Opportunities, Inc. created the Carolyn Hughes Education Grant in admiration of Carolyn Hughes, a dedicated Training Specialist for the agency’s Community Employment Program from 1979 through 1988. She assisted individuals with disabilities in identifying their vocational skills and then supported their efforts in obtaining and sustaining employment options in the community. During her career, Hughes contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease, yet she continued to work hard for the benefit of the program participants at Opportunities, Inc. as long as possible. Her commitment to the mission of the organization was exemplary and this grant program is a wonderful means for recognition. Opportunities, Inc’s OI CARES Team facilitates the grant program and is responsible for award recommendations.
In previous years, the grant was offered to local school districts for purchase of materials and other unique programs within special education. This year, the OI CARES Team has expanded the program to include all special projects that promote positive opportunities for both youth and adults with special needs. This exciting development hopes to encourage creative and collaborative ideas to come forth from the community. To reflect the grant’s enhanced focus, it has been renamed The Carolyn Hughes Community Service Grant.
Opportunities, Inc. is eager to announce this year’s first grant recipient, Officer Daniel Hefty and the Fort Atkinson Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) Program. This is an ideal reflection of the award’s community connection, as well as, the agency’s mission. It exemplifies Opportunities, Inc. commitment to empower youth through skills training and community outreach that will maximize their employment and independence.
Ashley Wiede, Opportunities Inc. OI CARES Team; Michelle Schroeder, Opportunities Inc. OI CARES Team; Barb LeDuc, Opportunities Inc. President/CEO; Officer Daniel Hefty; Jessica Miller, Opportunities, Inc. OI CARES Team.