Heroes Among Us

Program Overview

The Heroes Among Us program is one of the premier community outreach programs in professional sports. Established as an initiative of the Boston Celtics in 1997, Heroes Among Us honors individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others.

The Heroes Among Us Award is presented to an individual or individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community. At every home game, the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these citizens during a special in-game presentation on the legendary parquet floor.

To date, more than 850 individuals have received the Heroes Among Us Award. This program is proudly presented by the Mass State Lottery. Last year the Lottery returned over $1.1 billion in net profit to the Commonwealth. These funds flowed back to the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts and helped pay for local improvement projects, public safety and education initiatives. Additional support provided by 98.5 the Sports Hub and NBC Sports Boston.

Program Video

The Heroes Among Us program honors individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others.

Sgt. Johanny Rosario PichardoNov. 10, 2021

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo

United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo from Lawrence, MA, exemplified what it means to be a hero on the front lines. A proud Dominican American and Lawrence native, Sgt. Rosario Pichardo joined the Marine Corps in 2015. Serving in many capacities, Sgt. Rosario Pichardo aimed to protect those who were most vulnerable in her service. In late August, she bravely attempted to save the lives of several women and children in Kabul, Afghanistan but was tragically killed. Described as being full of light, Sgt. Rosario Pichardo’s service, courage, and example lives on to the pride of her hometown, her family and the U.S. Marine Corps. For her bravery, sacrifice and heroics, please join the Celtics in honoring Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo as tonight’s Heroes Among Us!

Verda AnnanNov. 1, 2021

Verda Annan

For most high school seniors, getting into college on a scholarship is a lifelong dream, but for Verda Annan, it means more to share that dream. As a straight-A student at Fitchburg High School, Verda received many accolades, one of which being Fitchburg High’s prestigious female General Excellence Scholarship award in the amount of $40,00 for college. Although extremely grateful, Verda knew that accepting the award left others without. In a shocking act of generosity during her High School Graduation, Verda showed how big her heart really is. She donated her scholarship to students from her graduating class who needed the funds more than her. Verda’s giving heart has impacted many and helped secure the educational future of her classmates. For her generosity and thoughtfulness, please help the Celtics in welcoming Verda Annan as tonight’s Heroes Among Us!

Trevor Appier + Beatrice SimsOct. 27, 2021

Trevor Appier + Beatrice Sims

Last month, a normal after-hours workout for the Northeastern Men’s Row team turned into a life-saving event. While leading three four-man boats on the Charles River, Coaches Trevor Appier and Beatrice Sims observed a car that had swerved off Memorial Drive into the river. Without hesitation, Trevor and Beatrice directed their team to safety and rushed towards the accident. While the car was quickly sinking, their extensive water rescue training equipped them to rescue and secure the disoriented passenger, helping to save his life! For their courage and quick thinking, please help the Celtics in welcoming Trevor Appier and Beatrice Sims as tonight’s Heroes Among Us!

Dr. Dan BarouchOct. 22, 2021

Dr. Dan Barouch

Over the last year and a half, our world has changed forever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and because of Dr. Dan Barouch, our world has changed for the better. Dr. Dan Barouch is an infectious disease doctor who has dedicated his career to fighting global threats such as HIV, Zika, and tuberculosis. In January 2020, many wondered how a complicated airborne virus would impact the world, but Dr. Barouch took action! He immediately recognized the threat of COVID-19 and started developing a vaccine. Over the last 19 months, Dr. Barouch and his research team have worked tirelessly and successfully developed a highly effective Covid-19 vaccine that saves lives worldwide! For his efforts to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, please help the Celtics in welcoming Dr. Dan Barouch as tonight’s Hero Among Us!

Nate GalanteMay. 29, 2021

Nate Galante

10-year old Nate Galante from Dedham, MA, courageously stepped up in an emergency. Nate’s mother, living with multiple sclerosis for 17-years, started to not feel well while getting him ready for school one morning. When she began having trouble breathing, Nate sprang into action. Without panicking, he immediately texted his father, who helped her get the medical attention she needed. Because of Nate, Mrs. Galante’s life was saved, and she is currently recovering.

