On Thursday, October 11, at 6PM, the QCP Family Association held its third annual “QCP Champions Awards” at the QCP Auditorium (81-15 164 Street, Jamaica).
Pat Coulaz and Margaret MacPherson, who are board members with connections to the individuals, have organized the QCP Family Association for years. Ms. MacPherson commented, “The event promises to be fun, and informative, as it honors individuals who attend QCP, highlighting their significant milestones during the past year. We always thought it would be a wise thing to gather parents of QCP individuals so they could connect and share their experiences.”
The event honored several individuals who participate in QCP’s programs, including Day Habilitation, Residential, Supported Employment, and the Community Pre-Vocational Program.
The honorees received awards from several categories:
– School-Age Success (transition to inclusion programs, travel training);
– Day-Time Success (success in supported work and day programs);
– Residential (transition from home to a residential setting, and owning or living in a supported apartment).
In keeping with QCP’s goal of community inclusion, families and friends play an integral role in the nomination of individuals. As part of the nomination process, QCP staff identify how an individual’s family and friends contributed to their achievements. And families and friends will be front and center at the award ceremony, cheering on the honorees. The pride and emotion the relatives feel is palpable at the event.
QCP staff play a central role in the Family Association as well. According to Ms. MacPherson, “We are fortunate at QCP to have staff who support us not only in word, but they are present.”
One recent QCP Champion honoree learned to overcome her difficulty in speaking in public places. She loved going to church on Sundays, but was not an active participant. As a result of her efforts, as well as with the help of QCP staff and her family, she now is an active participant in many church activities.
The annual Champions event gives tangible credit to the achievements QCP’s individuals make day-in and day-out. According to Josie Davide, Director of QCP Day Services, “The smiles that are displayed from all the recipients are priceless and the families and staff have an opportunity to share in this unforgettable occasion. The event is truly fun and meaningful for all involved.”