Hartford, CT HARC, Inc. is very pleased to announce Maria Aguilar, Early Intervention Associate with HARC’s SteppingStones, Birth-to-3 program, as the recipient of the 2012 Charless Whitham Extra Mile Award. This award, named for a beloved staff member who passed away, is given in recognition of an employee who has gone above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities. AguilarThe award was presented at HARC’s 61st Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 21 at Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield, CT.
Ms. Aguilar started her career at HARC in 1995, as an Early Intervention Associate in HARC’s SteppingStones Program. She lives her life “paying it forward” according to her colleagues, continually going above and beyond for her SteppingStones families: making sure they get to doctor appointments, helping them find new homes and acquire furnishings and even helping them move in. She has helped families with immigration concerns, organized a dental clinic staffed by bilingual dentists, raised funds for a playground at a neglected school in her Peruvian hometown, and she always takes supplies and clothing on her trips back to Peru. She also belongs to community groups that fundraise for college scholarships for needy students.
Ms. Aguilar states, “I love working with the children and their families. I see such tremendous progress and growth with the children. And I know that I am able to help the families find community resources that are very helpful to them. Two years ago I was able to organize and do a trip to Hammonasset Beach for four families. Two of those parents had never seen the ocean. They were absolutely thrilled. And a couple of the families who lived close to each other became friends.”