The MENTOR Network is proud to announce the 10th Annual Ripple of Hope Award recipients. The winners were selected from more than 300 nominations and represent the very best among us—employees, Mentors, independent contractors and partners—whose dedication to the individuals The MENTOR Network serves has led to positive change and created a legacy for others to follow.
“Their stories of hope, selflessness and commitment are inspiring and—like those of so many others dedicated to our mission—deserving of our gratitude and appreciation,” says Bruce Nardella, President and Chief Executive Officer, The MENTOR Network.
The winners will be honored during a special ceremony on November 19, 2014, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. To help celebrate the Ripple of Hope Awards, Justin Fulleylove, who receives support through California MENTOR, will honor the winners with a live vocal performance as this year’s winner of our Network Nightingale contest. The contest was open to clients and consumers of The MENTOR Network and its partners interested in winning a trip to Washington, D.C. to perform at the award ceremony.
In 2005, The MENTOR Network established the Ripple of Hope Awards to recognize The Network’s most outstanding employees, Mentors and independent contractors whose passion, energy and skill have created a positive impact in the lives of others. Whether they work in direct care, operations or supporting business roles, these outstanding employees and service providers create a "ripple of hope," and a legacy of compassion and caring for others to follow. Recognizing that the mission of The MENTOR Network could not be fulfilled without partnerships, last year The MENTOR Network honored for the first time an external party with a Ripple of Hope Award.
The title of the award is inspired by the words of late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy:
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Maria and Nat Aponte—Mentors, Pennsylvania MENTOR
Megan Beckett—Direct Support Professional, REM Iowa
Victoria Harding—Vice President of Development, NeuroRestorative
Jessica Klimesh—Direct Support Professional, REM Minnesota
Tim LaBrie—Maintenance Specialist, CareMeridian, Colorado
Dianne McGinn—Program Director, MENTOR Maryland
Miracle Pygum—Case Manager, New Jersey MENTOR
Constance and David West—Mentors, MENTOR Maryland
Because our mission could not be fulfilled without partnerships marked by a shared commitment to bringing quality community-based supports to those who need them most, we will once again recognize public partners with a Ripple of Hope Award: Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives*.
*We are honored that Chairman Miller will be joining us for the Ripple of Hope Award Ceremony on November 19.