BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
Humans are unique and are unlike everything else in all of creation. We have the capacity for meaningful relationship with others. The Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, or even the Atlantic Ocean, as beautiful as they are, can not hold the positions that humans possess. This view is embraced by Eve Strothers who serves as the Employment Specialist at PCDC (Polk County Developmental Center).
Eve grew up in Mena and has lived all of her life here in Polk County. Before coming to PCDC Eve was working at Nidec, which was called U.S Motors at the time. “My cousin Stephanie was working at PCDC and told me there was a job opening and so I applied. I got the job and have been here ever since, I love it here,” recalls Eve. “I started in the recycling center, then Jump Start, and when I found that there was an opening in the classroom as the job coach I applied for the position. I’m so glad I did, it has been the best move I have ever made,” stated Eve. “Even though I have only been here four years, it feels like I have been here forever. Once you start working here, it is like you are a part of a big family.”
“I work with anyone that comes in, or anybody in the community that has developmental disabilities. We work through Arkansas Rehab services and bring them into Supportive Employment. During this time, we teach them how to dress for a job, fill out a resume, fill out the application, and if they get the job, I will help them prepare for the interview. I’m also with the clients after they get the job, I help them through their training and make sure they understand everything,” stated Eve.
She lights up when she talks about her clients and her excitement is contagious. “The first client I served sent me a thank you letter when she got her job. The client said that it meant a lot to her that I believed in her. When we believe in people and they believe in themselves, a whole other world is open to them. That is the best part of my job,” said Eve. She loves the clients she is working with and it’s her hope that her clients will begin to see themselves as she sees them, and that people in the community will see the value that they have as well. “When I believe in our clients, then they begin to believe in themselves. Believing in somebody changes their lives and you can’t beat that. This is a team effort, Mena is a wonderful community and it will take all of us believing in each other to make this work,” says Eve.
Family is often our biggest supporting cast and this is no different for Eve. “I am very lucky to have the family I have. They have been so supportive of me and everything I have done. I hope that what I do honors my family and at the end of my life, I will see that I made a difference. My family has always shown me what it means to serve others and care about them,” recalls Eve. Without doubt, Eve is making a difference in the lives of people at PCDC because of this attitude handed down by her family. Eve continued, “I will know that I have lived my life the best I can if at the end of my life, I helped change one person’s life.”
Eve shared a memory that shaped her as a person, and ultimately shaped the way she views her job. “We have a client who is non-verbal and I would always try to spend a little extra time with him. One day somebody came up and said, ‘Eve’, I turned around and it was him. I always helped him get a snack and he hadn’t gotten one yet so he was getting my attention. I was so surprised that he even knew my name, let alone that he would say it. That day I saw the importance of what we do; we are helping clients and their families see that they have great value,” said Eve. Eve says excitedly, “My goal is to help our clients believe. When they believe their whole world opens up. There is brilliance in every person.”
Eve Strothers is more than somebody that works at PCDC. She is a friend to her clients, an encourager, and their biggest cheerleader. Eve’s smile lights up a room, it is evident that if there were more people like her, the world would be a better place.