The Arc of North Carolina Honors Monarch Staff Member and Volunteer with Statewide Awards
The Arc of North Carolina held its 2015 State Awards program in Raleigh on Sept. 25 to honor chapter member nominees for their hard work and dedication across the state.
During the ceremony, Antwain Hamilton, a direct support professional at Monarch’s Stanly Industrial Services (SIS) in Albemarle, received the 2015 Direct Support Professional of the Year award. Monarch volunteer Paige Wilhelm accepted the 2015 Volunteer of the Year award.
“Both Antwain and Paige give generously of their time and talents in so many ways that promote the mission and values of The Arc,” said Jeanette Wilhelm, Monarch advocate and quality management coordinator. “We are honored they were recognized for their hard work and dedication to serving and mentoring people with disabilities.”
While there are many examples of how Hamilton has supported people with disabilities, Wilhelm explained that recently a man he was working with told him he wanted to go on a real date with a lady from another group home. So Hamilton got to work figuring out the logistics to make it happen. He even went above and beyond to be the chauffeur for the date.
“Hamilton has dedicated his life to the people who receive services here at Monarch since 2003,” said Monarch SIS Site Manager Kerry Stipe. “He has a heart of gold and it shows in all he does.”
Wilhelm began volunteering at Monarch because of her love for her brother Matthew, who has intellectual and developmental disabilities and is supported by Monarch. She has served as a spokesperson and advocate for people with disabilities, participated in community events and written papers surrounding disability issues. She also attended the 2015 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. with the Arc of Stanly County.
In May, Paige Wilhelm spoke during an Arc of Stanly awards event about her many experiences growing up with and supporting a brother with a disability. Through this speech she was able to inspire others to also volunteer at Monarch.
“Because of her life experiences Paige is pursuing a career that will enable her to continue making a positive difference in the lives of those with disabilities. Even at her young age she is a leader in advocating for people with disabilities,” shared former N.C. Senator Gene McLaurin in his letter of recommendation for Paige’s award. He is a longtime supporter of people with disabilities.
Larry and Brenda Hinson, longtime members of the Monarch Board of Directors, were installed as Arc NC Board Members. Brenda was appointed a regional member and Larry will serve as vice president of the region.