2021 Special Ambassador Award Honoree
Barbara Jackson has greeted countless individuals at the front door of Bethesda Barclay House. This includes many students and staff who have worked there as part of SSD’s Vocational Skills Program (VSP). Although she started her career as a front door attendant, she is now the general manager of Barclay House and continues to greet and work with the students who enter the doors.
For the work she has done to partner with SSD and make a difference in the lives of students, she earned the District's highest honor, the Special Ambassador Award.
“Barclay House is an amazing VSP site, much due to the climate and partnership Barb has built with SSD,” said VSP teacher Danielle Barnhart, who co-nominated her for the award. “When visitors from outside of SSD contact us about model sites, Barclay House is one of our cornerstones.”
During the pandemic, Jackson was open and honest about all precautions that needed to be taken and she worked to ensure resident and student safety every step of the way. After that, she helped develop new jobs for students so they would have work experience and a sense of normalcy during uncertain times.
Having partnered with SSD for more than 10 years, Barclay House has hired several students into paid positions after their schooling. “Without Barb’s dedication to the program, many students wouldn’t have been afforded the valuable job skills experiences that they have been given.”
“Barb goes out of her way to make sure that our students have every opportunity to succeed in the work environment,” said VSP nurse Melinda Lunsford, co-nominator for the award. “She has always made sure that our staff and students are welcomed and have what they need to be successful.”