Salena Pruitt of Texarkana has been named the area's Consumer of the Year by Arkansas Department of Human Services' Division of Services for the Blind.
Pruitt has worked more than two years as a Realtor at CENTURY 21 All Points Realty in Texarkana, Texas.
DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Angela Gray nominated Salena Pruitt for the achievement award because of her determination to overcome adversity and succeed at her work. She was selected from an area including Miller, Little River, Hempstead, Sevier, Lafayette, Nevada, Pike, Polk and Howard counties.
The award presentation was made at the noon business meeting of CENTURY 21 All Points Reality on Richmond Road in Texarkana, Texas.
Pruitt's employer was recognized by Gray as an outstanding business partner for its commitment to promoting the employment of those with vision impairment.
Pruitt was diagnosed with congenital nystagmus upon birth and soon developed retinopathy, causing her to lose most of her vision.
After moving to South Arkansas, Pruitt applied to the DSB for help pursuing college and a career. DSB assisted Pruitt with college tuition and training, Gray said. The agency also provided counseling and guidance, college training, supported employment and job services.
She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
"I appreciated DSB. Without these services, I don't think I would have had the confidence to go back to school to pursue a career," Pruitt said.
She is a member of Kern Heights Baptist Church, where she teaches Bible study in the children's ministry. Pruitt was also an active volunteer at a local nursing home, where she visits wither elderly residents.
Pruitt and her husband, Rick, have one daughter, Mazie. Mother and daughter are also active in Taekwondo; Pruitt is a fourth-degree green belt.
DSB provides vocational rehabilitation services to adults who are blind or severely visually impaired and whose goal is successful employment. The division also serves youth and older blind individuals. Call 1-800-960-9270 for more information.