Lily McCarthyMay. 27, 2021

Lily McCarthy

13-year-old 8th grader Lily McCarthy turned a simple class assignment into an incredible resource for others. Challenged in her civics class to do something to help those in need, Lily thought of a classmate of hers who is blind. He shared that when he goes with his family to different restaurants, his parents have read the menu to him. This sparked Lily’s curiosity and she set out to make a change. She contacted a local braille translation company an worked with them to create menus for blind patrons to use when visiting local restaurants.

Dr. Alfonso CardenasMay. 17, 2021

Dr. Alfonso Cardenas

Providence, Rhode Island resident and ER physician Dr. Alfonso Cardenas went above and beyond this past year. For 36 years, Dr. Cardenas has served at the Kent/Rhode Island Hospital in the emergency medicine field. Set for retirement in 2020, Dr. Cardenas selflessly changed his plans when COVID hit, knowing that more first responders would be needed. His delay in retirement helped the hospital stabilize and address the pandemic, and he will retire next month!

Ruth RollinsMay. 10, 2021

Ruth Rollins

Longtime Roxbury activist Ruth Rollins stands up for the most vulnerable populations in the city. Ruth launched We Are Better Together, the Warren Daniel Hairston Project, to create a welcoming space for mothers whose children had suffered from or inflicted violence in the community. It was a need she knew from experience. We Are Better Together offers a way for her and others like her to heal and foster community unity. Because of her work, families dealing with systemic violence no longer have to suffer in silence.

Paul Epstein & Steve PicardiMay. 8, 2021

Paul Epstein & Steve Picardi

Paul Epstein and Steve Picardi both worked side-by-side with our very own Tommy Heinsohn to help children in need. For over 13 years, Tommy served as Honorary Chairman of Neurofibromatosis Northeast, an organization aimed to find a cure for the neurological genetic condition found in young children. During his time, he worked with Paul and Steve to raise vital funds for this cause. Because of their work together, $3 million was raised for scientific research, and they have helped send over 200 kids who live with NF to Camp New Friends.

Jason BallMay. 1, 2021

Jason Ball

Warwick Rhode Island barber Jason Ball helps the less fortunate feel more confident. For six years, Jason has opened his barbershop doors for all. After surviving a rough year through the pandemic, Jason realized how fortunate he was and how important it is to give back. He selflessly took a day out of the week to partner with ‘The House of Hope,” a local non-profit to give free haircuts to the homeless. His goal is to have them feel love and support despite what they may be going through.

Lauren GriffinApr. 29, 2021

Lauren Griffin

Nearly twenty years ago, Lauren Griffin, who was born with Down syndrome, joined Best Buddies at Duxbury Middle School and instantly became actively involved. Lauren met many outstanding buddies who helped her succeed throughout her entire school experience, and today, Lauren is a part of the Best Buddies Jobs Program and mentoring program. Lauren and her family have been huge fundraisers through the Best Buddies Challenge, biking 100 miles from Boston to Hyannis Port to promote inclusion for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. Over the past five years, Lauren and the Griffin family have raised over $88,000 for Best Buddies!

Abbey MeekerApr. 27, 2021

Abbey Meeker

Rhode Island resident Abbey Meeker made the lives of our first responders easier with her hard work and generosity. In the mist of a pandemic, Abbey wanted to do all she could to show her appreciation to nurses, doctor’s, and other hospital staff. So in the depths of winter, she got together with friends to clear all the snow off of the hospital staffs cars during heavy storms. Because of her efforts, front line workers could get home to their families a little faster.

Lindon BeckfordApr. 26, 2021

Lindon Beckford

Roslindale resident Lindon Beckford brings joy and hope to patients during difficult times. For over 30 years, Lindon has transported patients to and from operating rooms at Beth Israel hospital sharing his special gift. While moving from place to place, Lindon comforts his patients worries and nerves by singing. His kind heartedness and soothing voice makes it just a little bit easier for patients to deal with potentially difficult times.

Marc DavinoApr. 21, 2021

Marc Davino

For decades, Marc Davino has created safe and healthy spaces for the LGBTQ+ community to live, play, and thrive. An avid sports fan and athlete, Marc’s love for community led him to start and cultivate men’s sports leagues in the greater Boston area. The Boston Gay Basketball League provides a safe, non-discriminatory space for LGBTQ+ players and allies. For his work, Marc was elected to the National Gay Basketball Hall of Fame in the early 2000’s and continues to serve his community weekly.

