The Arc Baltimore awards Towson, Lutherville residents
By Courtney McGee
Baltimore Sun Media|
Jul 28, 2020 at 6:00 AM
The Arc Baltimore, headquartered on York Road in Towson, recently honored Towson resident Kelly Watson as Self-Advocate of the Year and Lutherville resident Aimee Eliason as Outstanding Employee.
On June 30, the awards were presented to Watson and Eliason at a virtual awards ceremony, which recognized Arc Baltimore staff, self-advocates, board members and community members for their dedication.
Eliason received her award for her success at Maryland Brand. She joined The Arc’s Career Catalyst internship program during its inaugural year in 2014. She quickly found employment digitizing files at Strategic Factory.
However, when her talents allowed her to finish the task even sooner than anticipated, she’d worked herself out of a job! In 2018, Terri Spurrier, Career Catalyst program director, had connected with the owner of Maryland Brand, who was in need of hard-working employees.
Spurrier knew that Eliason’s incredible work ethic and artistic creativity would make her a great match for the company. After a tour of their facilities, Eliason knew this was the place for her. She quickly become one of Maryland Brand’s most valued employees.
She screen prints T-shirts, tags them, operates the folding machine and matches paint colors for the stenciling machine. She even helps train new staff on the equipment and day-to-day job functions.
Eliason also submitted her art portfolio to the general manager, letting him know she was interested in doing some design work for their Puppie Love line (available at puppielove.com). Her Lightning Bolt Pup T-shirt design was selected for their spring Puppie Love line. “I smile every day because I love my job,” Eliason said. “I’ve never been happier.”
Kelly Watson was awarded as Self-Advocate of the Year for her outspoken commitment to living her best life in her own way every day. Watson cherishes her boyfriend, her friends and family, her job, her pet fish and her independence.
Watson and her boyfriend catch Mobility to meet friends for breakfast each day. She loves to talk on the phone, spending time each afternoon making calls to check up on her many friends and family.
She is also a devoted employee. When she lost her job a few years ago, she rallied to soon get another that suited her vision, declaring that she wanted an independent job in the community. She was accepted into The Arc’s Career Catalyst program and declared to program staff that she wanted to work at Chick-fil-A.
With support from the Career Catalyst team, Watson made that vision a reality, and now, two and a half years later, she is still enjoying her job as an esteemed Chick-fil-A employee.
Congratulations on your awards, Aimee and Kelly! And kudos, too, to The Arc for all the awesome work you do to support individuals with developmental disabilities in leading fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging and purpose.