Jamie Chilton, of Beacon Lighthouse for the Blind in Wichita Falls, was recognized by WorkQuest with the 2019 Artie Lee Hinds Award at its recent award dinner. The award honors an outstanding community rehabilitation program (CRP) employee for leadership, dedicated service and commitment to excellence. Chilton, a Beacon Lighthouse employee for the past three years, works as a general operator, helping with the shovel press, drill press, sheeting slitter and other areas around the Lighthouse. With a multi-talented range of skills, she’s quick to help anyone who needs assistance.
Since her employment at the Lighthouse, Chilton’s confidence has grown. She doesn’t wait to be asked, but rather initiates action. With her infectious smile and can-do attitude, Chilton inspires her co-workers to be self-starters as well.
“Working with Jamie is like going to Disneyland,” Patti Archer, Jamie’s supervisor, said. “She adapts to everything and is a joy to be around.”
Chilton endured many years of abuse at the hands of an ex-partner. The physical abuse led to a brain aneurysm, resulting in blindness. At first, she struggled to adjust to this new obstacle. Her tremendous perseverance and positive outlook led her to the Lighthouse, where she found a new sense of purpose. Chilton’s favorite term is, “I got this.” Those she works with know the strength of her resilience.
“I feel like I’ve been through a war, and I’ve got scars,” Chilton said. “However, scars don’t define me. They define my past.”
“Suddenly going blind is a very traumatic experience,” Buddy Edgemon, president and CEO of Beacon Lighthouse, said. “Jamie went through that trauma and still works hard and helps others. She adds to our family here.”
After attendees celebrated Chilton’s story of determination and positivity despite adversity, her daughter joined her on stage as she accepted the 2019 Artie Lee Hinds Award amid proud tears and many hugs.
Congratulations to Jamie Chilton and to all of the 2019 Artie Lee Hinds Award nominees for their hard work and perseverance.