This past November, Tyler was awarded the Project LENS Mentor Award at our 18th annual Mentor Appreciation Night. Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) hosts Mentor Appreciation Night annually where staff, members, and families gather to celebrate the amazing mentorships that develop over the years.
Tyler joined PYD when he was 13 years old. His involvement with PYD continues for over the last 11 years. He joined the Access to Theater Program in 2004 and became a peer leader in 2008. Tyler continues to be a group mentoring volunteer with our online LENS mentoring program for almost 5 years, and he is very excited about being matched with a one-to-one mentee in the future.
Project LENS is a segment of our Mentoring program funded by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, where we match low vision or blind youth with adults with similar disabilities. This program makes a few matches each year, and they utilize PYD’s online mentoring platform.
Not only has Tyler accomplished everything above, but he also completed an internship with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, having PYD as his host site where he concentrated on marketing. At the time our online mentoring platform began to develop, and he assisted us with posting content about it.
When Tyler was studying to get his Masters of Public Administration, he also conducted a graduate school project where he analyzed our LENS program and provided recommendations.
Tyler said the most important thing he’s learned during his time with PYD was this:
“There is always someone out there to help you and don’t be ashamed to ask for help.”
PYD has shown him the many different types of services that are available to a person with a disability. Tyler expressed that PYD gave him the confidence to explore his professional interests and opened his eyes to new activities like skiing and ziplining.
Tyler loves that our programs cover topics both recreationally and professionally. He encourages anyone to join PYD because he believes it doesn’t take a lot to make a change in the community. He believes volunteering at PYD is a great learning experience for both mentors and mentees.
Tyler wasn’t expecting to be awarded the Project LENS Mentor Award.
“It was definitely a huge honor to receive this award and I want to thank the staff at PYD,” said Tyler.
If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer mentor at PYD, you can learn more about how to get involved at this link: https://www.pyd.org/programs/one-to-one-mentoring.