By Talisa Paul, Program Director
As part of WestCare Illinois’ recent holiday party, we presented The Stan Brooks Award, an honor that is held very dear for our team at the Sheridan Correctional Center. This is the 7th annual presentation of the award with our team missing one in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Stan Brooks was a longtime WestCare/Gateway employee. He started his career in 1995 as a counselor at Lincoln Correctional Center and was then promoted to clinical supervisor at Jacksonville Correctional Center. He returned to Lincoln as a clinical supervisor before landing at Sheridan in 2004. Stan was an assistant director here for three years before becoming program director in 2007, the position he held until his passing in 2015.
Stan Uplifted the Human Spirit every day with everyone he came into contact with through his listening, mentoring, loyalty to WestCare, daily work ethic, enjoying life, and passion to help others. He personally had experienced a Therapeutic Community (TC) and was such a believer in it that he devoted his life to helping others overcome similar struggles through a program he knew really worked.
The annual Stan Brooks Award is our way to honor him and keep Stan’s spirit alive throughout the WestCare family by recognizing staff that have the same characteristics and commitment to Uplifting the Human Spirit that Stan had.
The individual that was nominated and selected for the Stan Brooks Award checks every box. This individual is a good listener who is compassionate and understanding towards the needs of staff and clients. They are helpful and willing to step out of their bounds to assist anyone that might need guidance or support in their area. This individual believes in the program and recognizes what we need to continue and sustain as a treatment program. This individual leads teams with respect, support, straight talk, and compassion. This individual has a good work ethic and is valued by many. With that being said, Sami D’antonio, exhibits integrity, loyalty, and commitment and is always Uplifting the Human Spirit of those around her.