anna earlsAnna Earls

2012 Honoree

As a person with a disability, Anna Earls is a person worthy of recognition. Her good nature and commitment to bring happiness to her community is something to admire. Born with Down Syndrome, Anna does not allow her limitations to stop her from doing things she enjoys. She works very hard and hopes to live as independently as she can and will rely on her strong family and community network when she needs them.

As a person with a disability, Anna utilizes many opportunities to improve her community. Including volunteering at a Buffalo, MO elementary school assisting with children in Kindergarten and the special education classroom, volunteering at the Dallas County Health Department, singing to healthcare center residents, and performing at her church to offer encouragement and share with those in need.

“Anna is our most dedicated and active volunteers. This amazing young woman sings in her church choir, lifts up others, writes poetry, volunteers in the community, spreads the word of God and pours a lot of time into the (Dallas County Health Department) Bright Smiles Program to ensure that young children learn proper brush techniques,” says Rachael Morgans, Dallas County Health Department.

“I have the chance to be active in my community and I am proud that I have been included, whether at school or church,” says Anna. When asked about the mentors that have encouraged her to work in the community and develop her skills, she shares that “my family, God and teachers all helped me.”

She dreams of one day becoming a professional singer and songwriter. However, she already writes poetry, sings, and dances for others. Anna’s poetry honors people she knows and conveys thoughts and feelings important in her life. One of Anna’s poems below includes words of inclusion, acceptance and consideration.

As the latest Southwest Center for Independent Living honoree, Anna Earls portrays the character of a role model with determination and leadership to make the world a better place for herself and those with disabilities.

“Other people with disabilities and their successes inspire me,” said Anna about the artists, activist, presidents and leaders with disabilities in our community. “I want to keep growing and keep going for my dreams. I know God will use me where he needs me.”

New Comers – by Anna Earls

There are some new people coming this way. We need to help them get friends. We have new neighbors. They are New Comers.There are some new people coming this way. Some people say unkind things or make fun. This is not what we should do. They are New Comers.There are some new people coming this way. We need to show them around and make them feel comfortable. They are New Comers.There are some new people coming this way. Give them a chance to get to know you. Get to know them. They are New Comers.


The Southwest Center for Independent Living (SCIL) recognizes people of the Ozarks with disabilities for their past and present efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have the choice to live independently in the community. Nominations can be submitted anytime and will be considered in these categories: advocacy, community service, peer mentoring, positive role model, determination, and leadership in the community. A new honoree is announced in each bimonthly newsletter issue and a photo of the nominee will be displayed on the “Honoring People with Disabilities Wall” at the Springfield office.

Contact us for a nomination form or visit