outstanding in the following areas: productivity, attendance, attitude, punctuality, and appearance. One award recipient and up to four nominees may be recognized.
Awarded to: Deyon Greenfield
Deyon has been working for Giant for seven years as a cart attendant. His job performance reviews are outstanding with notes that he is an “outstanding young man, always dependable, wonderful worker, and a pleasure to have him.: Despite inclement weather conditions and the high volume of carts everywhere, he maintains a pleasant and courteous attitude. Deyon’s personal work ethic is consistently demonstrated by punctuality, appropriate attire, consistent performance of duties, and a courteous attitude. Giant has said that he is proving to be a role model for others.
Nominee: Bonnie Stillman
Bonnie is very busy working two jobs. She has been working at Chuck E. Cheese since 2013 on weekends and works on Fridays for MVA cleaning services since 2015. Bonnie works with a tutor on Mondays for reading and takes a math class on Thursdays. She volunteers at The Greater Waldorf Jaycees, polishing silverware and she also bags groceries at a local food pantry. One of her hobbies is to make jewelry to give out for gifts. She is a member of her choir and photography club. As you can see, Bonnie is a very busy person! She also loves her family, friends, and being a devoted aunt.
Citizenship – One award for overall agency to an individual with developmental disabilities who has become an active member of his/her community. The award recognizes someone who, through responsible action and a positive sense of purpose, makes a real contribution. They are not only seen as having value, but giving value to his/her community. One award recipient and up to two nominees will be recognized.
Awarded to: Amy Smallwood
Amy receives Day Services from The Arc three days a week. She starts her day assisting in the office with filing in the records room. On Wednesdays, she attends the Work Readiness class. Amy also participates in photography, choir, and plays the piano at church. She always greets everyone with a smiles and loves cooking, seeing her family and friends, and helping others. Her goal is to one day live independently.
Employees of The Arc
Tom Fisher Outstanding Direct Service Professional – These awards, named in honor of The Arc Southern Maryland’s first Executive Director, recognize one part-time employee and one full-time employee who provide direct support services to individuals we serve. The recipients selected will have shown a sincere and genuine concern for the welfare of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Awarded to (full-time): Jacqueline Loy
Jackie is an outstanding professional, colleague, and leader. She always put the needs of the individuals we support first and goes above and beyond to provide superb services. Jackie also assists with Personal Supports after her scheduled shift to make sure the services are provided. She also has completed a volunteer training program at Medstar St. Mary’s so that an individual we support could maintain his volunteer position. Jackie genuinely has great concern for the welfare of the individuals we support and is well-deserving of this award.
Awarded to (part-time): Michelle English
Michelle has been employed with The Arc for 11 years, working in Residential Services. Her position is an Overnight Awake staff but she also fills in evening and morning shifts when needed. She has a great rapport with her coworkers and the people we support. Michelle loves to cook for the individuals that live in the group home where she works and always makes sure that they are taken care of before leaving her shift. She is a great asset to the Residential Services program!
Humanitarian – One award for overall agency to a staff person or individual we support who, through a single outstanding action or an ongoing pattern of actions, puts the welfare of others first and foremost.
Awarded to: Michelle Gilroy
Michelle is a Vocational Support Professional for the MVA in Charles County. She has been working at the MVA since The Arc received the contract ans assists with the staffing. Michelle has to make sure that this contract is fulfilled even if it is a holiday or we have inclement weather. When her shift is over at the MVA, she helps to cover other positions when staff are off. Michelle communicates well with staff from other agencies, families, coworkers, and managers to accomplish goals in a timely manner. She is a team player who truly cares about the individuals we support!
Jerry D. Kiracofe Leadership – This award is named in honor of the second Executive Director of The Arc Calvert and recognizes a staff person for his/her leadership qualities as exemplified by Jerry Kiracofe.
Awarded to: Cathy Dickerson
Cathy has been employed at The Arc for many years. Residential Services has recently gone through a transition and she has gone above and beyond to support the new team leaders and managers. Cathy has been a key player in training, interviews, site visits, and the support and mentoring of new employees. She is a strong advocate for the individuals that we support and a role model for all our staff. She travels to all three counties to help out and assist staff when needed. Cathy is a huge asset to Residential Services and to The Arc!
Employee of the Year – One award for overall agency to a staff member who has made the greatest contribution to the agency by his/her professional and personal efforts. One award recipient and up to five nominees may be recognized.
Awarded to: Ophelia Gray-Anunihu
Ophelia has done an amazing job with the Day Program at our Prince Frederick location and the Mt. Hope Community Center. She is a team player who looks at challenges with a positive attitude of how to make it better. Ophelia also has a great rapport with families, staff, and the community. She has assisted an individual that we support with moving to a new location and even staying with her at night until she went to sleep. Ophelia wanted to make sure this individual was comfortable in her new home. She consistently encourages the individuals we support to work towards their goals. She is trily an asset who is a valued employee of The Arc!
Nominee: Joyce Gantt
Joyce works in the Day Program at our Prince Frederick office location and works in Personal Supports. Joyce also has helped out many times with Residential Services. She assists where she is needed and makes sure that the individuals we support are active in the community. Her kindness and putting the individuals first makes her a valued employee!
Nominee: Beverly Smith
Beverly works at our Prince Frederick office location in the Day Program. She also works evenings and weekends in Residential Services when needed. She does an amazing job and is always willing to help out where needed. She makes sure that the people we support are taken care of, involved in activities throughout the day. She is an outstanding employee who has been with The Arc for ten years. Thank you, Beverly, for all of your hard work and dedication to the individuals we support!
Nominee: Mary Mason
Mary works in Residential Services in Charles County. She always goes the extra mile to make sure that the people that live in the home where she works are taken care of and have what they need. She also helps out in other group homes in Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties. She is a huge asset to Residential Services, going the extra mile for the people we support!