Each year, The Arc Tennessee seeks to recognize people or groups who have made significant contributions to enhance the inclusion and recognition of people with disabilities in their communities. This year, The Arc of Hamilton County had the honor of nominating a local young lady, Hannah Owens, for the 2014 Promising Young Leader Award. This award honors an individual or a group whose members are age 22 or younger, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential as seen in volunteer efforts on special projects or events that enhance opportunities for people with disabilities in their community.
After sifting through many deserving nominations, Ms. Hannah Owens of Chattanooga, TN was chosen as the 2014 recipient of The Arc of TN’s Promising Young Leadership award. Hannah Owens will receive her award at the Annual Tennessee Disability MegaConference held in Nashville on May 30, 2014.
Hannah Owens has been a volunteer at several Arc of Hamilton County events, dancing with and supporting people with disabilities to have fun. During the most recent Saint Patrick’s Day dance, Hannah drew caricature, comic-style pictures of attendees and supplied all of the necessary materials. She has assisted with Go-Fest, a local event promoting understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities in the local community. She has also participated in volunteer activities with the Chattanooga Therapeutic Recreation Department and the Hamilton County Fair. She displays leadership abilities as evidenced by her facilitation of a Halloween Party at the local Community Recreation Center. For this party, she arranged for her choral group, the CSAS Show Choir, to perform and used her own money to purchase candy for the event. Another example of her leadership potential is that she noticed that the Exceptional Education Elementary enrichment reading class at her school did not have a prize box. She took the initiative to create a pirate’s treasure box and, again, to fill it with treats for the students.
Hannah is a graduating senior from the Chattanooga School of Arts and Sciences (CSAS) and for her Senior Project, she has created a comic-book superhero character who has autism. Her senior research has centered on using various art techniques and methodologies to assist people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to communicate more effectively. This year, Hannah has been volunteering with at-risk youth through Mark Making, a local program of artists whose mission is “Empowering individuals and transforming communities through professionally led public art projects, with a focus on the underserved.” She hopes to promote the organization to do some work with people that have cognitive disabilities. Hannah plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University in the Fall and has been awarded their Presidential Scholarship through the MTSU Honors Program.
Hannah is most certainly deserving of the 2014 Promising Young Leader Award. The Arc of Hamilton County and the Chattanooga community is definitely proud of her!Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.