Last week, Tim Franchere got to pose with his state senator, Adam Hinds, in the local news. Tim was recognized for his achievements, including his job at a store and volunteer work at the local Meals on Wheels program. Anthony Tanner was recognized, too, but not only for his stellar employment history. Anthony’s growth as an employee has spilled over to his personal life, where he has realized with some coaching that he can be more independent in his apartment, too, helping to prepare his own and community meals.
On Monday night, LifeLinks brought together some board members, families, staff, and the people they support to celebrate the achievements of individuals and the agency. It was a heartwarming night led by CEO Jean Phelps and Board Chair Pamela Anastasi.
It was a beautiful fall day in Greater Denver as we listened to a presentation by Xavier about himself, his family, and his recent activities. His fellow students in the elementary school class listened intently along with his mother, father, and grandparents. There should be nothing unusual about a class presentation, but my grandnephew, Xavier, happens to be a young man with Down syndrome. I may be biased, but Xavier showed a talent for showmanship – perhaps a direction for his teen and adult years.
This Saturday, Andrew Lawson will enter the Norwell High School Hall of Fame. I wrote earlier this year about Andrew’s passing and how he had brought so many people together during his life. Andrew’s life was full of achievements; the local news article announcing his induction shows Andrew embracing soccer coach Jack Browne.
There are two significant threads which underlie The Arc of Massachusetts’ mission. One thread is our mission to achieve “equity across all aspects of society.” This is a pretty tall order. Despite the progress made over the past decades, equity has not been achieved in health care, education, or transportation.