DAC Achievement Awards
City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission
2014 ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) will recognize individuals and organizations in Fresno for excellence in representing, collaborating with or serving individuals with disabilities as part of the celebration of Disability Awareness Month.
Award recipients will be selected from the following three award categories:
- City of Fresno Employee or Department
Award recipients will be recognized for achievement in one or more of the following areas:
- Improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities
- Advocacy for issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities
- Volunteerism that has a positive impact on individuals with disabilities
- Development of new programs or services impacting individuals with disabilities
- Customer service to individuals with disabilities that is above and beyond the standard
- Innovation or Entrepreneurship by an individual with a disability or that has a positive impact on individuals with disabilities
Sixth Annual DAC Achievement Award
Each year, in conjunction with the celebration of October as Disability Awareness Month, the City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) recognizes an individual and an organization that have improved the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in Fresno. The winner of the DAC’s 2014 Individual Achievement Award is Jami De La Cerda. The winner of the DAC’s Organization Achievement Award is OASIS Adult Day Program. The DAC also recognize City of Fresno staff members Captain Randy Reitz, Firefighter Specialist Jay Tracy, and Firefighter Specialist Jaime Contreras for their volunteerism and positive impact in the community.
De La Cerda is recognized for her advocacy for and development of new programs and services that improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. De La Cerda is the founder and director of Diamond Learning Center, an organization with the mission of fostering lifelong learning that enables a person with developmental disabilities to maximize independence and lead productive and fulfilling lives. She is an individual who always goes the extra mile in her work. “Jami believes in showing the world that our children and adults with disabilities have value, can live purposeful, meaningful lives and contribute to their community,” writes Colleague Kelly Pesenti of De La Cerda. “For her, this is a calling. Not just a job or a career. This is where her heart is.”
The Valley Caregiver’s Resource Center’s OASIS Adult Day Program is being recognized for customer service that is above and beyond the standard and innovation that has a positive impact on individuals with disabilities. OASIS is a social day program that provides stimulating, recreational and therapeutic activities for seniors. In her nomination of OASIS, Kathy Eide states, “Fresno’s Oasis staff works tirelessly to provide the most innovative concepts and programs, often times emulated by other programs throughout the State of California. They truly led by example for other Alzheimer's programs.”
City of Fresno staff members Captain Randy Reitz, Firefighter Specialist Jay Tracy, and Firefighter Specialist Jaime Contreras are being recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. Earlier this year, this crew responded to a medical emergency in their district. An individual at the home was unable to walk without the assistance of a walker or a wheelchair and getting in and out of the house was made even more difficult due to the lack of a ramp. While off-duty, Reitz, Tracy, and Contreras purchased the necessary supplies and built a ramp at the residence. “This sort of thoughtfulness and compassion exemplifies the mission of the Fresno Fire Department: ‘to protect and put service above all else,’” said Fire Chief Kerri Donis in her nomination statement.
“We are extremely pleased to have had such a rich pool of nominees,” said Dr. Jenelle Pitt, DAC Chair. “The candidates who were selected demonstrate a unique combination of advocacy, volunteerism, and commitment to enhancing the quality of life in partnership with persons living with disabilities that extended far beyond what others may have expected. The City of Fresno is enriched as a result of the candidates’ work and dedication.”
Recipients will be honored October 2, 2014 during the City Council meeting as part of the commemoration of October as Disability Awareness Month.