USOR 100 – Spotlight on Employee Excellence: Kenna Arcury

Kenna Arcury has worked for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) for 21 years. She is currently a Benefits Specialist with the Utah Work Incentive Planning Services (UWIPS) and previously ran the Business Enterprise Program with the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI). Kenna really cares about her clients and goes the extra mile with her clients to make sure they get the information they need to make the right choice for themselves surrounding their benefits and employment.

Photo of Kenna Arcury

What brought you to the profession?

Luck? Fate? My pathway to VR was a little different than most. After years of working in various types of business management and being the Director of a targeted marketing program designed to help people with disabilities run their own small business operations, I decided it was time for a change. I had never considered working in Government, but by chance came across a job opening for the Coordinator for the Business Enterprise Program through DSBVI. The skills I learned through various jobs over the years combined to be a great fit for the BEP and I enjoyed more than 11 years of helping individuals who were blind become successful in various business opportunities in government buildings, before making the move to UWIPS as a Benefits Specialist.  I have worked with UWIPS for 10 years, and love my work and my awesome team. After 21+ years, I can’t imagine not being part of the VR system.

Why does VR matter to you?

When I was in high school I was in a serious auto accident. The car I was in was hit by a drunk driver, and I had a significant traumatic brain injury. It changed the trajectory of my life, and the repercussions of the injury lasted for many years. I struggled at times to move forward with life on my own, and had little guidance on how to deal with the injury and the challenges it created. It was difficult to not get caught in the trap of what I couldn’t do, and to find ways to get past those barriers. Had I known about VR at the time, I could have had some guidance in how to adapt my life situation, and how to improve my opportunities for success regardless of the challenges I faced. Although I ultimately found success, VR could have helped me to streamline that process. I see how the different parts of USOR provide guidance and assistance for people with various challenges due to their disabilities, and it makes me proud to be part of a group of individuals whose goal is to help people find success regardless of the barriers they may face. Everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed.

What do you enjoy most about VR?

I enjoy working with all types of clients, but working with youth and their parents holds a special place in my heart. So many people with disabilities think that working will terminate the disability benefits they are dependent on, and as a result they are afraid to pursue employment. That is especially true with parents of youth with disabilities who may stop their child from working due to the fear of losing the medical benefits that are so important to them. It’s very rewarding to me to help them understand that they can move ahead without just losing all of the benefits they depend on, and how to navigate a very complicated system. And it is an important part of assisting their VR Counselor to help them find success. They have so much life ahead of them, and being able to pursue employment when they are young will certainly help them be more independent and successful as adults. It’s great to be able to contribute to their future, and to help them find the financial, social and personal rewards from working.