Meet this year's Edgars
Award Winners

Each year, we celebrate the achievements of a select group of individuals who have made amazing strides in overcoming their barriers. The Edgars award is named after our founder, Edgar J. Helms.

BOBBY BENDER Trainee Achiever of the Year

 

Over the last year Bobby has made impressive gains in the areas of working independently. With the help of checklists, Bobby has been able to lessen the need for constant supervision, which allows him to feel more independent, capable, and helpful to those in his departments.

He takes great pride in his job and numerous times each day will state how much he loves to work.  From the beginning of Bobby’s time with Project SEARCH until now, he has grown from having little interaction or concern for others’ well-being to openly showing interest.  Bobby has also shown exceptional growth in his communication skills.

Bobby’s improvement and accomplishment of his goals over the past year has truly been an outstanding achievement.

 

In the past, Brian would break personal belongings or be unsure of how to advocate for himself. Now, he comes in and will ask which staff he is with and picks his activities ahead of time.

Brian has overcome technology barriers as he was unable to make a phone call without hanging up on the person and use basic technology.  He now can get the tablet, get it started, and get to the screen he needs to be on.  He can make phone calls with assistance and can engage in a short conversation.

When Brian walks into the building, he will greet and initiate with peers. He communicates when he does not understand the activity and will ask peers for help.  Brian strives to work on his goals each day.

 

When Josh first started at Hy-Vee, his job coaches were doing a big portion of his job for him. With the support of his job coaches and team, Josh made great strides towards working independently in his job.

Josh now walks to his work area using his sight cane and only verbal guidance from his job coach rather than physical guidance. Josh memorized how many of each item go on a tray, and each time tray quantities change he almost immediately memorizes the new quantities. Josh has even improved his social skills, interacting with his coworkers and supervisors regularly with encouragement from his job coaches.

Josh showed incredible growth in 2020. He is now even able to spray trays with cooking spray even though he cannot see them. The progress made by Josh exemplifies the qualities celebrated in our Townsend Achiever of the Year Award.

 

In 2020, Careanne improved her budgeting skills to save up money to pay for her new apartment. Careanne worked to maintain her independence while preparing for the move.  When the pandemic struck in March, she did what was needed so she and her daughter could adapt to changes in their lifestyle.

Careanne completed her move in July and thanks to her improved budgeting skills, purchased the needed items for her new apartment.

Careanne has shown tremendous growth in her daily living skills over the past year and has shown how independent she can be managing a household, being a mother, and budgeting for upcoming needs. Her progress in reaching her goals is why Careanne Lewis was selected as our 2020 Supported Community Living Achiever of the Year.

For the past five years, Josh Newman has been with Heartland Goodwill Enterprises as the Iowa City Federal Building custodial services site supervisor.  In this role he oversees the cleaning of the facility and the keeping of the grounds.

Josh has been a solid performer everywhere he has worked within Goodwill, but with the pandemic he really stepped up. The Federal Building never had any shutdown. He kept our customers happy and his team in good spirits.

Josh has handled every change he was asked to make and did so with a positive attitude.  Given how long Josh has been with Goodwill in various capacities, he exemplifies the progress and accomplishments that make him a natural choice as the Helms Family Achievement Award.