Annette Bowling, the executive director of Albany ARC, accepts the Governor’s award from Nobis Works for her work advocating for people with disabilities.
ATLANTA -- The head of Albany ARC has been chosen from among some of the state's most involved advocates of those with physical and mental disabilities to receive its top award, adding another plaque to a 40-year-collection.
Annette Bowling said she was humbled to receive the award -- the Governor's Award -- from Nobis Works, an Atlanta-based non-profit created in 1977 and named for former Atlanta Falcons all-pro linebacker Tommy Nobis to help give vocational skills to people with disabilities.
"I knew I had been nominated and had won the Breaking Barriers award, but the shocker was the governor's award," Bowling said. "I had no idea."
Karen Carlisle, the vice president of Corporate Communications for Nobis, said that Bowling was selected from 17 other award winners to take home the Governor's Award.
"Annette is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. She's had laws changed, she's helped get them resources and help; she's just changed lives for the better," Carlisle said.
For Bowling, who has helped build Albany ARC for the last 40 years, the award is another welcomed acknowledgment that people with disabilities are getting the help they need to integrate into society.
"Working with people with disabilities you find that they are no different than you or I," Bowling says. "We've worked over the last 40 years to make sure they know that and to make sure the community knows that, and I think it's working. Without our staff and without the community being open to the idea of working with and living around people with disabilities, we wouldn't be successful."