As a Didlake employee, Sean Ramtahal gained the respect and friendship of his peers and customers by doing what he likes best – interacting with people and taking care of their needs. Sean worked for Didlake at the Department of Energy (DOE), first as an office cleaner and later on trash and recycling pick-up. His supervisors, building occupants and DOE building operations staff all knew Sean as someone who could be counted on to complete every assignment and do what he said he would do.
That’s why no one was surprised when Sean achieved his ultimate goal of competitive employment within the DOE, where he accepted the position of File Clerk in June 2004. Peter Chapelle was Sean’s manager while at Didlake, and he recognized that Sean was an excellent ambassador both for Didlake and the Javits Wagner OíDay (JWOD) Program. His flexibility in adapting to changes in duties or new routines, along with his cheerful, professional demeanor helped dispel many of the common stereotypes attributed to people with disabilities. So Peter nominated Sean for the NISH (formerly National Industries for the Severely Handicapped) Evelyn Villines Award.
The Evelyn Villines Award is a prestigious award that recognizes a person with a severe disability who was able to use the training he or she received on a JWOD project to advance within the workplace. The awards committee recognized Sean’s exceptional achievements and he was recently notified that he will be the recipient of the Evelyn Villines Award for NISHís East Region. The award, which will be presented to Sean at a NISH regional meeting in May, includes a plaque and a $500 cash prize.
As Peter Chapelle wrote on Sean’s nomination form, “Mr. Ramtahal’s perseverance and positive attitude do credit to himself and the best ideals of the JWOD Program”. Congratulations Sean – we are proud to have you as a Didlake alumnus!