Angelie Thomas, Community Support Supervisor/Fleet Manager, and her colleagues at Kings Highway Day Services held an award ceremony to commemorate the dedication people at the program have shown throughout their time receiving services via Zoom on Friday, February 25.

We want people to know that we still appreciate them signing on to be with us,” Angelie said. As some people have decided to resume attending in-person day services, others have chosen to remain at home for a variety of reasons. Angelie sought to assure this latter group that their contributions, thoughts, and smiles are still valued and welcomed.

Everyone received a personalized gift box that contains items based on their individualized preferences known to staff members. T-shirts marked with the words “achievement ceremony” were also created for each person to wear on the day of the event.

Embracing Changes and Growth

Sherrod Gordon received “Most Improved.” Sherrod used to need one-to-one support to get on Zoom, but now can attend virtual sessions independently for more than two hours. Rayed Mohammed was recognized for his amazing artwork. Vanessa Mills was noted for her authorship. Others were shouted out for their humor, their improvement with technology, and for their consistent attendance.

Angelie Thomas presented awards and artwork created by staff members and people supported.

Angelie Thomas presented awards and artwork created by staff members and people supported.

Some people have barely been outside even now–it’s been very difficult for them during the pandemic,” Angelie said. “We try to keep them motivated. I know there is a lot going on right now, but we want to let you know that we approve the sacrifices each of you make.”

Deborah Kane, Crisis Intervention Supervisor, said, “We have all been in the same boat together. We’ve all gone through this challenge, this crisis, this pandemic. You’ve all grown amazingly. The platform [Zoom] is hard—there is no wiggle room. Everyone has paid attention and stayed with the flow of what was presented. This is what life is—changes and growth.”

In more than three decades with AHRC NYC, Behavior Intervention Specialist, Christiano Lachanas has become accepting of those changes. “Some of you on this call I know for more than 30 years. We’ve been through quite a bit, and not just with Covid. One thing that gives me strength is to see you guys that are so resilient and strong, you keep up and keep on. I’m going to thank you for that selfish reason—you give me strength. Many times, I feel buoyed and spirited because I know if you guys can make it, I can get through whatever personal craziness is happening in our small little world. It’s not so much what I can teach you—it’s what you guys have taught me, and you taught me to keep up and move on. I appreciate the love.”