Bowling Party to Benefit PYD

bowling pins lined up with yellow stars shooting out from behind
Image above: bowling pins lined up with yellow stars shooting out from behind

Join us for a Bowling Party to support Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD)

from 4:30-6:30 pm at Ryan’s Family Amusements

Get your tickets here

One of PYD’s Mentees, Justin, wanted to give back to PYD and decided to host this bowling party as a fundraiser for PYD. We’re inviting YOU to join in with us to help Justin give back and have fun together at the same time.

* Bowling from 5:00-6:30pm * Fun for All * All Bowling Levels Welcome * Prizes  Raffle * Snacks * Cash Bar *

* Bring Your Family and Friends! *

Limited space for bowlers. Please sign up in advance by getting your tickets to bowl here to ensure your place for bowling.

*RAFFLE*

Raffle Tickets are: One Ticket for $5, or 6 Tickets for $20

Buy Raffle Tickets here.

When you enter the raffle, you may win the following prizes!

Item #1 – New England Patriots vs.. Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 6, 2015, 4:25 pm at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro , Two tickets, Section 340, Row 2

Item #2 – Boston Bruins vs.. Vancouver Canucks, Jan, 21, 2016, 7:00 pm in Boston at the TD Banknorth Garden, Two tickets, Loge 5, Row 10

Item #3 – $100 LL Bean Gift Card, 10 Hand-Crafted Salt Water Fly Lures and a One hour Fly-tying Workshop for 2 guests with a Master Fly Tyer

Special Thank You to Event Supporters
BOWES Real Estate Real Living
&
Elisa Dawn Balboni, Senior Mortgage Banker
Mortgage Network, Inc.

Questions? Please contact Kristin Humphrey at 617-556-4075 x21 or khumphrey@pyd.org

Disability Mentoring Day 2015: Expanding career mentoring nationwide

Disability Mentoring Day logoDisability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a large-scale national effort coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to promote career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships. DMD officially launches on the third Wednesday of each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Founded in 1999 through a White House initiative, DMD was originally a small program with less than three-dozen students participating to increase the awareness of NDEAM. Since that event, DMD has spring-boarded from a one day event for a small group of students to an extensive national mentoring program for young professionals with disabilities across the United States, territories and abroad with more than 10,000 participants each year.

The growth of DMD was made possible by the unwavering work of DMD Coordinators across the country who volunteer their time to host and manage the logistical requirements for a DMD. These events produce life changing results for mentees, such as full time employment and internship opportunities. AAPD continues to increase the reach of DMD through growing its network of DMD coordinators.

Joyce Bender is an AAPD Board Member, the Founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, and a long-time participant in DMD. Additionally, Joyce was an inaugural inductee of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. “I am a passionate supporter of Disability Mentoring Day and am proud to say that Pittsburgh was one of the first cities to participate. Over the years I have seen the impact, not only for the student with disability, but also for breaking down barriers with employers who host students during the job shadowing experience. When you mentor a young person with a disability, you empower them…that’s priceless!”

Throughout October and in the days ahead, DMD events are happening in cities around the nation. A partial list of events is posted on the AAPD website at: www.aapd.com/dmd2015.

Looking to the future, AAPD will continue to support coordinators and businesses around the country while also encouraging disability mentoring to be more than just one day. The more young people with disabilities interact with mentors and receive job training skills, the more likely they are to find internship and employment opportunities. Economic self-sufficiency is a critical piece to independence and a better quality of life for people with disabilities.

Whether it’s through serving as a sponsor, host, and/or mentor, corporations, local businesses, government agencies, and other organizations have been the driving force for moving the success of DMD forward. To learn more about the opportunities to have your organization get involved with DMD in a local community, please visit www.aapd.com/dmd or email us at DMD@aapd.com.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities: AAPD is the nation’s largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD members, including people with disabilities and family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. Learn more about AAPD at www.aapd.com.

