Who We Are banner graphic

For Immediate Release

The S.T.A.R Award Goes To…

The Individual Placement and Support Staff Honors People with Disabilities

Raleigh, NC, December 18, 2017

Media Contact:
Kathy Edgerton

Adults with mental illness are getting the support they need through services at Easterseals UCP.  The Individual Placement and Support program (IPS) provides planning, training and hope.  Men and women with varying degrees of mental health issues are working and living independently, thanks to Easterseals UCP Employment Specialists for helping people reach their goals.

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. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths. IPS is based on 8 principles:
  • Competitive employment
  • Systematic Job Development
  • Rapid Job Search
  • Integrated Services
  • Benefits Planning
  •  Zero Exclusion
  • Time-unlimited Supports
  • Work Preferences

This year, the Individual Placement and Support staff created awards as a new way to recognize the men and women who have made accomplishments in the program. The S.T.A.R. Awards (S.T.A.R. stands for Skill, Talent, Achievement and Recognition) recognized several individuals.

The goal is to encourage, motivate, and recognize the individual’s that have obtained and maintained employment; those individual’s that have ‘graduated’ from the program; and those individual’s that have made great strides towards their goal(s).

Congratulations to the 2017 S.T.A.R Award Recipients:

Marc Sanchez is happy to be working at Chuck E. Cheese in Fayetteville, NC. Marc, age 42, was determined to get a job he enjoys. Easterseals UCP Employment Specialist Team Lead, Tamika Wells, says “Marc has been employed at Chuck E. Cheese, his dream job for a year now.  He is creative, an artist, motivated, kind and caring and likes to make others smile.”


Rakshanda Waliyyudin works hard at Food Lion in Raleigh, NC. Roxy, age 24, has come a long way. Gary Macovitz, Easterseals UCP Employment Specialist says, “Roxy is a great example of what a person can do when they are fully dedicated to making a huge change for the better. She took on some heavy challenges and is doing well at them all including living independently in her own apartment, succeeding at school, employment, and has a car and drives.”


Janee Roach is one of us.  She works at Easterseals UCP in Raleigh, NC. Janee, age 42, has found her niche in life. Her Employment Specialist, Tracy Violette, describes Janee, “She is very dedicated and compassionate. Janee has been very successful finding suitable employment for her clients, as well as with supporting them to maintain stable employment.  Janee has a passion for her work, and she is a valuable asset to Easterseals UCP.”

IPSJennifer Brinkley has been working as a sales associate and merchandise stock employee at DD’s Discount Store for two years. Jennifer, age 47, has been a dependable employee. Tracy Violette, Easterseals UCP Employment Specialist says, “Jennifer was awarded employee of the month last January for going above and beyond to meet customer needs, as well as for being a reliable and dedicated employee. Jennifer takes pride in her work and she continues to provide excellent customer service.”

IPS 2017-Ebony Ebony Miller is on the road to success.Ebony, age 30, is happily employed at Waffle House.Her Easterseals UCP Employment Peer Mentor, Lindy Grainger, is thrilled to share her success, “Ebony has grown so much since she started working with us. She gets out of her house and is smiling for the first time in a long time.”

IPS 2017-Ebony Serena Kamdar is an awesome Community Resource Trainer at Easterseals UCP in Raleigh, NC. Serena, age 32, loves her job at Easterseals UCP NC/VA Raleigh, NC.Candice Rodriguez, Easterseals UCP Employment Specialist describes Serena, “She’s hard working and very dependable. She has a passion for working with people and really enjoys her job.”

IPS 2017-Ebony Bryanna Wiggins is happy to go to work every day.Bryanna, age 19, is employed at McDonald’s. She has a bright smile and a bright future.  The Easterseals UCP Employment Specialists are proud to present her with a S.T.A.R. Award based on her accomplishments. 

Congratulations to all of the Individual Placement and Support S.T.A.R. Award recipients.

For more information about Individual Placement and Support Services 

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

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software