At our 20th annual Strictly Business event on October 19, 2018–which gathered more than 550 regional business and community leaders–JEVS Human Services honored three inspiring individuals who have faced great challenges in their lives and found the strength to achieve their personal and career goals. In addition, thanks to the support of our event sponsor Odell Studner, as well as our award sponsors, attendees and donors, Strictly Business 2018 was able to surpass its fundraising goal of $275,000, raising a total of over $300,000!
> We also highlighted four of the 42 individuals who have been honored with our “Inspiration Award” over the past 20 years. Here’s what they had to say.
Inspiration Award Honorees
Learn more about each of our Inspiration Award winners through their stories or watch their captivating videos here.
Aliyah felt disconnected and out of focus for much of her early teen years. After a move to the suburbs in search of a more stable school environment, Aliyah continued to struggle and dropped out of 9th grade at the age of 15. She spent the next four years broke and adrift, couch-hopping from one family member to another. At 19 and pregnant, Aliyah decided it was time to find a better path for herself and for her soon-to-be-born daughter. She found YouthBuild Charter High School, enrolled and grew personally. With new focus, she was selected by her guidance counselor to participate in Bridge to Employment (B2E), a partnership program run by JEVS and the Einstein Healthcare Network. This high school to career program helped her focus on life after graduation and on a career path. While enrolled in B2E, she became a quiet leader in the classroom, demonstrating the skills and maturity she would need for success on the job. After flourishing in a month-long, hands-on externship experience and impressed by Aliyah’s responsible nature, Einstein offered her a full-time position at the Einstein Medical Center Emergency Room in Elkins Park. The 22-year-old is confident that she found her calling in the health care field and is focused on rising through the ranks. Her hard work and focus has led to success at work and at being the role model for her three-year-old daughter McKenzie that she hoped to be.
The oldest of five children, Patrick was diagnosed at birth with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare genetic disorder in which muscle and connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, are gradually replaced by bone, forming a second skeleton. Pat did not let his diagnosis slow him down, graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 2004 and pursuing a career in accounting. When the symptoms of his disease progressed, and in an effort to maintain as much of his independence as possible, he enrolled in JEVS Supports Coordination program in 2007. With in-home help and other supports from JEVS, Pat has been able to remain in his own home and, perhaps most importantly, keep a fulfilling, full-time job at Main Line Health as an accountant and software administrator. Unfortunately, Pat’s disease is progressing swiftly and his future is uncertain. But what is not uncertain is his indomitable “find the silver lining” approach to life, despite his incremental loss of motion and the daily physical struggles he faces.
A survivor of domestic abuse, Tyisha had been out of work for several years wrestling with depression when she enrolled in the PA CareerLink, operated by JEVS. Tyisha felt that finding a job she loved would be the extra motivation she needed to continue her recovery. She worked diligently at PA CareerLink, taking advantage of all of the program’s offerings. As she flourished, Tyisha’s quiet demeanor changed for the better. With a new reason to smile, Tyisha took on tasks well beyond the program requirements, including interning at the reception desk at JEVS’ headquarters office. While at CareerLink, Tyisha focused on enhancing her customer service skills and studied group facilitation in order to expand her capabilities to make her more marketable to employers. With her newfound confidence, positive attitude and on-the-job training, Tyisha landed a great job at Community Behavioral Health as a quality assurance administrative assistant. An inspiration to her three children-and everyone who knows her-Tyisha plans to continue her education and pursue a degree in human services. She is also active as a volunteer and mentor with several organizations to end domestic violence.
In The News
- Inspiration Award winners Tyisha Bates and Aliyah Hammond were featured in a Philadelphia Tribune story about their individual journeys to finding a career path and getting back on track.
- Aliyah Hammond was also featured in a Northeast Times story about how she turned her life around through the Bridge to Employment program.
Proceeds from the $300,000 raised at our Strictly Business event fund scholarships to JEVS’ vocational assessment, job readiness, skills training and career services for individuals most in need. Thank you so much to our generous sponsors: