While the pandemic was still prevalent in 2022, we’re beyond grateful to have not only survived the year but rather thrived and grown through it. As we navigated our programs with a hybrid model, we’re thrilled to have been able to serve an increased number of youth and expand participation in our mentoring coalition.
Check out our accomplishments throughout the past year as we continue to move forward in building the skills and abilities of young people with disabilities and increasing the inclusivity of workplaces, organizations, and communities.
Offering Extensive Programs and Events
Throughout the past year, we served 532 youth, compared to 401 the year prior. We worked with youth in the following areas:
- 248 Youth in Careers
- 121 Youth Matched with Mentors
- 92 Youth in Leadership
- 52 Youth in Access to Theater (ATT)
- 19 Youth in Online Mentoring
Although the majority of our programs remain virtual, we were able to bring our Career Readiness programs back in person to work with nearly 200 youth in the classroom at three Boston high schools and provide Pre-Employment Transition Services at nine schools throughout the area.
Additionally, we launched our Young Leaders Rising (YLR) cohort, which engaged 12 paid fellows to design, plan, and lead a community of 30 youth with disabilities, aged 14-22, to increase leadership and career readiness skills through a combination of newly developed self-paced online courses, virtual workshops, and facilitated discussions.
In January 2022, we hosted our 20th Annual Mentor Appreciation Night that had over 250 attendees. The evening consisted of participating in an art activity with Elizabeth Buck from the Worcester Art Museum, honoring five mentors and mentees with community awards, and enjoying an interactive after party that fostered an immense amount of fun for youth, families, volunteers, staff, and supporters alike.
At the end of June 2022, we hosted the 2022 Massachusetts Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) virtually for over 50 youth and young adults with disabilities. This conference-style event featured five nationally renowned speakers in the disability community as well as various workshops, social engagements, and programming led by over 25 partner organizations, 35 career mentors, and PYD staff.
We extend our sincere thanks to our volunteers, donors, and supporters who have made the success of our programming possible.
Inclusive Services Provided
Partnering with Various Individuals and Organizations
We’re proud to continue to be a premier national leader in inclusive mentoring and training. These were some of the many notable results we saw this past year with these services specifically:
- 1,041 Professionals Trained
- 17 Training Sessions
- 615 Unique Organizations
- 406 Organizations on Learn
- 80 Members in the Disability Mentoring Certificate (DMC) Cohort
- 538 National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) Members
Out of those accomplishments, we’re particularly thrilled that the number of members in the NDMC nearly doubled compared to last year and that our DMC program is the only program of its kind in the country, which we’ll be able to continue to offer annually in addition to launching new content and advanced courses.
Additionally, we welcomed ten fellows into the 2022 Dinah F. B. Cohen DREAM Fellowship, which provides college students and recent graduates with disabilities with professional skills and leadership development opportunities. Thanks to the generous support from GEICO, this year the fellowship expanded from two to a cohort of ten fellows from across the country..
In March 2022, we inducted 29 individuals and organizations into the Class of 2021 of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame to spotlight individuals and groups around the country who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring. This year’s focus was around the areas of self-advocacy and/or community advocacy.
We celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October 2022 with the success of our Career Readiness Academy, which supported educators across 13 states to replicate PYD’s career readiness curriculum in their local communities.
Throughout the year, we engaged over 3,600 members on PYD Learn, our online learning platform that features 10 take-at-your-own pace courses, monthly live webinars, guidebooks, and resources that support professionals and organizations to assess their current systems and practices and build their inclusion competencies.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to make the world a more inclusive place with the support of these individuals and organizations.
Expanding Our Efforts with the Support of Funds and Grants
Hosted in person for the first time since 2019, our 2022 Party 4 PYD event raised over $285,000, which was the highest revenue grossing event in PYD history. We’re immensely grateful to have received funds from many donors outside of Boston and to have a fun-filled night with an ATT performance, a tribute to Regina, a remembrance of Neil Leonard, awards honorees, a silent auction, and more.
In October 2022, we hosted our 3rd Annual Golf Classic, where we raised $130,000. Despite being held on a chilly day, our golfers, sponsors, and staff stepped out of the office and gathered on the greens for a day full of memories, laughter, and unwavering support for youth with disabilities.
Additionally, we’re pleased to be the recipients of many grants that will allow us to expand our programming and help young people with disabilities to live with dignity and pride in who they are and to lead self-determined lives filled with purpose.
These are the top five grants we received this past year with their intended uses:
- Liberty Mutual Foundation | Career Readiness & Inclusion Services | $180k/2yr
- EY Social Justice Fund | Disability Mentoring, Career Readiness Academy, and Online Mentoring | $100k
- Clipper Ship Foundation | Career Readiness | $100k
- The Boston Foundation | General Operating | $75k
- Geico Foundation | Inclusion Services & DREAM Fellowship | $50k
Without our funders, donors, and supporters, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and we feel extremely grateful to be in this position to continue to support youth with disabilities.
Bringing on a New Executive Director and Growing Our Team
As our programs have expanded, so has the need to grow our team. We now have more than 30 staff members to support our Mentoring, Career Readiness, Access to Theater, and Youth Leadership programs.
Additionally, earlier in the year, Regina Snowden announced her plan to transition to a Founder in Residence role, focusing on special projects while the Board conducted a national search for PYD’s next Executive Director. After a thorough and engaged process facilitated by an executive search firm, we were delighted to announce that Tere Ramos joined PYD in October 2022 to lead the organization.
We’re excited about the goals we reached in 2022 and look forward to seeing what else we accomplish in 2023. Thank you to our staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters for helping us make this possible!