Trina Washington, a counsellor in Niagara College’s Student Services division, was honoured recently by the College Committee on Disability Issues with the Disability Award of Excellence.
The award recognizes an individual who has contributed in a significant way to disability services in the province. Washington was nominated for the award by her colleagues at Niagara College.
In their nomination, Washington’s colleagues pointed to her experience, professionalism and her tireless efforts to ensure students with disabilities experience a full college life.
“In her daily work, she consistently demonstrates the qualities and attributes of a seasoned professional,” they said. “Through co-operation and collaboration with her colleagues within the Centre for Students with Disabilities, Counselling Services and Health Services, as well as with teaching faculty, administration and support staff, Trina ensures that students with disabilities receive equal access to the opportunities that post-secondary education offers all of us.”
Washington said she was “both humbled and honoured” to receive the award, and expressed gratitude to her colleagues for their support.
“For the past 14 years I have had the privilege of assisting persons with disabilities attending Niagara College,” she said. “The work I do each day is supported by the amazing team from the Student Success Centre. For me having the chance to watch students with disabilities flourish at Niagara College and graduate with our support gives me a sense of hope and gratitude each day.”
In her role as counsellor, Washington helps approximately 400 students with disabilities pursue their goals each year. She’s served as chair of the College Committee on Disability Issues, a member of the Colleges Ontario Planning committee – Mental Health Summit, a liaison with the Canadian Association for Mental Health and a member of the Niagara College Accessibility Committee.
This isn’t the first time Washington’s achievements have earned recognition. She was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, and was named counsellor of the year at Niagara University, where she is an advisory committee member in the College of Education.