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The Arc NC honors Monarch staff, volunteer and Arc of Stanly during 2015 Annual Awards Luncheon

Paige Antwain 2015The Arc of North Carolina held their 2015 Annual Awards Luncheon in Wake County on Sept. 25 to honor chapter member nominees statewide for their hard work and dedication.

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, of Albemarle, 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.”

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The Arc of Stanly celebrates local leaders during award event

Arc of Stanly award recipients 2015The Arc of Stanly honored six local leaders during “An Evening with the Arc of Stanly” awards celebration held at Dennis Vineyards in Albemarle on May 21. 

The inaugural event recognized business leaders, educators, elected officials and medical professionals who have demonstrated significant support or have advocated for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders.

Several honors were bestowed in four categories. The following is a list of award recipients and the honors that recognized their important and extraordinary service.

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The Arc of Stanly, Monarch host advocacy forums for parents of students with disabilities Stanly Aug. 11

The Arc Individual Education Plans (IEP)In 2012-13, 18 percent of Stanly County’s 8,662 students had an individualized education plans (IEP), which establishes educational goals and outcomes for students with disabilities. The plans are developed collaboratively by teachers, administrators and parents of students with disabilities, who often find the IEP process complex and daunting. Consequently, many parents struggle to advocate for the best interests of their children.

To help parents and families better understand and navigate the process, Monarch and The Arc of Stanly was recently awarded a grant of $1,000 from the Stanly County Community Foundation to host four advocacy and education forums for parents and families of students with disabilities and special needs in the Stanly County School system.

The four parent education forums will be led by Jeanette Wilhelm, quality enhancement coordinator and advocate at Monarch, who has special training in advocacy and inclusion services. Wilhelm will address key IEP concerns and equip parents with the knowledge needed to work with educators on plans that help their children achieve success in the classroom.

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Monarch, The Arc of Stanly to host “Preparing for The Future” seminar June 18

Monarch and The Arc of Stanly County invite you and your family to join us and industry experts for “Preparing for the Future:  Planned Giving and End of Life Planning,” a discussion about the future of your family member.

The forum will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18 at the Stanly Community College Small Business Center, 143 N. Second St., Albemarle. Information will be provided to help families identify the most appropriate methods to help their loved ones to plan for their financial future, protect their benefits and ensure they receive the same dignity we all deserve at the end of life.

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Arc of Stanly hosts several activities for local group home

Members of the Arc of Stanly Advisory Board Committee have hosted two recent initiatives for the Arc of Stanly Advisory Board Committee Boat Rideresidents of one of Monarch’s residential homes in Stanly County.

The committee delivered many items for the ladies to use to decorate their home, especially to help spruce up their outdoor space. The ladies of the home were surprised by the group’s gifts of a bird bath, several flowers pots, a hummingbird feeder, multiple bird feeders and best of all refreshments. A beautiful handmade doll house was donated for the ladies to paint and decorate.

A few weeks later, the Arc of Stanly Advisory Committee took the residents on a pontoon boat ride. The residents and Monarch staff were guests at the home of Gloria and John Bowers for a fun and relaxing afternoon. The weather could not have been any more perfect for their “excursion” on Lake Tillery, which was the first boat ride for some. After the ride, the ladies were treated to homemade pound cake, sugar cookies and ice cream.  After an outdoor afternoon of fun, there was no shortage of smiles among everyone who participated.

Thanks to attending committee members, their spouses and families, including, Kevin Garrison and son Henry; Larry and Brenda Hinson, Gloria Bowers, Rachel Morrison, Mary Medlin, Dave and Jackie McGowen for their support. Each year, the Arc of Stanly Advisory Board Committee selects a local group home to support for the entire year, including hosting an event at Christmastime. 

The Importance of Advocacy: I am our children’s keeper

Monarch Advocate Jeanette Wilhelm and parent of a son with a disability shares why advocacy is so important

The Arc Advocate Jeanette WilhelmI can remember all the details of the day the doctor said: “your son is not developing as he is expected based on the developmental growth chart.” We were given the news that cognitively he was impaired, and his ability to ever live alone or develop in a way where he would be independent was likely not to be possible.

His comments began a lifelong journey of searching and decision-making that forever impacts my son’s life. The feeling of loneliness was overwhelming and strange because there were so many “professional” opinions, referrals and suggestions. I could not keep up with all of the appointments.

In the midst of this chaos, I contacted The Arc and found a resource, a person who was on my side. Finally, we had the necessary guidance. From that point on, we received instruction on how to navigate the system. This person accompanied me to meetings, and not as an authority “to say you must do this” or “you know doing that is wrong.” This person, who was an advocate, would listen to my concerns, assist me expressing those concerns and explain the professional language used in all the meetings. It was no longer foreign. This was my first introduction to advocacy. Although my son is now an adult, I still contact this person for support.

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Grandparents of young man with disability work to advocate, raise awareness

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Empower Yourself, Empower Someone Else

Larry and Brenda Hinson have worked diligently for years to ensure that people with disabilities have a voice. The Hinsons2Larry serves as chair for The Arc of Stanly Advisory Committee and Brenda is the chairperson of the Monarch Board of Directors. As grandparents of a young man with disabilities they know firsthand what tremendous hurdles people with disabilities, their family members and guardians often face. It’s difficult for people to navigate local, state and federal systems in an attempt to get much needed and quality services.

“We continue our efforts because we want the needs and desires of all people with intellectual/cognitive disabilities to be met. I feel that on a local level, the need is great for people to volunteer their time and talents with the people we support,” said Larry Hinson. “We are very active in the community with advocacy and projects. Our disability policy awareness includes staying abreast of local, state and federal issues that impact the people we support.”

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Arc of Stanly advocate discusses importance of early intervention for children with disabilities

Down Syndrome Support GroupJeanette Wilhelm speaks to Down syndrome support group Feb. 16

It is essential that children with developmental delays become involved early on in the services that focus on early developmental skills, according to Jeanette Wilhelm, advocate for The Arc of Stanly and Monarch.

Wilhelm will serve as guest speaker for members and guests of the Down syndrome support group on Feb. 16 in Locust. The veteran advocate will share information about the importance of early intervention, where parents and guardians of people with disability should start and how the system focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn the basics as well as brand new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life.

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