SGT. Timothy RamosApr. 18, 2021

SGT. Timothy Ramos

Sergeant Timothy Ramos of the Army National Guard serves with dignity, grace, and honor. Activated for Covid-19 relief since March of 2020, Sgt. Ramos has been serving non-stop as a medic in various capacities. He first assisted in the immediate need for nursing home relief and then went on to stand in the gaps for soldiers coming home in Holyoke, MA. But his service didn’t stop there. He also stood at the front lines of protest, keeping everyone safe as well as helping to man vaccination stations all over the state.

Medina DixonApr. 16, 2021

Medina Dixon

Decorated collegiate athlete and Olympian Medina Dixon is the epitome of pride and courage. A Boston Native, Medina Dixon was a standout high school and college basketball star in the 1980s. After attending Cambridge Ringe and Latin and later Old Dominion, Medina went on to play professionally for the US national team at the World Championship, Pan American games and was a member of the 1992 US Women’s Dream Team where she received an Olympic Medal! Today she is an active member of her community and most recently and incredibly, a cancel survivor!

Laura LevisApr. 8, 2021

Laura Levis

Laura Levis life has touched so many across the country. Laura, a smart, funny, vibrant young woman, arrived at a local emergency room while suffering a severe asthma attack but could not gain access in time. Her tragic story shocked many, and something had to be done. That something turned out to be "Laura's Law," a bill passed by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Baker this January. Under Laura's Law, no patient will ever again struggle to locate or gain entrance to an emergency department. Because of Laura, every 911 operator hired in Massachusetts is trained on assisting people who can't breathe. Across the nation, people's lives will be saved, thanks to Laura.

Cathy O'GradyApr. 6, 2021

Cathy O'Grady

Watertown native Cathy O’Grady is well known for spreading love to others in their times of need. For over a decade, Cathy has provided joy, encouragement, and essential items to others through random acts of kindness. Inspired by her late mother, a giver in her own right, Cathy started Sofia’s Angels in her namesake. She donates blankets in the winter, Masks during the pandemic, and toys and gifts for all to enjoy. She has recruited hundreds of volunteers and raised thousands!

Gordon WayneApr. 5, 2021

Gordon Wayne

20-year-old Boston College Sophomore Gordon Wayne has traveled a unique journey… step by step. From a rural part of Virginia, Gordon was faced with homelessness right after graduation. Instead of being discouraged, Gordon worked hard to attend his dream school, Boston College. When he was accepted with a full scholarship, Gordon wanted to make a difference for those who would come after him facing similar difficulties. He decided to walk from Virginia to his new college campus to raise funds and awareness of homelessness. To date, his efforts have raised over $180,000 for the National Alliance to End Homelessness!

Molly ButtsApr. 3, 2021

Molly Butts

16-year-old Molly Butts from East Bridgewater is not your average high school sophomore. With love for baking and a heart for giving back, Molly wanted to use her talents to help others in need. She started “Molly’s Cancer Movement”; a fundraising initiative for cancer research through the Jimmy fund by baking delicious cupcakes. Her modest goal turned into a significant contribution. To date, she has baked over a hundred dozen cupcakes and raised thousands of dollars for cancer research!

Thaddeus Pritchard IIIApr. 1, 2021

Thaddeus Pritchard III

Boston native and state Department of Youth Services employee Thaddeus Pritchard III goes above and beyond for the most underserved children. For over 19 years, Thaddeus has served and directed youth and their families to overcome incredible obstacles and lead healthier lives. His passion, dedication, and humor allows his clients to overcome their feelings of defeat and frustration and forge a path to success. Even amid a pandemic, Thaddeus personally connected with youth to help them achieve their personal, educational, and career goals!

Erika ButlerMar. 30, 2021

Erika Butler

Boston native and city employee Erika Butler exemplifies service and leadership for young women and girls across the commonwealth. For over18 years, Erika has created and cultivated impactful programming that empowers girls to be the best versions of themselves. She facilitates virtual “Girls Nights,” leads the BCYF Girls Leadership Corps, and coordinates the annual Girls Summit that creates a safe and supportive space for girls to address their needs. Erika has positively impacted thousands of girls and continues to lead with heart and purpose.

