The Kuem Rye Park Memorial Fund was created by Michael Surh, grandson of Mrs. Kuem Rye Park, to promote excellence in helping individuals with intellectual disabilities. His grandmother passed away when Michael was a senior at Carnegie Mellon University in 2010.
To continue his grandmother's legacy, he started awarding two individuals who passionately help people with disabilities each year, beginning in 2011. Direct support professionals who are helping individuals with disabilities are invited to submit an essay stating how their lives have changed while helping others.
Ms. Stillwell says in her essay, "I really believe that my job as a DSP has greatly improved the quality of my life. I find myself truly caring about people as a whole and not just the ones closest to me."
Ms. Harper says, "I look forward to going to work as my passion is to share my energy, good vibes and skill with a population that rarely receives a great quality of care, exhilarating attitude and hope that I will make a difference."