Welcome to Ashley and Roslyn!

We are very lucky to be having two new staff members joining the PYD team this month: Ashley Brueske and Roslyn Hower. They will both be serving this year in different AmeriCorps positions, and we’re excited to have them!

Headshot of Ashley BrueskeAshley Brueske joined PYD as the 2015-2016 Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring and will be working with the Mentor Match program to recruit new mentors, organize events, and provide ongoing support to current mentors and mentees. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she moved to Boston several years ago to begin pursuing a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College, learning to incorporate social justice work into future practice as a therapist.

Ashley has worked with a number of community organizations in the Twin Cities and the Boston area and has long been passionate about removing barriers to accessing community life, and she is particularly excited to begin working specifically with the disability community. Outside of work, Ashley is an avid choral singer and loves to cook and try new restaurants.

Roslyn's headshotRoslyn Hower recently joined PYD as the YEP Curriculum and Development VISTA. Roslyn graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California in May 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology. She has a passion for youth development, social justice and national service. Roslyn previously served as a City Year corps member.

Dejan’s Soccer Experience with the New England Revolution

Dejan posing with Darrius from the New England RevolutionWe’re happy to share with you the below post by Dejan Pajevic who is a PYD Peer Leader and Mentee who participates in several PYD programs like Making Health Connections.

On a blue-sky August Wednesday I practiced soccer on one of the best fields of the best teams: The New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium. (Of course there is another big team that shares the same field, but this post is about *the other* football.) PYD partnered with Spaulding Rehab, Mass General Hospital, and the New England Revolution to recruit young people for a soccer clinic with coaches and players of the world-renowned New England Revolution. It was so much fun.

I met five Revs players. Darrius Barnes in particular coached me, and I felt in awe as it was unbelievable to me finally meeting professional players. It was my first time meeting players of this caliber. I also made note that the players were from many corners of the US and the globe: Texas, South Carolina and South America for example.

Dejan doing a soccer drill, with Nicole acting as human guideAfter practicing together and completing drills like touches on the ball, a question and answer session ensued and I asked the question about the Revs loss last year to LA Galaxy. I asked what they learned from that loss and how they intend to come back stronger and prevail moving forward.

One goal I have of being active and writing this post is a message that I’d like to share with you: just because you are blind doesn’t mean you cannot play soccer. My good dribbling is proof of that.

Oh by the way, my PYD teammates on the field were Steve, Nicole, and Eli and I found out a fun fact that when Steve was a little boy he made the school’s soccer team.

From start to finish, the event was exciting. At the end, we each took a shot on goal, then got autographs from the players.

Thank you to all who made the event possible.

NDMC Meeting Minutes: August 2015

National Disability Mentoring Coalition Meeting
August 5, 2015
Meeting Minutes

Rayna Aylward, PolicyWorks
Derek Shields, PolicyWorks
Mylene Padolina, USBLN
Jeanne Argoff
Genelle Thomas, PYD
Erin Pluto, MCB
Judy Shanley, Easter Seals
Diane Quest, MENTOR (guest)
Kristin Humphrey, PYD
Kevin Webb, MEAF
Gary Goosman, PolicyWorks
Rachel Patterson, Reeve Foundation
Carolyn Jeppsen, Broad Futures
Ray Hutchinson, DC Public Schools

Topics Covered: The launch of the Hall of Fame; release of nomination form for the first class for the Hall of Fame; guest speaker from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership .

Download the complete meeting minutes here.

Download Hall of Fame nomination form here.

Download MENTOR presentation here.