Nathaniel Hicks has won the Frontline Manager of the Year Award for Pennsylvania’s Northeastern Region from PAR, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s leading disability provider and advocacy association for people with autism and intellectual disability. Hicks received his award at the PAR Annual Solutions Conference “We Are Worth It.” Awards Ceremony, on October 23, 2017, in Harrisburg, PA., at the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel.
Hicks is being honored and recognized for his extraordinary leadership for the past 28 years as a frontline manager for Fitzmaurice Community Services of Stroudsburg, PA, supervising a group home with four individuals who have an intellectual disability or autism. His colleagues at Fitzmaurice Community Services describe the efforts of Hicks and his team as embodying the very best of the Commonwealth’s Office of Developmental Program’s vision for enhancing and enriching individuals with autism or intellectual disability to live Everyday Lives.
Hicks leads a team that empowers individuals to embrace employment, community engagement, building social networks, and a wide variety of personal choices ranging from activities, home décor, visitors, food choices, and more. As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania moves to increasing individual choice and community integration, Hicks has put these best practices in place for years as the norm in the home he manages.
The families of the individuals supported by Hicks regard him as a caring and loving individual, a view shared by the Direct Support Professionals who work under his leadership. His employees tend to stick around, modeling his extraordinary style of engagement and consistency.
Every year in the Poconos companies and individuals come together to raise money for local non-profit organizations. This year the 14th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser is helping out five non-profits. The event was held at the Kahlahari Resort the night of July 20th where Fitzmaurice Community Services Foundation was the recipient of a $20,000 grant.
Fitzmaurice Community Service sought a grant proposal to fund equipment and start-up costs for the first of its kind Library Cafe in Monroe County. The Cafe will be located inside of the Monroe/Hughes Library on North 9th St., and employ individual with disabilities through its current Employment Services Department. The Pocono Mountains Community Challenge Fund honored FCS’s request for $20,000.
More about the Library Cafe:
The Cafe will support individuals with disabilities who desire to work and seek inclusion and productivity in the community. FCS will assist these individuals through our Employment and Job Coaching services to enhance skills and maintain gainful employment.
FCS will provide library patrons quality coffee and pastries at an affordable price, adding to their overall library experience. The amenity of coffee and refreshments served individuals with disabilities will be an inspirational to all who visit.
This new amenity will include catered coffee and refreshment services to businesses and organizations utilizing the conference area.
For more information contact Deb Scocozza at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (570) 213-4316.
Celebrating Success with Golden Achievements
Acceptance of the developmentally disabled and those with mental illness into northeastern Pennsylvania communities began in 1966. That year was partly a period of freedom for those housed in state institutions and mental hospitals. But, what came with this freedom was a growing need for shelter and services for those discharged from the institutions.
Programs were developed to address the growing need for homes and Johanna Fitzmaurice was contacted. She decided to take six gentlemen from White Haven State Center into her home while they transitioned into their new lives. This marked the beginning of the human service organization Fitzmaurice Community Services and its legacy of, “Building Brighter Futures for Adults with Disabilities.”
The last half century has been busy and productive for Fitzmaurice Community Services providing specialized services to adults with developmental and behavioral health disorders, the first thing on Koster’s mind as the organization’s 50th year anniversary approaches is how much things have changed within the community at large. “I’ve been thinking about how services have evolved over these past 50 years,” said Koster. Very few persons are living in state institutions or state mental hospitals in Pennsylvania today. Support for families has greatly improved and convers are now finding that they are truly part of our community.