Eden participant Zachary Ryba was recently presented with the 2021 NJACP Stars Award. His achievement was celebrated during NJACP’s virtual event on May 11.
Each year NJACP (New Jersey Association of Community Providers) members nominate an individual with an intellectual and/or developmental disability for a Community Star Award. Nominated individuals are chosen for their ability to overcome obstacles and challenges in their daily lives.
Zach was chosen to be this year’s Eden award recipient because of the enthusiasm and hard work that he demonstrates while working in the community and at the Day Program. Since joining Eden in 2018, Zach’s dedication within the workforce has inspired his peers and paved the way for other individuals with autism to find employment opportunities in their community.
Zach read an acceptance speech after receiving his award. “It is an honor to receive this award and be recognized for my hard work,” he said. “I would also like to thank my boss, Don Toner, at Sodexo Dining Services at the Pennington School for giving me the opportunity to work at a job that I love. I would also like to thank my job coach at Eden’s employment program for providing the skills and training needed to perform my job. In closing, thank you mom and dad for always pushing me to do the best I can every day.”
Eden hosted a socially distant party at the Crossroads Day Center to celebrate Zach’s accomplishment. Eden’s staff and all of Zach’s peers are immensely proud of his achievement as a 2021 Community Star.