Vigil, executive director of Y.E.S. The Arc, recently received the Edith Davis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arc of Arizona.
This award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Arc of Arizona in honor of individuals who have made outstanding contributions during their lifetime in meeting the needs of Arizona citizens having developmental disabilities.
Vigil founded Y.E.S. The Arc (formerly known as East Yavapai/Sedona Association for Retarded Citizens), in 1974. It began as a school for mentally retarded children and expanded into serving adults with developmental disabilities in 1975.
In 1981, the children’s program became a part of the public school system and the Arc continued on, providing services to adults with developmental disabilities.
In doing so, Vigil literally put her money where her mouth is to make Y.E.S. The Arc what it is today. As a single mother of five, Vigil sold her home in order to purchase the buildings where the Arc is now located and moved her family into the basement of one of the buildings.
Her commitment to offering hope, dignity, mutual respect and opportunities to persons with developmental disabilities has not wavered in the 29 years that she has been the director of the Arc. Because of her dedication, Y.E.S. the Arc has become the model for other providers of developmentally disabled persons to emulate. Y.E.S. The Arc currently serves approximately 42 persons with such programs as day treatment and training (with an extensive art program), habilitation, transportation, residential homes, job training and recreation.
Our hats go off to Vigil for her unwavering commitment to the needs of those with developmental disabilities. We are fortunate to have someone in our community whose life is a daily testament of selflessness, and an obvious example for the rest of us to emulate.