At PYD’s upcoming benefit event, we will be honoring Ernst & Young and a handful of individuals for their commitment to the inclusion and mentoring of youth with disabilities. Eli A. Wolff is one of our honorees, in recognition of his outstanding work advocating for and advancing the inclusive sports movement for youth with disabilities on a national and international level. He co-founded and co-directs the Inclusive Sports Initiative at the Institute for Human Centered Design, the Royce Fellowship for Sport and Society at Brown University, and also the Power of Sport platform, a new initiative to fuel and magnify the power of sport movement. He also helped organize the first-ever International Mentoring Day on January 17, 2016 and he is an active board member with PYD.
Learn more about Eli below!
Why is mentoring important to you?
It is important to support and encourage young people. Mentors have been so important to me in my journey, so it means a lot to me to provide the same support to the next generation as much as I can. The power of mentoring is universal and it’s critical that we highlight the role of mentoring locally, nationally and globally.
Why is inclusion important to you?
It is essential that all people feel fully valued and recognized for who they are and who they want to be. Everyone should be able to reach their potential in a safe and supportive environment. Inclusion is one of the most important elements we must strive for in building healthy and vibrant communities.
Who’s someone you consider a mentor?
I’ve had so many mentors over the years, but I have truly been supported by leaders in the sport for social change space, especially Richard Lapchick, Pat Griffin and Deborah Larkin. They have mentored me by example and also provided so much guidance, advice, direction and inspiration.
What’s your favorite PYD memory?
I have really enjoyed being a part of PYD programs, as well as collaborating with PYD on national and international initiatives. Serving on the Board has also been a wonderful experience, envisioning the future opportunities and directions for the organization.
Tell us about something awesome you’re working on.
I have been working on the Power of Sport platform to fuel and magnify the power of sport movement. One of the initiatives for Power of Sport is the Mentoring for Change project, fostering a global conversation on the power of mentoring towards development, human rights and social change.
Power of Sport and the Mentoring for Change project are working closely with Epicenter Community, and we are in collaboration with the Muhammad Ali Center and the National Mentoring Partnership, in developing International Mentoring Day on January 17 to coincide with National Mentoring Month in January as well as Muhammad Ali birthday. PYD has been an amazing collaborator and partner in the effort as well. We had a successful first International Mentoring Day in 2016 and now we are looking forward to 2017!