Peyton – Academy at Riverdale Representative
Peyton, a teenager who attends our Academy at Riverdale, could not read or even spell his name before enrolling in our private school two years ago. Due to his Mitochondrial disease, he had poor growth progress, extreme learning disabilities, and suffered from neglect. In addition to those challenges, he was very timid, wore his feelings on his sleeve, and did not think he was loved. Peyton, who lives with his grandparents now, is able to read now and his confidence and abilities have soared! He has a heart of gold, is very outgoing, and loves to talk to people – qualities that all came out during his time at the Academy. He and his family are grateful for the amazing Academy staff that have helped Peyton reach his full potential.
Edward – Butler Representative
Edward has been a resident of Butler Adult Living Center since the summer of 1992. He has a very strong and supportive family and remains active in family activities while living at Butler. He lived in Brussels, Belgium, when he was 10 and attended a French-speaking school for two years before joining his brothers at the International School of Brussels. He still knows a few French words. Edward has been a part of the Easterseals Special Olympics bowling team and looks forward to picking that back up when Covid restrictions are lifted. He enjoys going out to eat and listening to music on his Discman while relaxing in his bedroom. Edward loves and looks forward to spending time with his family at their family farm the most.
Aniya – CRC Representative
Aniya is a vibrant teen who began her journey at Easterseals Arkansas Children’s Rehabilitation Center in the summer of 2018. She lives with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Aniya has overcome many challenges since her time at CRC and has learned a variety of strategies to help her identify, process and manage her feelings. She is a student in CRC’s Upper Secondary Classroom and is a ray of sunshine every morning. She comes to class with a smile on her face and is ready to tackle the day. Aniya is incredibly kind and encouraging to her peers. She loves to read, play on her phone and watch the Food Network. She also has a lovely singing voice.
Sarah – CTW Representative
Sarah was born in Blytheville on October 3, 1988. She attended First Baptist Daycare where she received her first few years of quality attention. She was then enrolled in the Blytheville Public School District from preschool until graduation in 2007. She loved to participate in Special Olympics. The softball throw and 50-yard run were her favorites. Sarah even went to state competition in middle school. After high school graduation, Sarah helped out at the daycare where she started. She loved assisting the young children. She gave up her daycare work when she was accepted at Abilities Unlimited in Blytheville, where she once again picked up her Special Olympics hobby. She was there for about 12 years and remained active in her church. In 2019, Sarah and her mother relocated to North Little Rock to be closer to family. Since she was accepted in 2020 at Eastersals, she has loved every minute of it. She enjoys all of the activities at CTW and making friends. Sarah aspires to one day be a wedding planner.
Michael – Community Living Representative
Michael was born and raised in Hot Springs and graduated from Lake Hamilton High School. In 2004, Michael went to Washington DC as an advocate for individuals with disabilities to receive competitive pay for competitive employment. After moving to Little Rock, he began working at UAMS in the Housekeeping department. In 2014, Michael moved to Armistead Village Apartment and then transferred to Wilson Court to be closer to UAMS. He also decided to pursue a degree. Michael graduated from the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College in 2016, where he earned his Associate of Fine Arts and an Associate in Business. All of this while continuing to work at UAMS and earning the “employee of the month” twice! He loves everything Arkansas Razorbacks and Greenbay Packers.
Zoey – Stuttgart Preschool Representative
Zoey is a 3-year-old girl with amazing abilities! She was born after a typical pregnancy, but the family would soon learn that Zoey had no functional vision. Zoey began attending Easterseals GPCDC in September of 2019. Through assistance from the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, staff and fellow students at the center have all learned a great deal about development for children with visual impairments, but Zoey has been the best teacher. She conquers her world each day with a spirit that never gives up. Some of Zoey’s favorite things are dancing, singing, swinging, and exploring the world around her.
Mason – Employment Representative
Mason’s gainful employment through our ACCE program allowed him to buy his first car – a 2014 Dodge Charger! The college-based employment program helped him with résumé writing, job interviewing skills, and job placement at Dillard’s Fulfillment Center. Now that he’s in the workforce, Mason says he feels more confident in himself and his abilities. His work ethic and attitude during the program showed how determined he was to succeed and accept any challenge. He took the resources and tools provided to him in the program and put them into action. He was the first student to obtain his driver’s license through the program and to obtain a job in his class. Mason is a 2020 graduate of Maumelle High School.
Octavia – LR Preschool Representative
Octavia, known by her friends at school as “Tavi,” is a vibrant ray of sunshine at Little Rock Developmental Preschool. She lights up the room with her bright personality, which can only be described as “bigger than life.” She can often be seen blowing kisses or passing out hugs up and down the preschool hallways. Tavi is an adventurous little girl with a thirst for learning. Her favorite subjects are music and math, and recess is her favorite activity. She especially enjoys counting with her teachers in the classroom, exploring and playing with her friends on the playground, and she will dance every chance she gets. Tavi exudes joy and happiness; Easterseals wouldn’t be the same without her.
Henry – Therapy Representative
Henry has been receiving speech, occupational and physical therapies at Easterseals since he was nearly 2 years old. Now 6, he loves to learn, and his family credits his progress and interests in life to his therapists. His mom, Alyssa, says he was evaluated as an infant and everything looked typical. By the time he was 18 months old, however, he wasn’t doing typical things 18-month-olds do, and Henry’s pediatrician recommended Easterseals. “We can’t say enough about Easterseals, it’s been such a blessing,” Alyssa says. Henry loves anything having to do with counting, the alphabet, Sesame Street and his new interest the Muppet Show.
Charlee – Community Services Representative
Charlee lives in our Armistead Apartments and was part of the first ACCE graduating class. ACCE is our college program in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She volunteers at Southwest Head Start on Wednesdays and attends our Adult Center for Training and Wellness on Fridays. Charlee was awarded Volunteer of the Year this summer from the previous center where she volunteered. She is a huge Razorback fan, very active in her community, extremely social and values her close friendships.