2023 Consumer of the Year

It is often said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. In October 2016, 2023 Consumer Achievement Winner Jamilah Roberts took her first step on the road to independence when she enrolled in services at VR.

Jamilah had been in a car accident in 2014 that resulted in multiple broken bones, internal organ injuries and left her in a coma for 9 days. Additionally, she had a left eye lesion resulting in vision loss. She was only 22 years old and had an infant son.

After an extensive time in the hospital, and inpatient rehabilitation, she started with outpatient therapies at VR. Prior to her accident, Jamilah was employed as a data entry specialist. However, at the time of her accident, she had only been employed for two months and was not eligible for short-term disability or FMLA. While Jamilah could have easily adopted a negative attitude, she instead dived into the services of VR and openly accepted and embraced every aspect of her rehabilitation. She turned a catastrophic event into an opportunity for self-actualization and growth. And because of her own experiences, she knew she wanted to help others.

Fast forward to 2020 and Jamilah was ready to explore career opportunities in the healthcare field. She began as a home health aid (at the beginning of a pandemic!) and worked to get her CNA license. According to Jamilah, “I have a disability on paper, but I can do everything anybody else can.” Three years later, she is still working with some of her initial clients who describe her as kind, empathic, and joyful.

Jamilah’s journey may have indeed begun with a single step, but VR was beside her every step of the way until she achieved her goal of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Congratulations, Jamilah! We are so proud of you!

Past Consumer of the Year Winners: