Kiera Trinder, who works as a Personal Care Provider at Stephens Farm was nominated by Dr. Sarita Reddy and chosen by the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council as the winner of their 2017 Community Inclusion award. Every July the Council hosts the Dan B. Davidson awards banquet and recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated visionary practices and provided exemplary supports for people with disabilities that lead to their inclusion as active and valued members of their communities. This, in part, is what Dr. Reddy said in her nomination:
"Kiera is deeply committed to assisting people she works with to live the lives they choose. She spends the time to get to know them and figure out where her interests and connections might intersect with what is important to them.
Kiera seems to instinctively understand that the people we serve are people first! She has chosen to spend time with Joey R outside her work hours because they have a unique connection and she appreciates the opportunity to hang out as friends. The two of them often spend time together on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, where Kiera is a student, where she encourages him to connect with other students that they run into. One of those students, Calvin, is now a part of Joey's circle. Calvin shares Joey's interest in writing and helped Joey publish a book of short stories. The two have enjoyed getting to know each other and discover other mutual interests.
Kiera and Joey have opened up whole new worlds for each other and forged a tight bond of friendship in the process. We are incredibly fortunate to have both of them as part of our GCI family!"
Calvin, Joey and GCI's Engagement Manager, Rebecca Starke, were all on hand to cheer Kiera on as she received her award on July 26, 2017 in Denver. As Marcia Tewell, Executive Director of CDDC said so eloquently, "THIS is what it takes to make inclusion a reality"! Inclusion is intentional, and we at GCI are committed to it!
Side note: In 2015, GCI began to transition from a medical model of support to a person-centered model of support. GCI decided to invest in "Engagement" both in terms of how we do our day-to-day work (listening deeply to the people we serve and letting them guide how we do what we do) as well as with the larger community (actively seeking out people, places and things to do that make space for the people we serve to contribute their own gifts and talents and increase opportunities for friendships/connections outside the circle of paid staff or volunteers). Our team understands that this work can only happen one person at a time, and that it is a process that continues and evolves over the course of a person's life. Learn more about GCI's mission and vision.