Salena Pruitt of De Queen has been named the area’s outstanding Consumer of the Year by the Department of Human Services; Division of Services for the Blind (DSB).
She has worked over two years as a realtor at Century 21 All Points Realty in Texarkana, Texas. Prior to this she was a college student.
DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Angela Gray, nominated Mrs. Pruitt for the achievement award because of her determination to overcome adversity and succeed at her work. She was selected from an area that includes Miller, Little River, Hempstead, Sevier, Lafayette, Nevada, Pike, Polk and Howard Counties.
The award presentation was made at the noon business meeting of Century 21 All Points Realty on Richmond Road in Texarkana, Texas Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.
Mrs. Pruitt’s employer, Century 21 All Points Realty, was recognized by DSB as an outstanding business partner for its commitment to promoting the employment of persons with vision impairment.
Mrs. Pruitt said she had been diagnosed with congenital nystagmus upon birth and soon after developed retinopathy of prematurity, causing her to lose most of her vision. After moving to south Arkansas, she referred herself to DSB where she wanted to pursue college in order to enter into the working world. Upon eligibility, DSB assisted Mrs. Pruitt with college tuition and training. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Little Rock.
“I appreciate DSB. Without these services, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go back to school to pursue a career,” Mrs. Pruitt said. DSB also provided counseling and guidance, college training, supported employment and job services.
Mrs. Pruitt is a member of Kern Heights Baptist Church where she teaches bible study in the children’s ministry. She is also an active volunteer at her local nursing home where she visits with the elderly. She and her husband, Rick, have one daughter, Mazie. She and her daughter are also active in Taekwondo, where Mrs. Pruitt is a fourth degree green belt.
This is the 11th year that DSB has given Consumer of the Year awards to recognize individuals who have managed their rehabilitation plans, gained marketable skills, secured good jobs and become role models for others. An overall state winner will be selected at the end of the year.