Keller-Sullivan Award Winner Celebrated
2020 Keller-Sullivan Award presented to Derrick Rollins

Every year during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (in October), the FAA’s National Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees with Disabilities (NCFAED) hosts the annual Keller-Sullivan Awards. Nominations are open to FAA employees and contractors, individuals or teams.

It was Helen Keller’s mentor, Anne Sullivan who helped to break all physical barriers permitting her to overcome seclusion imposed upon her by her childhood illness. These annual awards acknowledge those who share the same vitality and drive in overcoming the unstoppable when faced with insurmountable odds.

Video of Keller-Sullivan Award Winner, Derrick Rollins

This year, Derrick Rollins, a Project Support Specialist with the Enterprise Services Center’s Financial Services Division received this recognition. Michelle Coppedge, Director of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center presented the award to Derrick stating, "One of the reasons that I nominated Derrick for this award is because it’s been amazing to watch the evolution of him coming into the agency. We hired him on through the Targeted People with Disability program and he just immediately hit the ground running. He has been a great role model for so many people about what can be done, and he has become one of our top performers in a short period of time. I am blessed to be able to work with him."

Gavin Carlson, a Legal Instruments Examiner in the Registry (AFB-713) representing the NCFAED was on hand to share in the celebration of the presentation. "Derrick is such a great example for people with Disabilities. He is proof that we’re lowering the barriers and helping to create a more positive work environment for people of all abilities."

(L to R) Michelle Coppedge, Director of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center with Derrick Rollins (ESC) Award recipient, and Gavin Carlson representing the National Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees with Disabilities (NCFAED)

In addition to all of his duties with Robotic Process Automation, Derrick also finds time to volunteer at Career Fairs and talk to people with disabilities about potential jobs and accommodations that are available in the federal government. Derrick is also engaged in community efforts, working part-time with the University of Oklahoma’s Southwest Prevention Center, where he assists with environmental substance abuse prevention initiatives. "I appreciate being nominated, you know it is quite the torch to carry. It is an honor to have been nominated, and having been a beneficiary of the Schedule A Hiring Authority. My disability was never an impediment to obtaining training, and being an active, integrated part of the team," says Derrick.

The Aeronautical Center is fortunate to have Derrick as an Aeronautical Center employee, and one who helps to champion the hiring of employees with disabilities. Derrick Rollins truly personifies the spirit of the Keller-Sullivan Award. In the words of Helen Keller…. "Many people have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." Congratulations, Derrick!

For more information about the FAA’s National Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees with Disabilities (NCFAED), please contact Greg Brooks , NCFAED President (405) 954-6877.

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