Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reaching out, Building Community

In this month of bountiful harvests which also encompasses Community Service Day on October 5th, The Arc of Delaware County recently reached out and supported local communities in a variety of ways.
Pictured in the photo from left to right are: Pat McDonald and Judy Ford from the Delhi Senior Community Apts., Tina Osadca, Gabrielle Rosario, SUNY Liberal Arts student, Adonis Smalls, SUNY Carpentry student and Matt Wilson.

For SUNY Delhi’s Community Service Day, people at The Arc of Delaware County’s Main Street Residence teamed with students from SUNY Delhi and enjoyed baking cookies together for delivery to residents at the Delhi Senior Community Apartments. In a note to The Arc of Delaware County the seniors wrote: “Thank you so very much for the platter of homemade cookies. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness.”

Pictured in the photograph are Carol Norwick, Secretary to the Principal and Thomas Ferrante who helped in the baking and delivery of the cookies.

On October 8th Margaretville Central School hosted a Senior Citizen Dinner Dance in recognition of LiLY (Lifeforce in Late Years), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of senior citizens. Again, using their baking skills, a group of self advocates from The Arc of Delaware County supported the dance by providing delicious desserts for the enjoyment of over 60 seniors who attended.  

And ending the month with a “ BANG” or should we say a “BOO!”, Community Living Skills in Walton hosted another popular Halloween Hoopla on Saturday October 26th where over 60 local children and their families enjoyed, crafts, games, a costume exchange, a “not-so-spooky” Halloween Maze and refreshments.

Reaching out, giving back, and fully participating in our communities- that are what being part of a community is all about!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Angie Edwards Nominated for Blesher Award by Entire CLS-W Staff

Angie pictured on the left of Blesher surrounded by the staff at CLS-W who nominated her

“During a time when CLS-W was growing and in need of additional staff, Angie stepped in, set up here and jumped in whenever needed” stated the CLS-W Staff in their nomination.

Angie Edwards is a Person Centered Planner located in The Arc of Delaware County’s Hamden office. She helps individuals with disabilities to plan their life and supports that enable them to live personally fulfilling lives. However, when CLS-W experienced a large increase in caseload, staff stated that Angie was a real team player- when help was needed; she rearranged her work schedule and jumped in to assist.

While at CLS-W she asked what she could do to assist one on one with an individual new to the CLS-W program. She followed up on feeding guidelines before assisting individuals and offered many helpful suggestions at staff meetings. CLS-W Staff was very appreciative of her efforts and her passion to be helpful. They wanted to express their appreciation by nominating her for a Blesher Award which was presented on Oct. 7th at the CLS-W facility.

Through her actions Angie exemplifies each of the 6 Unifying Principals of The Arc of Delaware County: Those We Serve Come First, Commit to Excellence, Be Dedicated, Employee Satisfaction, Communicate Effectively and Be Innovative.

Congratulations Angie!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Writer Scripts His Own Success

The journey of a lifetime has begun for Justin Kirby.  Justin has always enjoyed writing, acting, and theater. He shared, “I’m a big movie buff. I’ve been in plays before and I just love acting.” But he wanted to further his knowledge and hone his skills, so he started to look into colleges that offered theater classes. However before applying to college, Justin first needed to obtain a General Education Diploma (GED). This fact did not deter him and this year Justin attended a weekly class from January to July. However the process of obtaining a GED requires strong self motivation and determination to complete self studies using books and preparatory tests in Math, Social Sciences, Reading, and Writing. When asked what kept him motivated, Justin pointed to his parents and Valarie Stafford, Life Coach at The Arc of Delaware County who knew that he wanted to do this for years. The first step is always the hardest, but “Jeanne Ntibalkure (Service Coordinator) made the phone call with me to get me enrolled in classes”.  Val shared that Justin “showed a commitment and desire to work through it (the courses).” And on September 12th, Justin was thrilled to find out that he passed the test and earned his GED. He was especially proud that he passed the test on his first try and he and his family celebrated with a special dinner that night.

When asked what he would say to others considering obtaining a GED degree he said, “If you have a dream to get your GED, go for it. Don’t let anybody else tell you that you can’t.”  Justin looks forward to enrolling in a college theater program and in the meantime continues to write. “I’ve been working on writing my own movies.” The most recent movie script he is working on involves a romantic comedy set in New York City.  He shared, “I hope sooner or later one of my screenplays gets picked and turned into an actual movie.”