Welcome to a our new blog feature: Hero of the Month!
At PYD, we’re surrounded by so many outstanding individuals who go above and beyond for our mission that it only makes sense to share their inspiring work.
Meet our inaugural honoree: Kate Crawford, one of our amazing volunteers!
Kate has been a mentor in our Mentor Match program for more than two years and, within that time, she has developed an amazing relationship with her mentee, Becky. Additionally, Kate is always willing to help Mentor Match staff in any way needed. From letting us feature her in PYD videos, to participating in PYD events such as Field Day and Mentor Appreciation Night, she is the volunteer of every nonprofit’s dreams!
Why did you become involved with PYD?
I attended Providence College for my undergrad and had the opportunity to participate in peer mentoring and tutoring. I loved working with the kids! I worked at EMC Corporation as my first job out of college in an inside sales role. Through EMC, I was introduced to Big Brothers Big Sisters and became a mentor, or to use the lingo of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, I became a “big.” When I moved to Boston, I researched some mentoring organizations and came across PYD. I knew I had a passion for helping kids and I felt there was a missing hole that I needed to fill. I applied to be a mentor through PYD and was matched with Becky Haile.
How long have you been matched with your mentee?
We have been matched for over two years now and I couldn’t be happier. Not only am I an important mentor in her life, she is an important role model to me as well. We have learned so much from each other and I look forward to continuing to spend time with her.
How has your relationship with your mentee impacted your life?
Words can’t even describe how she has impacted my life. I have had the opportunity to see her grow, change and mature over the past two years. She is such an independent young woman! I had the chance to visit her school at the Cardinal Cushing Center and shadow her for a day, meet her fellow classmates, peers and teacher. Becky gives off so much warmth, happiness and love for her life. She can always make me smile and laugh. Every time we hang out she will call me before and ask me what I am wearing so she can wear the same. She has helped me to not stress the small things and worries in life and really appreciate every moment in a day. Mentoring is a huge part of my life that will always be important to me. I want to stay matched with Becky and watch us both grow as individuals.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I have my own Disc Jockey business that I began in High School and my DJ name is Cutmaster Kate. Although I haven’t had the time to do gigs now, I would love to get back into it. I love music, traveling, kayaking, hiking, shopping, running, and have a passion for cooking. Becky and I also love to go bowling together and go for long walks by the Charles River.
What is something that most people don’t know about you that you would like to share?
Although I come across as very outgoing, I am shy at heart. I used to worry a lot about what people thought of me, but now I am confident and happy in myself and really hope I convey my passion for caring for others and making a difference. I think a lot about a quote of Mother Teresa’s: “In this life, we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” This quote means a lot to me and I hope that everyone can take a break from their busy schedules to volunteer, mentor and make a difference through a small act of kindness.
What are some of your hopes/goals for the future?
Becky has inspired me to make a career change from Marketing-Inside Sales to Education. I am now a graduate student at Lesley pursuing my M.Ed. in Moderate Disabilities (prek-8) and Severe (all levels). I am working at the John F Kennedy Elementary School in the SKIP program working with students with moderate and severe disabilities. I have found my passion and calling. I have felt so many powerful emotions. I am inspired by the student’s independence, their love for the simple things in life, and their never-ending amounts of joy and laughter. I am proud to have the chance to be working with them and look forward to continuing my career in special education.