Joan Haskins Honored With Operation PAVE Champion Award
Joan Haskins’ role as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Operation PAVE
program (Paving Access for Veterans Employment) enables her to do what
she likes to do most—serve veterans, those who need employment
information, counseling, direction, and focus so they can make realistic
decisions for themselves. It is that passion and commitment,
juxtaposed with her skill as a Masters-level, certified vocational
rehabilitation counselor, which has earned her the very first “PAVE
The new award recognizes the PAVE employee who best embodies the
principles of compassion, professionalism, initiative and spirit, while
paving access for veterans’ employment. Sherman Gillums, deputy
executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America, presented the award
to Haskins during Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open
(PVGO), which raises money to support the PAVE program. “The PAVE
Champion Award signifies excellence in opening doors of opportunities
for the underserved veterans and caregivers who access our services,”
said Gillums. “Joan has demonstrated by her example that economic self
sufficiency and vocational fulfillment are possible for virtually anyone
who turns to PAVE for our cost-free, customized, one-on-one services."
It is a lifelong stewardship for Haskins. For more than 35 years,
she has worked steadily in the field of vocational rehabilitation. She
was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for two counseling practices
before opening her own in 1980, and has served as a consultant for the
U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Social Security.
In 2009, Haskins was recruited by Paralyzed Veterans to serve as
vocational rehabilitation counselor in the Long Beach, Calif. chapter.
Since then, she has utilized her extensive knowledge and experience to
champion veterans in the workplace, and forged strong relationships with
civilian and federal hiring authorities in California, Arizona, Hawaii,
Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Her tireless
advocacy has helped hundreds of veterans secure meaningful positions or
jobs. She is an asset to the PAVE team, an invaluable resource to
disabled veterans, and a worthy first recipient of the Operation PAVE
Award of Excellence.
Congratulations to Joan Haskins for her accomplishments. Paralyzed
Veterans of America deeply appreciates her contributions to our mission.