That is the Question
We tackled the age old question, “What is Success?” during the annual Invest in Success Awards Banquet on June 30th. During the event, held for the first time in Union City at the Crowne Plaza, we wondered if success was limited to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who start a business, sell it for a billion dollars and buy Ferraris?
The answer turned out to be NO. Success has to do with setting goals appropriate to the individual, working to achieve them and finally reaching them. The Ferrari driving entrepreneur is certainly successful but we concluded we liked former UCLA basketball coach-philosopher, John Wooden’s definition the best.
Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.
By that definition every client in the room had to be described as successful. We encouraged them and take pride in the fact that they set ambitious goals, worked hard and with the help of Arc staff, met those goals.
Congratulations. We are proud of each and every one!
The evening was made possible with support from our sponsors. Our friends at Fremont Bank were there as part of a “triple play” package that saw them sponsor the annual client golf outing, our Bogey Bash Golf fundraiser and the Invest in Success dinner. We thank Pacific Office Automation, the folks who supply our copiers added to the evening; AT&T represented by Daren Chan; Richard Hoedt, DDS a long-time friend of The Arc; the payroll firm IDM Solutions, and the Operating Engineers Federal Credit Union.
Special mention has to be made of the Operating Engineers FCU which has employed one of our clients for over 25 years. Vice President of Lending, Cindi Guerzon, explained to the audience how client Aaron Moore has become part of the fabric of the marketing department and endeared himself to the people who work there. OEFCU President and CEO Mike Donohue joined Ms. Guerzon at the table along with Vice President of Training and Marketing, Jenna Anderson, and Julie Narayan.
In addition to the inspiration Aaron provided as a long-term successful employee, we also heard inspiring words from Roy Shivers, the first Black general manager in professional football. Mr. Shivers, one of eight children, grew up in the projects of Oakland and faced any number of obstacles. With perseverance and grit, in 1964, after serving four years in the army, Shivers went to Utah State where he became a star running back and then in 1966 was drafted first round in the supplemental draft to the St. Louis Cardinals. Shivers lead the Cardinals in kickoff return yards with 27 for 762 yards with one returned for a touchdown.
AFter a 7 year career he became a football coach back home in Oakland at Merrit College. He became the General Manager of the Saskatchewan RoughRiders in 1999.
Clients of the Year
First Step Childrens’ Center – Student of the Year
JaQuise Wilson – one of the most affection children we’ve had at First Step in many years. JaQuise made tremendous progress with her social skills this year. She loves to spend time in the play house dressing dollars and her favorite activity is dancing. We will miss her as she is moving on to kindergarten in the public school system.
Socorro has blossomed since coming to the Union City SCOPE program in April of 2012. She has gone from a withdrawn, fearful person to a young woman who is very relaxed and very confident. She has made significant progress on all her 2016-17 goals but excelled specifically in developing her communication skills. She often alerts staff if things aren’t the way they are supposed to be or if one of her friends needs help. Late in the program year, the Union City SCOPE program combined with the San Leandro SCOPE program. Often such a big change is a problem for clients. Not for Socorro. She adjusted to the change immediately.
Stephanie Lew – San Leandro. (No photo – she was unable to attend)
When Stephanie arrived at SCOPE over four years ago, she needed a wheelchair to get from the car to the front door and then required staff assistance to get to her seat because she wasn’t strong enough to bear her own weight. Today, Stephanie is successful at balancing herself on her walker and takes steps independently – more and more steps every day.
In her spare time, Stephanie likes listening to music and loves making music. She leans in close to hear the notes she creates on the keyboard. Other clients love listening to her play, too. Stephanie attained her Individual Service Plan goals for the year – maybe because she has perfect attendance.
Alternative Ventures Program
Terell has succeeded in developing self-talk to keep his anxiety under control. He gets the attention of teachers when he’s feeling overwhelmed but shortly after tells himself, “be good,” shakes hands with staff and calms down. Terell has also figured out a way to use beads as a tool to do arithmetic – he gets the correct sum first time, every time. He’s a good worker too. Terell is the first to volunteer for duty cleaning up at the Marina Park and takes his turn delivering lunches for Meals and Wheels. He plays on the golf team where he is developing his social skills and is learning how to read a putt.
Patricia is a great worker and a real self-starter with perfect attendance and a 100% rate of achieving her annual goals. She has worked on a variety of janitorial work crews but had trouble relating to her co workers. Today, that’s all changed and she’s a favorite at the Hayward campus.
Manuel Garcia is a new man! When he first started at the Union City Program in 2010 he was shy and didn’t want to participate in social activities and had difficulties communicating his needs. Today, his communication skills have improved and he loves developing relationships with the elderly recipients of the food he delivers for Meals on Wheels. He’s another client with perfect attendance and has surpassed all of his annual goals. All in all, just a great guy!
Vocational Development Centers
Pedro has the nickname “Pete,” but it could be “Mr. Personality.” It wasn’t always that way. When Pete came to the program in 2015, he was very shy and withdrawn. Always polite – but extremely shy.
With help, he managed to successfully break out of his shell. Today he is outgoing, has a smile on his face and shows concern for others. When we moved out of the Union City facility, Pete was one of the last vocational development center clients to leave and was extremely helpful moving all the reaming equipment and supplies from the building during the transition.
