Two Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc. employees were honored during the ARC of Rowan’s annual meeting and reception held recently at the ARC of Rowan’s office.

Gary Yelton, the Executive Director of RVO, received the Support Professional of the Year award. This award recognizes individuals employed in community developmental disability services who have demonstrated sensitivity, support and the ability to provide outstanding service which results in increased independence for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

During his acceptance remarks, Yelton stated, ͞We encourage our consumers to focus on their capabilities rather than disabilities. I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to see our folks mature, grow and accentuate their positive qualities,͟ he concluded.

David Hemmings, an RVO consumer, received the Self-Advocate award. This award recognizes a person with a disability who has contributed service in a distinguished manner to others with DD/ID as well as the local community.

Other major award winners included Jay Taylor, lead instructor for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s SOAR program. Taylor received the Volunteer of the Year award. This honor recognizes a volunteer who has given generously of their time, talents and service to accomplish the mission of the ARC of Rowan. Taylor currently serves as President of the ARC’s Board of Directors.

Jeff Barger, Rowan County Clerk of Court, received the ARC’s Distinguished Service award for contributing to the promotion of rights and services to people with developmental disabilities in Rowan County. Barger has conducted numerous guardianship seminars free of charge and has been a valuable asset in helping people understand their legal rights.

Shela Sapp, Executive Director of the ARC, stated, ͞It gives me great pride and pleasure to honor these outstanding individuals. They truly represent the ARC’s core values and mission to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities, she concluded.

The ARC empowers people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential and to become independent and integrated into the community through advocacy, education, training and support.

The ARC of Rowan and Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc. are United Way agencies.

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