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For Immediate Release

Shining Bright in the Workplace

Easterseals UCP Honors Recipients of the S.T.A.R. Awards

Raleigh, NC, January 16, 2020

Motivation and dedication in the workplace deserves an award – a S.T.A.R. Award. 

Awards recipientsS.T.A.R. Awards (Skill, Talent, Achievement and Recognition) recognize individuals who have been 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 (IPS) program is a model of supported employment for people with mental illness. The IPS supported employment program helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing.

Every quarter, S.T.A.R. Awards are presented to several IPS recipients in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Cumberland counties for reaching their goals. 

S.T.A.R Award Winners:

Edward is a NYC transplant who has adjusted well to living in the Bull City. After a long history of mental health hardships, physical health problems and the recent loss of his mother, Edward has made a commitment to move forward and not look back. With a smile on his face Edward is actively working with all providers and putting the daily effort in to advance both personally and professionally. He has been working at Food Lion for nearly two months and he’s looking forward to a bright future there.

Johanna made a big career change from working as an administrative assistant to pursuing a career as a Peer Support Specialist. Upon completing two trainings, she received her Peer Support Specialist Certificate and has secured two part-time employment positions.  One with Designed For Joy where she creates and designs jewelry. Designed For Joy is an employer that is committed to providing support to individuals who are reentering the workforce. Not only does the work help Johanna receive an income but it has helped boost her confidence and build her resume. She also works for Healing Transitions as a Recovery Engagement Specialist where she assesses the health and well-being of individuals, introduce guests to staff and spends time listening to individuals’ concerns. Johanna is excited that she has an opportunity to work in the human service field.

Kiara is a native of Durham who enjoys shopping, music, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She is a hard worker with a positive attitude and doesn’t let anything stop her from being herself and doing what she needs to do. Kiara has been working at San Antonia Shoes for three months now and is known for her bubbly personality, punctuality, and dependability. Maintaining employment has improved her confidence and motivated her to achieve her goals.

Mariah has received services from Easterseals UCP Individual Placement and Support program for a year. At first she was unsure of what her personal goals were. After guidance from the IPS team she was able to explore and create her own personal goals. She’s successfully opened her first bank account, obtained and maintained her first job, completed her GED, and looks forward to independent living. Mariah has come a long way and her IPS team is very proud of her. Soft-spoken and shy, she has found her voice through employment and looks forward to beginning college courses next year.

Rachel is hardworking, focused, and goal-driven. She aspires to write a book and own a dog training business. With the help of the Easterseals UCP IPS team, Rachel has been working as a program assistant in the Easterseals UCP Durham office. She’s bilingual, very intelligent and has won competitions for her impressive job interviewing skills. Rachel is an asset to her employer and the IPS team is excited to see what the future holds for her career.

Tiesha has a plan. She began with an employment goal of working in the customer service field and gradually gaining enough work experience to move into her dream job as an administrative assistant. In her current role as a cook at Biscuitville Tiesha has proven to be a fast learner and a dedicated team member. Tiesha’s manager stated that he is impressed with Tiesha’s hard work, dedication and commitment to her team. “She brings an element of enthusiasm to others that work around her.”    

Congratulations to the S.T.A.R. recipients!

Learn more about Easterseals UCP Individual and Placement Services program.


Easterseals provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.
Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.comSign up for the Easterseals UCP eNews.


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