Mei Ling Liu – San Leandro.
By Arc standards, Mei Ling is a new comer. She has only been with us for a little over a year and a half. Clearly, it didn’t take her much time to win the hearts of her coworkers and be named client of the year. To a person, her colleagues say, “she is a good worker and always listens to staff.”
Hung Ly – Tri Valley (no photo – could not attend the event)
Team Player. That’s the way most describe the Tri Valley Vocational Development Center client of the year, Hung Ly. Hung joined Arc in Union City in 2003 but transferred to the Tri Valley program in 2005 after his parents moved to Dublin. He was shy at first but began successfully developing his English skills and immediately began making friends and being more and more productive on the job. In fact, he made it his business to learn all the jobs and became an impromptu trainer so more clients understood the various tasks and could earn more money. Hung also became an expert on loading pallets the correct way – each customer has a different configuration – he was able to spot any mistakes quickly and took the initiative to fix the problems himself. Hung’s co-workers respect him and he is a team player through-and-through.
Community Services Individual Placement
Marjorie has been working for Safeway as a courtesy clerk in the Fremont Hub for some 22 years. She has a great attitude and, without fail, greets customers with a smile. She has become so successful in her work that her job coach visits her only once or twice a month. She came to The Arc in 1986 and worked for a time in our Fremont Vocational Development Center. She transferred to the Motel6 Group and worked there from 1989 – 1995 at which time, she joined Safeway. After all that time, Marjorie’s goal is to one day retire from Safeway.
Community Services – Group Placement
Landscape Crew at the Oakland Museum:
Jason Fox, Angel Peregrina, and Alex Butler
Angel Peregrina – Angel started working at the Museum in July 2014. Angel has made tremendous strides in improving his communication skills and has learned how to be a true professional while working in the community.
Jason Fox (no photo – unable to attend)
Jason has been in the Community Services Program since March 1996. After 3 different placements in the community he found his niche when he went to work with 2 other clients at the Oakland Museum in 1999. He remains the client with the most on-the-job seniority. Jason is also active with Special Olympics and has been to other countries for international competitions.
Alex Butler (no photo – unable to attend)
Alex started with The Arc by attending the San Leandro Vocational Development Center in May 2012. He transitioned into the Museum group placement a year later and has been with the program ever since. Alex used to be a very shy person and did not communicate at all while in the work program but now during break times he loves talking sports with his museum buddies.
Organizational Support Award
Pioneers for Change – from the Center for Community Engagement at California State University East Bay. Derek Yang accepted on behalf of Cal State.
Pioneers for Change has provided some 20 interns to the Arc over the last two years. We have had the luxury of smart, bright students helping us with any number of projects and we hope we have given the students an insight into what it takes to operate a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Employee of the Year
The Nominees were: Pam Najera, Amalia Navarrette, Hayn Sclocu and Marianella Winkle. And the winner was…
Marianella Winkle has been an exemplary employee for years. She is dedicated to her job and totally committed to serving our clients at the Union City campus. In 2016-2017 she wet the “extra mile” in demonstrating how valuable she is.
Economic conditions dictated that we close the Union City campus and move the SCOPE program there to join the SCOPE program in San Leandro. Despite having tasks to accomplish in her regular position in the Alternative Venturess Program Marianella was more than willing to help the SCOPE clients got to and from their vans and into their seats. She covered when SCOPE staff was ill, when their were staff meetings. State limitations on funding for paying direct service employees means there are times when fill-in staff is required. Marianella – with her “it’s no problem attitude”- was always there for us. She after covered the recycling program – driving clients around picking up bags of clothing left for us on neighborhood streets. And how many times did she fill-in to ensure the deliveries to Meals-on-Wheels recipients were delivered on time. (Arc clients have been Meals-on-Wheels volunteers for years.)
When it was moving day, Marianella put on a hard hat and helped pack and get all the chairs, tables, and boxes loaded-up and ready to go. There was a lot of “stuff,” too but Marianella just tackled the job on item at a time.
There was no question that her “can do” attitude is an Arc asset and that Marianella Winkle is without doubt, the employee of the year.
Hayne is a natural-born leader. Starting out with us as a volunteer, Hayne soon elected to join us as an instructor at the Alternative Ventures Program at our Walpert Campus. He is a motivated – and motivating – young man who works extremely well with clients and values their uniqueness and input. His focus is on health and wellness and ensuring that clients have as much information about their own health care, wellness and nutrition as possible. Hayne was a key player in our HealthMeet program – developed in conjunction with The Arc of the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and followed up by becoming a certified Train-the-Trainer in wellness from the University of Illinois – Chicago.
In March, Hayn joined The Arc’s Director of Quality Assurance, Shannon Jurich, and client, Dana Hale to conduct a workshop in HealthMeet at The Arc of California’s annual Public Policy Conference in Sacramento.
Dana, who is blind, told his compelling story of taking the HealthMeet lessons to heart by starting a vigorous exercise program and successfully losing weight. We knew it was a successful presentation when Hayne and Dana demonstrated some chair-exercises and got the audience s t r e t c h i n g.
Hayn has a special spark and a special relationship with our clients. It is for that reason, CEO Ron Luter, awarded him the 2016-17 President’s Award.