Luis Banuelos training a person with disability

Goodwill’s Luis Banuelos Receives 2021 Spotlight Award for Direct Support Professional

April 6, 2021

Waking up at 2 a.m. to work the early morning shift supporting adults with disabilities, Luis Banuelos is a role model and inspiration to us all.

Early this month, the Regional Center of Orange County awarded Luis with the Spotlight Award for Direct Support Professional at its 24th Annual Spotlight Awards Ceremony. As an Employment Training Specialist for Goodwill of Orange County, Luis’s powerful impact through his outstanding care and commitment to people with development disabilities earned him the well-deserved recognition.

Luis works from 3 a.m. – 2 p.m., while still having a second and sometimes third job. He supervises a team of three program participants who work in the kitchen and dining facility at Camp Pendleton Military Base in San Diego County, proudly serving more than 1,000 military members a day. Before the shift starts, he travels all across the county to pick up his team members who can’t drive themselves to work.

Luis has spent 15 years serving as a mentor to people with disabilities—both in and out of the office. In all his years, he has never missed a day of work and has a passion for empowering others. For his excellent work, Luis has even received a Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Performance from the Military Base management.

Luis Banuelos with his family
[Luis with his Family; Photo Courtesy of La Opinion]

Under his leadership, his team has received 15 Employee of the Month Certificates, 20 Extra Mile Certificates, and six Certificates for Outstanding Performance Achievement. Luis also created three additional Supported Employment groups at the job site, resulting in nine new jobs.

As Luis said in his acceptance speech, "Just seeing my participants get Employee of the Month... Even when they get gift cards for doing an outstanding job—that's my reward on a daily basis.”

Congratulations, Luis, on this incredible accomplishment! Your commitment and care for each program participant, along with your hard work in making such a deep impact, makes you the perfect recipient for this award.

Thank you for always modeling Goodwill’s core values. We are so proud of everything you do and honored to have you on our team.

View Luis receiving his award below: