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For Immediate Release

Celebrating Easterseals UCP S.T.A.R. Award Recipients

Adults with Mental Illness Strive for Excellence

Raleigh, NC, June 25, 2018

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) team at Easterseals UCP in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Cumberland counties work hard to motivate and encourage adults with mental illness to seek jobs, continuity, and happiness in their lives.  Every quarter, several recipients are recognized for reaching their goals.

STARThe staff created the S.T.A.R. Awards (S.T.A.R. stands for Skill, Talent, Achievement and Recognition) recognized several individuals who have gotten hired and have maintained employment using the skills they learned through the Individual Placement and Support Program at Easterseals UCP.

The Individual Placement and Support program is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness. IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. 

The S.T.A.R. Awards go to:

Debra Crawford - Debra is a hardworking young woman employed as a Personal Care Home Aide since September 2017. She is a very resourceful woman who enjoys music, getting her nails done, dressing well, cooking and spending time with close family and friends. Debra has achieved her CNA 1 recertification, maintain work and attending school to advance her career, and recently achieved a second PCA position. Debra has worked with the IPS program since April 2017.

John “Jay” Gordon – Jay is currently employed at Raleigh Grand Cinema as a ticket taker.  For three years, he’s held his position and his longevity truly represents the IPS program model.  He’s a great S.T.A.R. at Easterseals UCP!

Katie Howell - Katie is very outgoing and has a desire to be independent and help others.  She is currently working at a paid internship at Smithfield Selma Chamber of Commerce. Guests who visit the Chamber, see Katie first, who is helpful, answers the phones and does clerical duties.  Katie has displayed exceptional work ethics and the chamber is considering offering her a permanent part-time position. 

Chasity Johnson- Chasity is an ambitious, outgoing person who works hard to accomplish all her goals.  After only two weeks of working at her current job, Chasity’s boss was already asking Chasity to consider training for an assistant manager position.  She’s her own toughest critic and does not see what others see in her.  She received the S.T.A.R. Award for her strong, ambitious, outgoing and hardworking accomplishments.

Meredith Martin – For more than a year, Meredith has taken her time to see what jobs work best for her and what is a good fit.  She has been able to keep pushing herself towards her work goal and has landed a part time job in a field she likes.  She’s resilient as she can handle challenges with a successful outcome.

Valerie Reed - Valerie has exceptional people skills, which have proven to be one of her strengths. This has helped her succeed in various occupations. Recently, she agreed to work as a volunteer with children with speech issues at North Carolina Central.

Lisa Smith -  Since March 2018, Lisa has been working as a Deli Cook employee at Carlie C’s IGA. Prior to this recent position, Lisa was employed at Teletech as Customer Service Representative. She is dependable and has had to work through challenges to gain confidence. Her skills in cooking and working with computers has helped her find successful employment. Lisa enjoys her independence and takes pride in taking care of her son.

Sandra Worley – Sandra has worked extremely hard and has been cooperative, active and resilient towards her goal of obtaining employment for nearly two years. Through difficult times, Sandra has remained calm and shown the ability to sacrifice for her family. She is a premier example of resilience, promise, change and hope moving forward for those with the same dreams and aspirations.

Congratulations to the S.T.A.R. winners and the hard working staff at the Individual Placement and Support program at Easterseals UCP.  Learn more about the Individual Placement and Support Program.

Easterseals UCP works side-by-side with adults and children who are managing disabilities and mental health challenges. We serve as a nurse, a therapist, a social worker, a job counselor, a teacher, a psychologist, a caregiver and a compassionate friend all rolled into one. Our purpose is to help neighbors in need achieve better days and live their best possible life.


Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.com.

For more information contact:
Kathy Edgerton
Easterseals UCP Chief Communications Officer
(O) 919-865-8660
(C) 919-208-0621

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