About the National Disability Mentoring Coalition: The mission of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) is to increase the awareness, quality and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. Member organizations share core values and align with the Coalition’s objectives to streamline communication, standardize and systematize data collection, reduce duplication of efforts, increase mentoring opportunities, and improve outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities. Members include: American Association of People with Disabilities, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Broad Futures, Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, D.C. Public Schools, Easter Seals, Institute for Educational Leadership, Keep the Music Playing, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, MENTOR: The National Partnership, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, National Council on Independent Living, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, PolicyWorks, Inc., The Viscardi Center, and United States Business Leadership Network. Learn more about the NDMC and its Members at: www.disabilitymentors.org.

Spotlight: Mentor of the Year Kate Crawford

Kate and Becky

Meet our Mentor of the Year, Kate Crawford! We’ve known Kate for four years. Within that time, she has developed a phenomenal relationship with her mentee, Becky Haile. Kate is always reachable and helpful when the Mentor Match staff needs her.

Here is Kate and Becky’s story, and how the Mentor Match program has inspired and changed their lives.

Often times mentoring is more than changing a mentee’s life. Many mentors at PYD go above and beyond their mentor duties, creating a ripple effect that reaches far and wide in our community. In fact, many of our mentors are experiencing the huge impact that the Mentor Match program has had on them. This is exactly the case for Kate Crawford, a warmhearted mentor who conveys her passion of caring for others and making a difference.

“We were like a magnetic bond,” said Kate, when she described the connection between her and her mentee, Becky. This year, Kate and Becky are celebrating their fourth year anniversary as a mentor-mentee match at PYD. When looking back on the remarkable experience, Kate could not be happier for having the chance to witness Becky’s growth and progress.

The memory of their first meeting is still fresh in Kate’s mind. With the help of Steve Slowinski, PYD Mentor Match Specialist, Kate went over to Becky’s house and met Becky and her family. “I could tell she was a bit nervous, and I was too,” said Kate. “But overall, it felt like a natural experience.” It was not a formal occasion, but it was indeed a good start to get to know each other and establish their relationship.

Kate started to play a major role in Becky’s life, especially when it came to hanging out and having fun together. Bowling and cooking are two of their favorite things. Bowling is a fun interactive activity when the two are bonding, while cooking is a passion they share. Kate always tries to incorporate functional life skills into the activities they do together. “It is important to teach [youth] with disabilities some functional life skills when we’re having fun together,” said Kate. For example, Kate and Becky practice math skills when they are bowling by adding up their scores. And when they are cooking together, Kate teaches Becky skills like how to look for ingredients, how to measure them, and how to keep time.

Recently Kate and Becky visited Belkin Farm for apple picking and hiking. It was a long walk and they had a deep conversation. “It was kind of a special experience because she is growing right now through a transition period. When she’s age 22, she has to leave her school at the Cardinal Cushing Center, move on to her next study phase and be an adult. She opened up to me and said that she was a little bit nervous about making that change. So I told her I’ll always be here to support her.” Being one of Becky’s support systems, Kate was happy to see Becky turning to her for advice and help. “I think it’s because of our strong connection and comfort level with each other,” she said.

kate becky 2

There is no question that Kate has played a major role in shaping Becky’s life; however, Kate makes it an important point to note how much Becky has shaped her life as well. Before Kate got involved in the mentor program at PYD, she worked in sales at an IT company. It was a role that she wasn’t happy in. “It (Kate’s mentoring experience) had a huge impact on me. It pushed me to change my career to work with students with disabilities. And that impact was so meaningful,” said Kate. After being involved in the Mentor Match Program and getting along with Becky, she realized there was something missing that she wanted to fulfill. She found her great passion for caring for those who need help and support. Now Kate has changed her career and is working on getting her Masters Degree in Education in Moderate Disabilities.

