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.

Maria Town inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Maria Town into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Maria Town is the Director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for the City of Houston. In this role, she advocates for the rights and needs of citizens with disabilities, serves as a liaison between the mayor, city council, city departments and other public and private entities on matters pertaining to people with disabilities in Houston, and establishes local and national partnerships to advance inclusion. Town is the former Senior Associate Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement where she managed the White House’s engagement with the disability community and older Americans. She also managed the place-based portfolio and coordinated engagement across Federal agencies. Prior to this, Town was a Policy Advisor at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. While at ODEP, Town led and coordinated numerous efforts to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities. She has particular expertise in areas of youth development and leadership and promoting college and career readiness for all youth.

Before moving to Washington, DC to work in public service, Town graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. At Emory, Town was a Community and Diversity Fellow at the Emory University Office of the Provost where she aided in oversight, policy formulation, program development, and management to improve access, equity, and inclusion on Emory’s campus. While a student at Emory, she also served as the University-wide Student Government Association President. In addition to her disability policy work, Town is the creator of the popular “CP Shoes” blog where she writes about fashion, design, and disability. She is an alumna of both the New Leaders Council Fellowship program and the Mobility International USA Professional Exchange Program. She hails from Louisiana, where her family still resides.

Why mentoring matters to her:
“Life is so much harder without quality mentors. Mentoring relationships can make individuals feel valued, help them discover their potential, and can challenge individuals in ways that encourage growth. I have benefited personally and professionally from mentors and consider it my responsibility to make sure others can do the same.”

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Nicole Turon Diaz inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Nicole Turon-Diaz into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Nicole Turon-Diaz, MA, Ed./SpEd., BCBA is the Founder/Director of Learning By Design, LLC, a behavioral, educational and employment consulting firm that provides a spectrum of services to individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan in Northern New Jersey and beyond. She is a local, national and international public speaker who has discussed topics such as best practices in transitioning to independence, the benefits of employing individuals with autism and embracing their talents. Honorary memberships include Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and National Scholars Honor Society. She holds national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). In addition, she is a Licensed Behavior Analyst in the State of New York. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Marketing and Organizational Management summa cum laude, and Master of Arts degree in Education and Special Education from Felician University. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University and completed her clinical hours and practicum experience in Applied Behavior Analysis at Pennsylvania State University. She became a certified college coach at Bank Street College of Education to assist individuals with autism whose aspirations are to attend and successfully complete college.

Over the past 12 years, she has gained a variety of experience while assisting individuals with autism at transitional times in their lives, such as early intervention to public/private school, public/private school to vocational placement and/or college based on each client’s individual interests. She has also had the privilege of working alongside Joey Travolta and his crew for the past 8 summers at the Joey Travolta Short Film Camp held in New Jersey. She learned the ins and outs of professional film-making from start to finish alongside both individuals with autism and their neurotypical peers aged 9 to 23 years old. Quite a few campers obtained employment in the field arising out of their film camp experience. In addition, many campers went on to college to obtain degrees in their areas of interest such as scriptwriting. As a result of her work with Joey Travolta’s NJ film camp, Nicole served as a mentor at the White House Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 Disability and Media Summit held at Gallaudet University and a facilitator at the CBS Corporate Diversity and CBS Entertainment Diversity/Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0 Disability Visibility Hollywood Panel Discussion, Flash Mentoring and Networking Reception. Both of these events provided individuals with disabilities a platform to meet, speak with and learn what it takes to make it in front of and behind the camera from key leaders in the entertainment industry.

Through her work with individuals transitioning into the “real” world, she saw a need and found a way to incorporate her degrees, certifications, knowledge and experience to offer supported employment and business management services for individuals with autism who sought employment or endeavored to start their own business. She began educating potential employers such as Sesame Workshop in New York City and post-secondary institutions to understand the gifts and talents that individuals on the autism spectrum often have and how to “work” with them. She has also assisted and represented writers, public speakers, as well as artists of various mediums including illustration, animation and acting in the capacity of business manager. Her extensive contacts in various fields of employment allow her to connect the autism community with potential employers, colleges, local retailers, libraries, hospitals and other organizations. For more information on Nicole and her work, see this newspaper article about her.

What does mentoring mean to you?
Mentoring is a back and forth, fluid, give and take relationship between two people who trust each other. We all take on the roles of both mentor and mentee in life and through these processes continuously learn about ourselves and others. Helping others reach their fullest potential utilizing their strengths and talents through mentoring is the greatest reward.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Leah Katz Hernandez inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Leah Katz-Hernandez into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Leah Katz-Hernandez is a speaker, author, and advisor with the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Advisory Committee. Previously known as the celebrated Receptionist Of The United States for President Obama “ROTUS,” Ms. Katz-Hernandez is a leading expert on disability inclusion, public communication strategy, and civil rights. Through her dynamic career, she gained experience with the nonprofit sector, presidential campaigns, Capitol Hill, and the Obama White House.

As a highly visible White House employee, Ms. Katz-Hernandez skillfully welcomed world leaders to the West Wing while simultaneously urging equal access for the Deaf, Disability, and Latina communities. Ms. Katz-Hernandez now uses her expertise to advocate for equality all over the world, with a focus on supporting marginalized communities. She earned her MA in Strategic Communication from American University in 2016 and a BA in Government from Gallaudet University in 2010.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Page 1 of 5212345...102030...Last »