Bridgewell honors Ann Couture from Saugus Kmart with inaugural Champion Award

Published: December 16, 2014

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Bridgewell is pleased to announce Ann Couture as the first recipient of Bridgewell’s Employment Supports Champion Award. Olwyn, who works at Kmart through Bridgewell’s Employment Supports program, nominated Ann.

Pictured above in the group photo, left to right: Bridgewell Career Specialist Judd Tomaselli, Day Services Supervisor Victoria Jasper, Career Specialist Ashley Smallwood, Kmart’s Ann Couture, Bridgewell President & CEO Bob Stearns, Olwyn Headly, who works at Kmart through Bridgewell’s Employment Support program, and Assistant Program Director Milena Sarrette.

Bridgewell’s Boston Street Center (BSC) Employment Supports program offers work services for adults ages 18 to retirement who have developmental disabilities. Bridgewell provides job development, placement and job coaching services. Each individual is assessed and a career plan is developed based on abilities and interests.

Through the Employment Supports program, Bridgewell manages relationships with local businesses for on and off-site work. To recognize and appreciate the outstanding Community Business partners that make the Employment Supports program possible, Bridgewell created the Champion Award. This award will be presented annually to one community business partner to recognize their contribution to helping individuals with disabilities be valued and appreciated members of the work force. Honorees are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Community Business Partner – Nominee must be an employee of a contracted Community Business Partner or an employee of an company where an individual from the Employment Program is placed in an individual job placement. Bridgewell employees are not eligible.
  • Goes Above and Beyond – Nominee displays the desire to do more then what is generally required in a role and makes a very visible difference in the life of a person or our services.
  • Creates an Inclusive Environment – Nominee understands the importance of involving an individual served in the work place culture and other social aspects of the work place.

“We created this award, as a way to recognize Ann and people like her that really make it possible for the job seekers at our employment program to find and maintain jobs in our local community,” said Career Specialist Ashley Smallwood. “Without people like Ann some of our job placements would not be possible.”

For over a year, Ann, who works in human resources, has gone above and beyond to make Olwyn feel comfortable and confident in his role as a Kmart team member. She has accommodates his trainings, schedule and is always available to discuss anything when needed. Everyone involved with the Employment Supports program recognizes Ann’s work in creating an inclusive environment for adults with developmental disabilities.

Bridgewell Champion Award - 2014 (3)
Ashley and Olywn share a few remarks on how wonderful Ann is to work with and how she goes above and beyond to make an inclusive environment.

Bridgewell Champion Award - 2014
Champion Award
recipient Ann Couture poses with Olywn, who nominated her for this award.

If you are interested in becoming a Community Business Partner, or to learn more about Bridgewell’s Employment Supports program, please contact Ashley Smallwood at 339-883-1757 or asmallwood@bridgewell.org.