About the Award

The Theresa A. Wood Citizenship Award honors and carries on Theresa’s many years of dedicated work and commitment to full citizenship for people with developmental disabilities. The Citizenship Fund was established by Theresa’s friends, family and colleagues. This annual award recognizes a person who, through his or her contributions to the community, best shows Theresa’s values of:



3.Sense of humor



6.Respect for all people


Award Winners


Stirling Peebles

Stirling and Theresa Wood smiling together

Stirling Peebles makes amazing videos. She was picked as one of VT Business Magazines’ 2016 “Rising Stars” of Vermonters under 40. Stirling has created a Facebook page called the Employment Corner. She spends hours each day posting great news about people with disabilities working.


Rachel Colby

Rachel Colby

Rachel often visits schools to talk with children about treating people with disabilities with respect!

Rachel Colby – Rachel is a major part of her local self-advocacy group and volunteers in the community, teaching about disability awareness. She is creative and is always paying attention to    information she might pass along to others. She is always more interested in helping    others and teaching her peers new things. She always has a joke to share to brighten the mood of a dark moment.


Co-awardees: Randy Lizotte and Mary Lafountain

Voices and Choices 2014 848

Randy Lizotte – Randy is passionate about self-advocacy, and has no problem speaking up.  He has volunteered countless hours to self-advocacy in both Middlebury and St. Albans.  Randy has shown a great deal of determination in his personal life, as well as in GMSA.  Randy is so good at what he does, that a local developmental services agency hired him as peer advocate!  Randy is also described as having a “whacky” sense of humor which helps out in difficult situations.

Mary LaFountain – Mary is the Vice-President of Speak Up! Addison County and was one of the group’s founding members in 2003. Mary is a fun and creative leader who keeps her group on task and is always ready to help out her community whether it is by educating, taking care of friends, being part of a community supper, or through Special Olympics. Mary is an active advocate that continually uses her positive attitude to advocate and educate community members. Mary shows significant strength and always understands people’s feelings and acts with empathy and a great sense of humor.


Paul Nichols

Theresa Wood Presents Paul Nichols with 2013 Theresa A. Wood Citizenship Award

Paul is the president of his local self-advocacy group and has been active in self-advocacy ever since it started in Vermont.  Paul values working, and he was very determined to get another job after being laid off.  He was successful and recently started a job providing information to customers at a local bicycle shop.  Paul has shown leadership in many ways, including at the State House.  As a former resident, Paul was one of the first members of the Brandon Training School Funding Committee, where he helped determine the rules and made funding decisions.  Paul is also described as extremely patient, even in difficult situations.  Paul has a “sunny disposition” and is very well respected by his peers.


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