Well, I did attend, and the event was fantastic. The two individuals with developmental disabilities who led the Pledge of Allegiance in House and Senate Chambers at the Capitol were incredibly inspiring. The luncheon was packed, and more State legislators attended the luncheon than ever. This was especially important, because not only did they get to see a nice presentation about the history of services (and successes) for individuals with developmental disabilities in Colorado, they were also on hand for the presentation of the Alliance Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Year Award.
Alliance member organizations nominated their direct service professionals for this award to recognize the unsung heroes who have dedicated themselves to helping individuals with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential. The quality of the entrants was overwhelming and inspirational. The nominees shared several things in common – a willingness to go above and beyond what is required of them, an ability to see solutions where others see only barriers, and most importantly, a deep and unyielding commitment to the individuals they serve.
Two Imagine! employees were among the finalists for this prestigious honor. While neither of them ended up being selected as the Alliance DSP of the Year, I am honored to work along side of them and humbled by their support of some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
One of the Imagine! nominees, Brian Shaw, was highlighted in a recent blog post of mine about Imagine!’s 2009 Employees of Distinction. You can read about him here.
So I’d like to give some equal time in this blog post to the other Imagine! nominee, Pramila Adhikari. Here’s some of what we learned about Pramila from her nomination:
Not only is Pramila the most diligent and hard-working staff I have ever encountered, she is without question one of the most dependable and reliable; add to that a steady kindness and compassion that knows no bounds. Because of the dedication she has to her position, in the course of any week, she has already gone above and beyond the expectations of her job. Any time an extra activity is suggested on top of her 40 hours already worked, she is the first to say, “I can do that”.
And take a look at one of the individuals she serves had to say about her:
Or what a parent of one of the indivuals she serves had to say about her:
Pramila is special, she does a lot. She likes to go out for walks with me; we go to the park. She makes me laugh, like if we are just hanging out having a cup of coffee, she cracks me up. She likes to listen to country music with me. She helps me on the computer; we check my email and go on to Facebook, we do Farmville together. I like hanging out with her.
Pramila has been the most outstanding staff. She is patient, and caring, and treats my daughter like her own child. She doesn’t just do her job, she goes so far beyond that that it is hard to describe. Pramila has a calm quiet manner, but her attention to the dignity and respect of the consumers is unmatchable. She advocates for my daughter, she dresses her in a fashionable way, applies makeup, adds jewelry, takes her to do the things she likes to do. Pramila is a quiet rock that grounds the house in honesty and integrity. I wish we could clone her.I can honestly say that Imagine! enjoys a reputation as a leader in the community of organizations that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. That reputation is a direct result of the amazing people we have working for us, and Brian and Pramila are two of the best! My hat is off to both of them.