ATLANTA — The Tommy Nobis Center (TNC) raised more than $81,000 at its 13th Annual Galaxy of Stars Luncheon & Tommy Awards Ceremony April 13, 2011 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal and TNC co-founder and former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis presented the prestigious Governor’s Award to special education teacher Stephanie Barber of Kennesaw. Mark Butler, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Labor served as honorary chairman.
The event highlights workplace successes of youth and adults with disabilities. “This year’s event honored 27 extraordinary nominees in seven categories,” said TNC president & CEO Connie Kirk. “Fostering public awareness and educating our community about these amazing individuals and the programs and organizations that champion their workplace success is the aim of this special day. We are delighted that more than 320 guests joined the celebration.”
Barber, who also won the Luminary Award for Professional Advocacy, has taught mildly intellectually disabled students at Kennesaw Mountain High School the past nine years. During that time, she co-wrote “Serving up Success,” a curriculum designed to teach math skills, social skills, and vocational skills to students with disabilities in a real-world setting via a school coffee shop. Stephanie has developed many other programs, opportunities, and support systems for students with disabilities and their families. Among them are:
- Mustangs Matter – A club designed to provide social activities that foster friendships between students with disabilities and their peers.
- Coffee Talks – A monthly dinner and coffee program where parents meet to find support, share ideas and struggles, and enjoy dinner or coffee together.
- Olympic Day – Sporting event for students with disabilities.
Event sponsors included Presenting Sponsor WellStar; Constellation Sponsors ProCore Solutions and Publix Super Markets Charities; Media Sponsor FOX5 TV; Comet Sponsors Southern Company and Transcend Services, Inc.; and Star Sponsors Cobb EMC; Five Smiths Foundation; Gas South; The Kroger Company; Marietta Power & Water; Moore & Cubbedge; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C.; and Second Life Computers, Inc.