The Celebration Awards Committee is recognizing two hardworking local young adults for their outstanding achievements over the past year.
Jake Coyle, a 2017 graduate of Saucon Valley High School, was awarded the 2021 Employment Achievement Award for Northampton County. The award is presented to someone who has been successfully employed over the past year.
Jake has been working at Cedarbrook Nursing Home for the past two-and-a-half years. When the pandemic struck in early 2020 he went above and beyond, embracing his role as an essential employee and covering extra shifts when needed.
“He shows up early for his shifts and is proud of his reliability,” the committee said when presenting Jake with his award.
Jake performs a variety of duties such as reviewing supply orders for each resident floor, loading supplies onto carts and delivering supplies to the nursing and resident floors, as well as to various departments.
He also retrieves and stocks additional supplies from the overstock storage areas, and assists in the warehouse by moving all materials off the trucks and organizing all of the boxes in a particular order.
Jake closely follows CDC guidelines and regulations, and he gladly performs other tasks when assigned.
Jake’s hard work has been recognized not only by his fellow co-workers, but also by Cedarbrook residents.
“Over the course of this year, Jake received numerous raises and continues to take great pride in his work,” the award committee said. “Jake built positive relationships with co-workers and residents at Cedarbrook while continuing to remain independent.”
“With his positive attitude, work ethic and assistance at Cedarbrook, Jake truly shines,” they continued. “Anyone who knows him would say that Jake is a very caring and passionate person who takes great pride in his work.”
Kristen Haggerty, a senior at Saucon Valley High School, was awarded the 2021 Personal Achievement Award for Northampton County. The award is presented to individuals who have made great strides in reaching personal goals and who have enriched their own capabilities.
Kristen is a student of the VIP program offered by Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21.
Through the work-based program she has become more self-aware of her desire for independence and strives for true self-sufficiency.
“She received multiple celebration award nominations from various educators, who all expressed joy and enthusiasm when describing Kristen’s progress,” the committee said. “Not only has Kristen been doing an excellent job at the VIP program and is (she) a motivated student, but her confidence has increased 10-fold since joining!”
Over the past year Kristen has been stepping outside of her comfort zone to try new activities. She has recently overcome her apprehensiveness about using a telephone, and has been improving her physical health by maintaining a healthy diet and working with a personal trainer.
“She enjoys joking around with her classmates but always makes sure the work she is required to do is completed,” the award’s presenters said.
Her educators and mentors have been impressed as they watched her develop great interpersonal skills and grow into a strong self-advocate.
“Kristen’s team has truly enjoyed watching her mature and blossom, as she is genuinely committed to learning and being the best she can be!” the committee said.
The Celebration Awards are a yearly celebration of the accomplishments of local individuals with disabilities. Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties hosts the event each March in observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
More information about the services Arc provides local individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be found on their website.