HARTFORD –An area resident was honored for her service to people with intellectual and related disabilities.
HARC, Inc.,an organization serving people with intellectual and related disabilities, announced that Karene Charles of Hartford and St. Lucia is the first recipient of the newly established Storm-Appleton Award for Exemplary Service.
Charles, who began working at HARC in January, 2014 as a job coach in HARC’s Bulova Center, graduated in 2013 from the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While at school on St. Croix, she worked as a writing tutor and also at the Lutheran Social Services / Queen Louise Home for children and young adults with disabilities.
Charles states, “I have a passion for helping others, and I love working with this population in particular. People with intellectual disability go through so much, and yet they are so joyful. When you are with them, you are truly living in the moment. They show such appreciation . . . it just warms my heart.”
Charles, who has plans to get a Master’s Degree in School Psychology and Doctorate in Counseling, came to Hartford to live with her cousin, Cindy Cote. Her family and extended family live in St. Lucia.
The Storm-Appleton Fund was established by Robert Storm within HARC’s Endowment Fund in 2013. Each year, an honorarium of $1,000 from the proceeds of the fund is to be awarded to a direct-care staff person, chosen by HARC’s management team, who has embodied HARC’s mission by giving exemplary service in the performance of their job.