PYD’s 22nd Annual Honors Night

Three PYD 2024 Honors Night award recipients wearing gold capes and posing like superheroes!

On February 6, 2024, Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) hosted its 22nd Annual PYD Honors Night (formerly Mentor Appreciation Night). Held at the Nonprofit Center, PYD celebrated and honored the remarkable achievements of our resilient youth and dedicated mentors throughout the past year.

Honors Night Recap

Photos: The PYD community having fun at the 22nd Annual Honors Night event.

It was a spectacular evening filled with smiles, awards, and an unforgettable dance party! This year’s special theme, superheroes, was a reflection of the heroic characteristics our participants and mentors demonstrate on a daily basis.

Please join us in congratulating our 2024 Honors Night award recipients! 

The Chris Dunne Peer Leadership Award is presented to a youth who displays decision-making, confidence, courage, and advocacy. They guide their peers with compassion and positivity. As a leader, they model resiliency, integrity, self-awareness, and respect. The Leadership Award winner is a person of action and passionate about creating a social and just society. The award is dedicated in memory of Chris Dunne, a young man who was intelligent, resourceful, helpful and patient. He was a successful entrepreneur and always tackled business challenges head on with determination and a smile. 

2024 Leadership Award Recipient: Annalise Rose 

The Rayleen Lescay Spirit Award is presented to a youth that exemplifies optimism, enthusiasm, and zeal both in PYD programs and in life. They lift up those around them with their positive energy and good humor. The Spirit Award winner sees the best in everyone.  The award was created to honor the life and memory of Rayleen Lescay, a participant, peer leader, and mentor in PYD programs who shared her optimistic spirit with everyone. Rayleen loved sharing her artistic voice and helping others develop theirs. 

2024 Rayleen Lescay Spirit Award Recipient: Ewidji Vincent 

The Greg Dees and Anita McGahan Entrepreneurship Award is bestowed to a youth who is motivated, a self-starter, and goal-driven to thrive in the career they are passionate about. They have a strong work ethic and possess the skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and beyond, including communication, problem solving, professionalism, teamwork, listening skills, and confidence. The award honors Greg Dees and Anita McGahan, two luminaries in social entrepreneurship and business who took an interest in PYD in various ways throughout PYD’s history. 

2024 Greg Dees and Anita McGahan Entrepreneurship Award Recipient: William Stubbs 

The Career Mentor of the Year Award was created to honor a business partner who has been an exemplary mentor supporting young people with disabilities to explore their career interests, enhance their understanding of the workforce, and facilitate work-based learning experiences. Additionally, the recipient of this award exemplifies a commitment to preparing and hiring individuals with disabilities as well as implementing inclusive workplace practices. 

2024 Career Mentor of the Year Award Recipient: Mike Huddleston 

The Mentor of the Year Awardis awarded each year to a mentor who exemplifies PYD’s mission to create a world where young people with disabilities will be able to live with dignity and pridein who they are, and to leadself-determined lives filled with purpose. The mentor of the year shows great commitment and dedication through consistent support and engagement with their mentee. They instill acceptance, self-respect, trust and confidence in their mentee. Through guidance, encouragement and friendship, the mentor of the year teaches their mentee ways to maximize social skills and self-assurance. 

2024 Mentor of the Year Award Recipient: Walter Sims 

PYD staff handing out awards to the 2024 Honors Night award recipients

Photo:  PYD staff handing out awards to the 2024 Honors Night award recipients

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We are able to offer programs free of charge to youth with disabilities because of help from friends like you. Your support will allow us to continue to offer these programs to our participants at no cost to them and their families. Please consider making a donation.