Staff earn top awards from The Arc of Craven County
Two from Monarch received top honors from The Arc of Craven County for their extraordinary service, advocacy and hard work during the organization’s annual awards banquet and ceremony held in New Bern last month.
Shonna Isaacs, lead developmental specialist at Brookside Apartments and Spencers Place who has been with Monarch since 1999, received the Employee of the Year Award. A Monarch employee since 2007, Darlene Ward, developmental specialist at Hoke Street, was named Caregiver of the Year.
Isaacs and Ward were among approximately 20 people who received prestigious honors from The Arc of Craven County during their Distinguished Awards Banquet on March 14.Both women were nominated by people we support and their supervisor Jamie Watson, operations manager, said they are both very deserving of their respective honors.
“Shonna has the upmost respect from her coworkers and she is very dedicated to Monarch and the people we support. She holds a special place in her heart for all, but mostly for individuals with mental illness,” Watson said. “Darlene has worked in several of our homes. Because of the many sites where she has worked, Darlene has been able to meet many of the people we support. She is very friendly and kind; and because of this, she is very well loved. We are very, very proud of both of these ladies.”
English Albertson (left), regional director in Region 6, was appointed to the EastPointe Provider Council and served as a subcommittee chair for the North Carolina Providers Council Conference Committee as well as on the membership committee. Most recently, Albertson was unanimously elected as vice chair of the Providers Council for Eastpointe.
Virginia Griffin (right), who attends the River City Achievement Center, has worked diligently to show her support for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. As part of her community networking, Griffin sends gifts to soldiers; and for her literacy program she writes letters to the soldiers. She was very excited when she recently received a letter of her own from Lt. Col. Christopher Boyle, the Fourth Squadron Commander of the U.S. Army. Lt. Boyle wrote that Griffin’s letters make the troops ”very happy” and it makes them feel good that someone is thinking of them.
Several at River City Achievement earn medals for basketball competition
Several participants of the River City Achievement Center, a day program in Elizabeth City, participated in the Special Olympics basketball games in Smithfield in March. Christina Leonard, Jerry Jordan, Tjuana James and Kristoff Willis (pictured) competed in the tournament and all earned silver medals, according to Leslie Hughes, site manager at River City Achievement. “We are so proud of their accomplishments,” Hughes said.
Monarch hosts events to educate and help stop use of “R-word”
Last month, Monarch joined other organizations and individuals nationwide to discourage the use of the word known as the “R-word,” in an initiative called “Spread the Word to End the Word,” created in partnership with Special Olympics, Best Buddies and people with and without disabilities.
The campaign takes a stand against a word that has gained popularity in culture, found a place in common language and seems to be accepted by most, despite the fact that its use, casual or otherwise, is hurtful to the more than 200 million people worldwide with disabilities as well as the people who love and support them.
Participants of Monarch’s day programs - Health Drive in New Bern and River City Achievement Center in Elizabeth City - hosted events and encouraged the community to sign a petition pledging to personally end the use of the R-Word. The River City club held their Spread the Word event with YouthBuild, a program that provides economically underserved participants with education and employment skills. Through providing opportunities to work in their communities they help to meet the housing needs of homeless individuals and members of low-income families.