Updated: Sep 7
We LOVE highlighting our amazing team members and are always excited when we get a little insight to their talents. Yes, we have many talented staff at AWARE – artists, musicians, athletes, scholars – you name it, we have it!
AWARE Residential Coordinator and Employee of the Year Paul Abel is definitely one of them.
This month’s story was originally going to be about his personal success story. Paul’s a seasoned musical prodigy and has been playing for almost 30 years. He plays the guitar, keyboard, mandolin and Celtic harp.
He writes his own music and lyrics – most recently, two songs were released in a movie called Miles of Summer. You can listen to them here on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-185345695.
He’s also familiar with the stage, playing in a number of rock bands. At one point in his career, his group opened for the hard rock band Ratt and alternative rock band Marcy Playground.
One True Love
But while interviewing Paul, we learned that his true love is caring for people. “I always knew I wanted to be a caregiver,” Paul said. “…making their lives better and helping them move forward independently.”
Paul says that his mom was a great influence on his career as caregiver. He grew up seeing her tend to patients who are elderly receiving home health. He has also worked in different facilities that provided care to people who are elderly, specifically patients with Alzheimer’s.
Paul’s been with AWARE since 2020 and has worked in a number of positions supporting the adults and children we serve. Currently, he’s the residential coordinator at Sharon Court in Anaconda.
He personally knows of the benefits music can provide to support anxiety and emotions. Paul began playing guitar when he was 10 years old to support the grief he experienced when his dad passed away. Because of his personal relationship with music, Paul has made it a habit to incorporate his guitar into his work,
allowing for therapeutic treatment that helps to enrich the lives of the people he works with.
“It provides comfort and helps to get to the next level,” he said.
Recently, Paul and Dean, an AWARE client, met at the park in Anaconda to put on a show (scroll to watch the videos below). They played and sang to some classics. Dean knew all the songs and loved playing along on his new guitar – the same one Paul plays – which he got for his birthday this year.
In addition to Dean, Paul has mentioned several of the people AWARE serves by name and has personally seen the benefit of the music therapy he offers. He hopes to bring more to the homes.
“It really gets them out of their shell,” he said.
Employee of the Year
Paul was named the 2023 Employee of the Year during the AWARE Corporate Congress banquet in June.
The Employee of the Year award recognizes an employee for their outstanding service to the people AWARE serves. Through nomination by his peers, our executive team determined that Paul undoubtedly fit the title, embodying the Unconditional Care Values by:
Consistently performing high-quality work,
Performing extra duties,
Demonstrating a willingness to work with others,
Presenting a positive attitude,
Displaying exceptional dependability,
Volunteering for special projects,
Attending training and certification, and
Creating a positive work environment, enhancing the image of AWARE.
Thank you Paul for your dedication to the people we serve at AWARE and congratulations on receiving Employee of the Year.