PYD celebrated 18th Annual Mentor Appreciation Night

Three PYD members pose for a photo at Mentor Appreciation Night, all smiling

On November 1, 2019 Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) and its members celebrated the 18th
annual Mentor Appreciation Night at the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center.

Since founded in 1985, Partners for Youth with Disabilities has always made an effort to recognize and support their community members, specifically their mentors and mentees. In 2002, PYD decided it was time to dedicate one special night out of the year to their mentors and mentees and put the spotlight on their achievements.

This year, PYD celebrated Mentor Appreciation Night (M.A.N) on November 1, 2019, at the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center. Community members and their families were invited to celebrate as a whole during the award ceremony. To start off this year’s ceremony, Regina Snowden, founder of PYD, stood at the podium and welcomed everyone for joining.

When asked about the importance of M.A.N, Regina said “Mentor Appreciation Night is one of my favorite nights of the year because it gives us a chance to see and experience the wonderful mentors that come to PYD. They make such a difference in their mentees and we get to celebrate those mentors. I call us the united nations of persons with disabilities. Tonight gives us a chance to celebrate our oneness.”

PYD member Joe (Left) and Regina Snowden smiles for photo at Mentor Appreciation Night

Regina Snowden and PYD member Tyler

Awards and certificates were handed out to those who had reached the one-, two-, or three-year mark with their mentors. Other community members received additional awards such as the Mentor of the Year Award, Raylen Lesacy Spirit Award, Peer Leadership Award, and Career Readiness Award. Titles are awarded to mentors and mentees who have proved to be exceptional friends and supporters. Each recipient gave a short speech, each which sparked tears from audience members.

Zachary, a PYD youth smiles for a photo as he holds up his one year match certificate

PYD youth Zachary poses with his one-year match certificate

Following the award ceremony, PYD members ate cake and mingled with one another. Throughout the last hour of the event, families and members chatted about what the organization means to them and how it has helped them with social interactions and career readiness skills.

Want to hear or read more about what our founder thought of this year’s Mentor Appreciation Night? Check out the video below!

This blog post was written by Erika Grossi of the BU PR Lab.