YEP visits Whole Foods Market Charlestown

Question: What’s a job skill that you’ll need regardless of where you are working?

Answer: Knowing how to make eye contact with customers.

That’s one of the skills Nora Daniels, the Marketing Team Leader and Community Liaison for Whole Foods Market Charlestown, shared during a “job shadow” visit for our Young Entrepreneurs Project students from Charlestown High School.

Daniels talks about her experience working for Whole Foods.

Job shadows are a critical component of the YEP experience. Students hear firsthand from experienced professionals about their workplace and career journeys. They also get behind the scenes tours of workplaces and learn more about career options. The trip to Whole Foods Charlestown was a great experience since students got to meet employees of diverse backgrounds and ages, and see how they work together to make an effective team in the store.

Daniels explained how she started at Whole Foods as an assistant in the grocery department and eventually worked her way up to her current position at the Charlestown store, which opened last year. She said that hard work, coupled with a love of food and community, propelled her into her current position within a few years of starting at Whole Foods. We hope that our students were inspired to understand that it’s not where you start out, but how you work toward your goals that matters!

Daniels also talked about the mission of Whole Foods Market, shared some healthy eating tips, explained employee benefits, and even told students how they could apply for a job at the store! After Daniels’ talk, students took a tour of the store and met with employees from other departments. Each employee talked about their particular role in the store, their professional journey, why they enjoy their work, and shared customer service tips—including the importance of making eye contact with customers because it shows that you care and are paying attention to them.

All in all, our visit was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about a company in their community and a variety of job options. Thank you to the employees of Whole Foods Charlestown!

For more information about YEP, please click here.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Although Presidents’ Day is a national holiday filled with travel plans and department store sales, not many people know why we celebrate Presidents’ Day.  Until 1971, Americans celebrated both George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday during the month of February. The two federal holidays were separated by only ten days.  In 1971, a new law took effect that created a uniform federal holiday for the two presidential birthdays on the third Monday in February. Although the congress combined the two birthdays to create a holiday to honor and celebrate Washington and Lincoln among other United States leaders, the name was never officially changed from George Washington’s Birthday.  In most states, however, it is celebrated also as a state holiday known by a variety of names depending on the state. Some celebrate Washington alone, Washington and Lincoln, or some other combination of U.S. presidents such as Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Here at PYD, we like to recognize some of the individuals who have influenced and supported the disabilities community. In honor of the holiday, here are a few presidents who had a disability:

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Wilson had dyslexia and struggled with reading his entire life. Despite his disability, he became a professor at Princeton University, an author of an acclaimed book on George Washington, the governor of New Jersey, and the 28th President of the United States.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)

FDR was the 32nd President of the United States and also the first president with a significant physical disability. FDR was diagnosed with polio in 1921, at the age of 39. Although dealing with this crippling disease was challenging, many believe that his personal struggles helped to shape him, both as a man and as a president.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Reagan was the 40th President of the United States and also served two terms as governor of California. He used a hearing aid in his right ear early in his term, but later also started wearing one in his left ear. Many say that his hearing was damaged during his early years as a Hollywood actor, when he was exposed to loud gunshot noises during the filming of Western movies.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

JFK was a Harvard graduate and the 35th president of the United States. He suffered from chronic back pain and the learning disability, dyslexia.


Among these four, there are many other presidents who were speculated to have disabilities.  These presidents are wonderful examples of strong individuals not allowing challenges to prevent them from achieving great success!

Random Acts of Kindness Week

There are few things in life better than finding a $5 dollar bill in your jacket pocket, a complete stranger complimenting you, or getting two candy bars for the price of one because the classic vending machine glitch is, for once, working in your favor. These small, everyday pleasures have the power to turn your mood around and make the rest of the day’s tasks that much more enjoyable.

This week at PYD, we’ve been doing small tasks around our office building to spread the feeling that comes from these little pleasures for Random Acts of Kindness Week! This international holiday is a great opportunity to step out of your normal routine to brighten somebody’s day. From smiling at strangers to offering free hugs, people around the world are taking time to celebrate kindness.

Here’s what the PYD staff  have been doing so far to join the #RAKWEEK movement:


We baked cookies and delivered them to another office in our building. We explained the concept behind RAK Week and encouraged our neighbors to participate by doing something kind for someone else. 


At our local coffee shop, we purchased a $5 gift card, attached a flyer for RAK Week, and asked the barista to give it to the next costumer in line. Who doesn’t love free coffee?


For our next act of kindness, we taped a plastic bag that contained four quarters and a note that read “Hey You!! Enjoy a candy bar, you deserve it” to a vending machine in our office building.

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Since everybody can use a little inspiration every once in a while, we wrote three letters of kind words and delivered them throughout the city.


Lastly, we filled a stranger’s expired meter so that they wouldn’t receive a parking ticket.

So, how are you going to participate in RAK Week? If you need a little help brainstorming ideas, check out the RAK Foundation Website – they have over 350 kindness ideas for work, school, and home.

 Happy RAK Week!!

Recognizing black Americans who live with disabilities

February is Black History Month, also known as National African American History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of black Americans and to recognize their central role in our nation’s history. Here at Partners for Youth with Disabilities, one of the ways in which we observe Black History Month is by remembering the many African Americans with disabilities who have profoundly impacted our society, our culture, and our history. Like our mentors, they are inspiring and empowering examples for young people with disabilities, and a reminder to all Americans of the importance of ensuring that every one of us has opportunities to reach our full potential.

Continue reading “Recognizing black Americans who live with disabilities”

Help PYD Win Free Advertising

Dear Boston Globe subscribers,

Have you gotten your silver slip in the mail? Please consider selecting PYD as your non-profit of choice to help us win free advertising with #GlobeGRANT.

Globe Grant mailing

GRANT enables readers to show their support for non-profits by choosing which ones are given free advertising space in The Boston Globe.

The Boston Globe is mailing vouchers to each of their subscribers. Seven-day newspaper subscribers’ vouchers are valued at $100; all other subscribers (including website-only readers) have been sent vouchers valued at $50.

Help us win free ad space with #GlobeGRANT by selecting PYD today and you’ll be spreading the word about disability inclusion throughout Boston! For more information about GRANT, click here.

Please share with others this quick and easy way to bring awareness to PYD with the Boston Globe. Thank you for your support!

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