Awards highlight living with disability

The Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres (SARC) is beginning to finalize their 2018 SARC Award winners with a familiar Humboldt name gracing their six new award categories.
Tracey Hage will be the winner of the Journey Award following their award ceremony on Oct. 24.
Hage always wanted to work with children so following high school, she started working towards her Early Children Education certificate. A learning disability did provide some challenges for Hage.
“I struggle at times but I get through it. Reading and math are hard for me but I found different ways to get through it.”
Hage works with great people who are willing to help when she needs it but except for her challenges with math and reading, she is good at her work, she says. She is no different than anyone else in that regard, she says.
“Everyone has boundaries and different things they’re good at.”
Niamh Menz, Supported Employment Coordinator at the Humboldt and District Community Services sees how hard Hage has worked, first as a community services client and then as a member of the board.
Hage decides what she wants to do, figure out how to do it, and she does it, says Menz, whether it is getting her certificate with distinction to learning how to online bank.
“It’s just like any sort of hurdle people face; (Hage) just decides she is going to do it. It’s never really stopped her.”
It can be frustrating for Hage to learn new things, similar to a lot of people, says Menz. But Menz has never found someone who seeks out new challenges like Hage, who is always looking for whatever is next, she says.
“I watch her work full-time and yet coming to dances, has a social life, is a part of our board, and all the amazing things she does as part of that board. She’s a strong board member for me and makes me better.”
SARC is changing the way they are looking at their awards to focus on the people and their stories, says Sydney Smith, senior communications officer with SARC/SARCAN Recycling. Smith was in Humboldt preparing the video that will be played when Hage receives her award in October and will be available on the SARC website. 
Hage’s journey is one that Smith hopes offers hope to others.
“Our new awards are a lot more broad in terms of allowing us to tell the story of the people in our community and how it effects the community. We’re just here today to make sure that we get to tell (Hage)’s story and provide a positive influence and impact on people who will see it.”
The Journey Award is given out to an individual whose journey involves, “a story of personal growth, skill development, overcoming obstacles, or accomplishing long-term goals,” according to the SARC award nomination form.
Five other awards will be given out on Oct. 24, including the Good Neighbour Award, Spotlight Award, Great Work Award, the Community Builder Award and the Inclusive Advantage Award.
Update: In a previous edition, it was stated that the SARC Awards are on Oct. 22, they are actually on Oct. 24.
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