Kate finds the experience of being a mentor at PYD very rewarding and inspiring and she hopes more and more people will join in the big family of PYD’s Mentor Match program. “If you are feeling that there is something missing in your life, and you want to make a difference, I would strongly recommend that you look into this (program),” said Kate.“Because it has a strong impact on my life. There are so many things you can do with your mentee and it’s a relationship you can’t get anywhere else – learning about their culture, helping them in the school, and also building on their social, and emotional skills that really help them out for their entire life.”

A Fun Fact about Kate

“When I began high school, I used to DJ. Unfortunately, I don’t have a chance now. But I’m always looking for a chance to do that sometime. I really have a passion for music. I told Becky a little bit about this experience and she has a great passion for music, too!”

Bowling Party!

Are you a bowling fan like our mentor-mentee match Kate and Becky? Join PYD’s Bowling Party on Saturday, Nov. 14th in Malden, MA. Please visit our website and follow our Facebook and Twitter for more information.

This post written by Crystal Tianyin Xu, Graduate Student in the Public Relations Program at the Boston University College of Communication. She is one of PYD’s BU PR Lab Account Executives. (Edited by Nicole Malo, with the additional edit help of PYD Team Members.)

Online Privacy & Security Tips for Youth with Disabilities

On Saturday the 19th, Partners for Youth with Disabilities held our annual Career Mentor Brunch. At this event, youth participants were able to network among a variety of volunteers from different fields, learning about their career backgrounds and getting support in a variety of topics: interview skills, building their resume, maintaining a professional online presence, and managing their SSI or SSDI benefits. The event was a huge success with over 30 attendees.

Svetlana Uimenkova (Staff Attorney at the Disability Law Center) led the presentation on Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disabilty Insurance (SSDI). You can find a recording of this presentation online here. It was a pleasure to have her, and our youth and families all learned a great deal.

Additionally, we held a new workshop at this event: Your Online Presence: Impacts on Job Seekers & Employees. This workshop helped youth understand their rights while applying for jobs and while on the job, focusing on how companies are able to legally use social media to make employment-related decisions. It also included information on how youth can best protect their online privacy.

Below, we’ve included some of the information provided during that training about protecting yourself online. Continue reading “Online Privacy & Security Tips for Youth with Disabilities”

Tonio’s Reflections on His PYD Fellow Experience

PYD’s 2015 Fellows are current Mentor Match participants that applied and were accepted to take on an additional leadership role without the program. Over the course of this summer, they developed their leadership and public speaking skills, and were an important voice for our Mentor Match program. Fellows received leadership training and cultivated their public speaking skills by sharing their experience at recruiting events. Fellows also contributed ideas for programming and recruitment at meetings with Mentor Match staff.

Below, one of our Fellows, Tonio, shares about his experience as a Fellow, and the impact mentoring has had on his life.

Fellows 2015 (1)First of all, I want thank Kristin Humphrey and Steve Slowinski for allowing me to be a part of this excellent program. I gained a lot experience from the PYD Summer Fellows program and it helped me to follow my dreams! This past summer I had an opportunity to do several presentations about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including speaking at the Massachusetts Commonwealth Office, Wheelock College, the State House, and Perkins School for the Blind.

When I first met my mentor, he was as excited to hangout with me as I was with him. First my mentor took me on a tour of his job around the campus of MIT. While we were there, we went to the MIT museum. I am so excited to have a mentor like Niraj because he always tells me to never give up and that I can make something happen in my life. Niraj is like a brother to me, the first time we met we really connected. He loves music just like me and he encourages me to never let people take your talent away!! I am looking forward to become a leader like my mentor Niraj!

I am blessed to share with you that on August 18, 2015 I finally got my learner’s permit. My Grandparents always told me if you want something, chase after it. Never give up on it, just believe in yourself and everything will fall into place.

PYD Summer Fellows gained important leadership skills that will allow them to be powerful voices for change and empower them to reach personal and professional their goals. It is exciting to see the leadership Tonio and the other Fellows have developed and the perseverance with which they have pursued their goals. We can’t wait to see what our Fellows will accomplish next!

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