RHD Evergreen Resident Wins Prestigious Award

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Alex is a 34-year-old resident at RHD’s Evergreen, a community-based program in Lehigh Valley, PA, supporting adults with intellectual disability disorders (IDD) and other neurobiological disabilities. When asked to explain how Alex has changed since coming to Evergreen, Jenn Arsenault, a program specialist there, shared “Alex is very funny. He’s fun-loving. He’s grown so much since he’s been with us.” Alex currently works at Perkins Restaurant five days a week. He can travel by himself via Uber and likes to visit the local community center. Arsenault adds, “He’s lost a significant amount of weight,” thanks to his adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

On May 18, Alex received the 2022 One Step Forward Celebration Award from The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties, an organization dedicated to creating a more inclusive and accessible future for people with IDD across the Lehigh Valley. The One Step Forward Celebration Award is a yearly award that recognizes local children and adults with IDD, as well as their families and inclusive area businesses. Alex atttended the awards ceremony, which includes a formal cocktail hour and dinner, to accept his award.

Alex was nominated for the award by Dana Becker, a former Evergreen regulatory trainer who worked with him. Arsenault explained, “The One Step Forward Award is for people who have grown and shown independence and their ability to adapt to certain situation. Since she used to work here with us, Dana witnessed first-hand how much Alex has grown, and that he met all the criteria for this award.”

“Alex has overcome a lot. He’s not the same person that he used to be. He’s completely changed for the better. He’s done a lot of work to improve himself and get where he wants to be,” Arsenault adds. Regarding the One Step Forward Celebration Award, she says, “He’s very happy about it. He’s very excited.”


To learn more about RHD’s IDD programs, visit: www.rhd.org/program_area/intellectual-disabilities/