Monarch Spotlight: Annie Little
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) takes place every October and is a national campaign to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of American workers with disabilities.
Annie Little is an employment support professional in Robeson County and helps those with disabilities find jobs in their communities. We talked to her this month about her role at Monarch and the importance of employment for those living with a disability.
What do you want people to know about hiring people with disabilities?
I truly wish there was some way to get people to see that the people we serve are human beings, just as we are and to realize that we all have a disability. If given an opportunity, persons with disabilities take their jobs more seriously than other employees, and they are eager to work.
What is it like when a person finds employment?
It is very gratifying to see our people succeed in the community. It seems to make them feel good about themselves to be able to receive a check, to go to the bank and cash it, or to see them receive a deposit stub when their funds have been deposited into their checking account.
What do you enjoy most about your job as an employment specialist?
I am helping someone that truly needs my help and I feel I am pleasing God, for we are called to help those who cannot help themselves.
How long have you worked at Monarch?
I began working with Sandhills Center as a full-time employee in November 1996 and have been with Monarch since 2005.
What does a typical workday look like?
Usually a typical work day is rewarding. Being able to take the people we support out into the community to meet different employers and train them how to present themselves in seeking employment is very rewarding, especially when they say to me, "Miss Annie, I did it."
What is the most important aspect of your role and why?
Training the people we support on how to dress appropriately and present for employment, speak to employers, fill out applications or just do the everyday things that are so vital.
What has been your most rewarding or satisfying experience, or your proudest moment while working here?
When I was able to have two or three persons in Intensive Training at the same time. It was so rewarding because my mother was ill, and the Lord had given me favor to land three jobs around the same time and gave me the strength to master everything that I was going through at work and at home. This was the year when one of the people we support was also having problems with clothing for work and I was able to assist her and help her keep her job at the same time. This is what I do best, assist other people.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I try to treat everyone as I wish to be treated, but I don't broadcast that I am also an ordained minister.
Movie or song that best describes you?
I think the song "If I could help somebody as I travel" really describes me, because I am always trying to make things better for others even if I have to deny myself.