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Afton’s Avila wins Iowa Job Honor award

DES MOINES — The Iowa Job Honor awards — an initiative aimed at recognizing Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment — has announced its top honorees for 2015.

Nominations were submitted via the organization’s website and judged by a statewide panel. The awards were presented during the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s annual conference on June 10, 2015, in the Quad Cities. Several hundred Iowa business leaders assembled in Bettendorf to witness the ceremony, in which biographical videos described honoree efforts to win life-changing jobs.

One such honoree is Angela Avila of Afton. Avila is among the estimated 40 million adults in the United States struggling with anxiety disorder. Several years ago, Avila found that she was increasingly anxious about leaving her home.

“I got to the point where I’d get about halfway to work, then I’d have to turn and go back,” she said.

Eventually the disorder ended her career and prevented her from participating in her children’s activities. She credits the support she received from community members in helping her overcome her anxiety. The Creston IowaWORKS office set her up with an internship, and Avila landed a full-time job as a cashier for a retailer in Creston. 

“It’s exciting,” she said. “I have a whole new life now.”

Avila and another award winner received a $500 cash award and engraved crystal trophy.

The Iowa Job Honor awards is an annual awards event celebrating Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. IJHA’s mission is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across Iowa, through the celebration of a new kind of hero.

Honoree videos can be viewed at www.JobHonor.org.

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