Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October each year, National Make a Difference Day encourages individuals and organizations to make a difference, no matter how big or small, and is known to be the largest national day of community service.
At PYD, however, every day is National Make a Difference Day to us, and there are ample opportunities to get involved in our organization throughout the calendar year instead of just one day.
If you’re ready to support individuals with disabilities live with dignity and pride in who they are, and to lead self-determined lives filled with purpose, learn how you can get involved with our organization.
Volunteer with PYD
Our programs wouldn’t be able to exist without the volunteers who make them happen. We have the following volunteer opportunities available.
Become a Mentor with Our Mentoring Program
We currently offer two forms of mentoring — one-to-one mentoring and group online mentoring — with the goal to help young people with disabilities meet their full potential for personal development and independence.
The role of a mentor is a trusted guide and friend! Our youth are in need of more one to one mentors. A large demographic of our mentees — including young men, bilingual, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color — wish for mentors who identify the same.
PYD Mentors commit to:
- Hosting in-person meetings of 4-6 hours per month (matches are expected to follow public health guidelines, and thus, the “in-person” requirement is waived for the time being. Activities can instead happen virtually.)
- Engaging in weekly contact virtually
- Being 18+
- Traveling within the Mass 128 belt
- Undergoing background checks, interviews, and trainings
- Communicating regularly with our Mentoring Specialists
- Creating responsible relationships
Mentors and mentees plan a variety of fun activities together, including getting ice cream, partaking in educational activities, playing sports, and more. Mentees are individuals with disabilities in the Greater Boston area who are ages 6 to 24.
In our group online mentoring setting, professional mentors provide expert advice on transitioning from being a student to an employee and host monthly virtual workshops designed to improve career readiness skills. This is for young adults with disabilities across the United States who are ages 18-26.
Feel free to share this opportunity with anyone in your community or network interested!
Offer a Real World Experience with Our Career Readiness Program
With a focus on creating a more inclusive workplace for companies and organizations across the United States, our career readiness program gives youth the opportunity to experience real world scenarios in a working environment.
Through these real world experiences, PYD youth participate in a variety of real-world experiences, from short workshops on job shadows and skill building, to extensive mock interviews. Through these events, they’re able to immerse themselves in various companies and feel more comfortable with and confident in entering the workforce.
Host an Intern with Our Career Readiness Program
In addition to offering real world experiences, our career readiness program fosters inclusion through internships by giving PYD youth their first experience with meaningful employment where they can demonstrate their professional and self-determination skills in a paid work environment.
Many employers who host individuals from our program are eager to provide a significant learning opportunity to our youth and have reported significant business growth in month-long internship experiences.
Train Yourself and/or Your Organization
Being more inclusive starts with surrounding yourself with the right educational tools. Our learning platform offers live and recorded webinars, over 10 online courses, various guidebooks, and more.
Sign up for our training membership, offered at different tiers, to help become more inclusive in your personal life and company. You can also hire PYD to provide a live training to your organization.
Join the National Disability Mentoring Coalition
The National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) aims to raise awareness about the importance and impact of mentoring in the lives of people with disabilities and to increase the number and quality of disability mentoring programs around the country. Established in December 2014, NDMC transitioned in March 2018 to residing as an initiative of Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD). The NDMC currently has 365 individuals and organizations from across the country in its network. We hope you can join us to connect with others who have a common interest in designing, launching and operating inclusive mentoring programs, bringing the disability and mentoring communities together.
Join the PYD Team
Are you looking to switch your career to one where you know you’ll truly make a difference? PYD actively seeks highly-motivated, dedicated, and experienced team members to move the organization and its mission forward.
What could be better than having a career that you love while knowing you’re directly helping to improve the lives of youth with disabilities?
Make a Donation, Monetary or In-Kind
If you would like to get involved but can’t volunteer your time due to a busy schedule, we get it! A monetary donation or in-kind donations — such as silent auction items, computers or software, and more — help our organization just as much.
Did you know that all of our programs are free of charge to participants, thanks to your donations?
- $25 allows mentor matches to attend local events
- $50 provides a young adult with a disability access to our online programs to learn skills like career readiness
- $100 connects our career readiness classrooms to an on-site activity
- $250 provides a theatre arts workshop to our youth participants
- $500 trains an organization to create a more inclusive workplace and environment for people with disabilities
- $1,000 supports a mentor-mentee relationship between a volunteer and youth for an entire year
As you can see, there are multiple ways for you to support PYD not only today but every day. If there are specific ways you’d like to get involved that you don’t see listed here, contact us to share your ideas.