Mehdi Raoufi

Mehdi Raoufi joined PYD in the Fall of 2017 as a Pre-Employment Specialist. Mehdi is new to Boston after relocating from the Washington, D.C. area. Mehdi has worked for six years as a teaching artist and Director of Inclusive Theater companies with Artstream, a non-profit organization that supports individuals of varying abilities in social skills and job training using the arts.

In addition, Mehdi has taught music and theatre and is a current graduate student at Lesley University, studying Expressive Arts Therapy. In addition to PYD, Mehdi is also interning at The Italian Home for Children, supporting children and families with emotional, behavioral, and educational challenges at their Therapeutic Day School.

When he has a moment to breathe, Mehdi loves live music and arts and playing with his two dogs, Maggie and Coltrane.

Q&A for the PYD RFP process

The full Disability Mentoring Initiative Request for Proposals can be found at this link.

Please direct all questions to Genelle Thomas at gthomas@pyd.org. Questions must be
received by October 20th, 2017. Answers to questions will be posted on this page
on November 1st, 2017.

RFP timeline:

  • October 6, 2017: Proposal released
  • November 15, 2017: Proposal due date
  • December 10, 2017: Decision announced
  • January 1: 2018: Collaboration begin

Courtney Fox

Courtney Fox, Mentoring Specialist, is thrilled to join the PYD team. Courtney is passionate about working with and advocating for young people, and is driven by a commitment to promoting the mental health and well-being of youth. She recently moved to the Boston area after completing a Master’s degree at the University of Virginia in Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science.

Prior to graduate school, Courtney spent 3 years working as a researcher in the mentoring field. In addition, she has volunteered with a variety of youth programs as a mentor, co-teacher, and program evaluator.

Across settings, Courtney employs a strengths-based approach when working with youth, and is excited to facilitate and support positive mentoring relationships with PYD.

Jordan Lome

Jordan Lome joined PYD in September 2017 as the Mentor Match Recruitment and Retention Specialist through the Highland Streets AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring program. Her work at PYD will focus on supporting mentor recruitment and retention efforts through the planning of events, attending volunteer fairs, and creating a training guide for parents and mentees. She is excited to bring new and accessible opportunities to the Mentor Match program in reaching out to newcomers and alums!

Jordan holds a M.Ed. in Community Arts Education from Lesley University and a BA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She has experience working in informal education and arts administration. Jordan served with AmeriCorps last year at Providence Children’s Museum in Rhode Island where she helped create early childhood-based programs both in and out of the museum. She also helped established a Universal Design for Learning training for future AmeriCorps members there as well as helped developed pre-visit booklet for families with autism. Prior, she worked as a social marketing intern for VSA Massachusetts and at Actors’ Shakespeare Project.

Jordan looks forward to empowering more youth and inter-generational mentorship opportunities to PYD!

Partners for Youth with Disabilities Receives James G. Connolly Tribute Fund Grant

BOSTON – Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) was presented with a grant from the James G. Connolly Tribute Fund at the 12th annual Champions of Mentoring breakfast. The breakfast was hosted by Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) earlier this summer to honor individuals and organizations that have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring and youth development.

This year Connolly grants were awarded to two organizations, PYD and Enroot, to enhance their mentoring work with immigrant and refugee youth. They were selected as the result of a competitive RFP process.

“At PYD, we’ve long known that many youth with disabilities also have experiences of trauma, and that many come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. When these identities collide, it can compound the issues that many youth with disabilities already face–especially their feelings of self-esteem and self-efficacy–and impact the realization of their potential. To have supports like the Connolly Fund that recognize how these dual and multi-faceted aspects of self interact is truly tremendous. Our gratitude is mighty,” said PYD Founder and Executive Director Regina Snowden, who accepted the award at the event.

The grant will be used to bolster existing staff skills, create two new training workshops, and train PYD’s mentors and partner organizations in an effort to better engage and serve immigrant and refugee youth.

Named in honor of MMP’s late board chair, Jim Connolly, the Fund honors his memory and dedication to mentoring by supporting projects that are aligned with MMP’s mission of providing all Massachusetts youth with positive adult relationships. Since 2010, the fund has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to mentoring programs.

Jim Connolly’s belief that all youth should have the opportunity to reach their full potential directly aligns with PYD’s mission and this project. We believe that all youth have strengths and abilities, and that it’s important to change people’s assumptions, expectations, and attitudes in order to create a world where youth with disabilities have full equity of opportunity.

Also at the Champions of Mentoring breakfast, MMP presented the 2017 Champions of Mentoring awards to Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) and Tom Caron of NESN, and two Dorchester youth, Shelby Destin and Taya Hopkins, each received $20,000 educational scholarships for persevering through adversity with the guidance of a caring adult.

About Mass Mentoring Partnership
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships to meet the needs of communities across Massachusetts. MMP serves hundreds of mentoring programs and youth development organizations statewide supporting thousands of youth in mentoring relationships. www.massmentors.org

About Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. To learn more, visit www.pyd.org.

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