Celebrating the progress made by Bell service users who are making strides to fulfill their potential and improve their lives is a highlight of the Bell Annual Meeting. This year we recognize three service users from the intellectual disability services department with the agency’s 2018 Personal Achievement Award: Leatha Light, Carol Menges, and Tonya Howe.
Personal Achievement Award winners Tonya, Carol, and Leatha with ID staff
Over the past year, Leatha Light has worked hard and continues to grow. She has increased her communication skills, and has made marked improvements to help with household chores and increase her independence to perform personal hygiene abilities. She is also making strides in using a washing machine to clean the clothing protectors used at the Adult Training Facility (ATF) also known as Bell at the Village day program which she attends.
Each time Leatha learns a new skill she enjoys bringing her mother in to the program to show her what she’s learned. Both staff and family are very proud of her accomplishments. Leatha has also been volunteering at local churches and other organizations, increasing her fine and gross motor skills and building relationships with others in the community.
Carol Menges has lived with Bell since 2009. Tonya Howe moved in with Bell in 2015. Both women now live in Bell’s Hadley Drive home in the Intellectual Disability Residential Services program.
Over the years, Carol has struggled with going to her appointments and sleeping in her own bed. Since she moved in to Hadley four years ago, she has made tremendous improvement. After refusing to get cataract surgery for years, she agreed in 2017 and can now see much better. She also started sleeping in her own bed. She has such a genuine personality and is a joy to be around. Carol is the most entertaining individual in the residential program. She is always guaranteed to turn a frown into a smile.
Tonya Howe was an emergency placement and had a difficult time adjusting to her new environment in a group home. It took her three years to acclimate to Bell staff and other residents. She had a difficult time with daily tasks and would often refuse help and support from her staff.
It wasn’t until Tonya moved into her current home in January of this year when she began to enjoy more activities outside the home and started socializing with her staff and peers. She has shown a lot of personal growth and is a joy to be around.