Jhoan PerezMar. 28, 2021

Jhoan Perez

16-year-old Hyde Park resident Jhoan Perez is a leader and an advocate for community and health. Inspired as a child, Jhoan developed a love for distance running and was excited to pursue track during his high school career. But when the pandemic hit, he could not attend school regularly, and sadly, all the running programs were discontinued. Instead of being discouraged, Jhoan created a running team for students and teachers to safely exercise together, enriching his school community and promoting exercise and health. He was awarded the Champion of Wellness Student award for his great work!

Nicole ClarkMar. 20, 2021

Nicole Clark

Pharmacy Director and season ticket member Nicole Clark helps to save countless lives in New England. Nicole has been instrumental in preventing wasted vaccine at MelroseWakefield Hospital. Her and her team coordinate vaccination appointments to make sure as many people as possible get vaccinated on time & without wasting doses. Nicole has helped adapt the hospital's storage system to handle storing the incoming vaccines at supercold temperatures while also distributing doses to hospital staff & patients. She has helped maintain these logistics despite not knowing when shipments will arrive or how large they will be while keeping efficiency as precise as possible. In the face of the highest stakes, Nicole has performed admirably & saved countless lives.

LaShyra NolenMar. 18, 2021

LaShyra Nolen

Harvard Medical student LaShyra Nolen is a scholar and a leader making necessary changes in the greater Boston community. As the first black woman to serve as the student council president of Harvard Medical School, LaShyra noticed very early on that her community may not be very receptive to Covid-19 vaccinations due to historical traumas. Hence, she set out to do something about it. She founded the “We Got Us” empowerment project, a collective of Black community members, students, and health care professionals dedicated to providing education about the COVID-19 vaccines and inequities in health care.

Sophia GustafsonMar. 16, 2021

Sophia Gustafson

Harvard freshmen Sophia Gustafson is a leader and a changemaker for vulnerable populations all over the world. By age eight, Sophia Gustafson was well on her way as a global community builder, change-maker, and philanthropist. As the founder of Hope for All, Sophia sold hair ribbons to fund nutrition and education for the children of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A decade later, Sophia further mobilized collective action for global good by founding the Youth Environmental Consumer Alliance (YECA). YECA unites climate-conscious youth to demand sustainability and transparency in the textile industry. For her leadership in the fight against climate change, please join the Celtics in honoring Sophia Gustafson as a Hero Among Us!

Silvana SanchezMar. 3, 2021

Silvana Sanchez

When Andover, MA native Silvana Sanchez went to work last month, she never expected to save a life! Silvana, a youth life coach for New England Community Services, was walking down the street near her job when she heard crying coming from a public trash can. Silvana sprang into action and immediately alerted nearby paramedics who discovered a newborn baby in a grocery bag. The EMT’s tended to the child and was ultimately unharmed. Please join the Celtics in honoring Silvana Sanchez as a Hero Among Us!

Marla VuksanMar. 1, 2021

Marla Vuksan

During the season of giving, 12-year-old Marla Vuksan helped to save the lives of six others. After an accident during a family vacation, Marla succumbed to her injuries, leaving her family devastated. In their moments of grief, the Vuksan family decided to think of others, so they decided to donate Marla’s organs. Her donation of 7 organs to six different people during the holidays helped save their lives and turn a moment of grief into renewed hope. Please join the Celtics in honoring Marla Vuksan as a Hero!

Ryan JonesFeb. 27, 2021

Ryan Jones

6th Grade lead teacher Ryan Jones uses art to connect his students and the community to history and positive imagery. At the Epiphany School in Dorchester, Ryan has been sharing his artistic talents with the school community in the hopes to inspire the students to find their own outlets of expression. He most recently created a mural to honor civil rights leader John Lewis on the schools campus for the community to view and be inspired by For his creativity and encouragement, please join the Celtics in honoring Ryan Jones as a Hero Among Us!

Catherine MorrisFeb. 25, 2021

Catherine Morris

Boston native Catherine Morris has worked to change the Boston Arts scene to be more inclusive and reflective of diversity. Catherine is the Founder and Executive Director of Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest, an organization that breaks down racial and social barriers to arts, music and culture for marginalized communities and artists of color across Greater Boston. One of her goals is to use the BAMS fest to become a pipeline to Boston’s arts and culture ecosystem and creative economy. For her innovation and creativity, please join the Celtics in honoring Carherine Morris as a Hero Among Us!

Sharif MuhammadFeb. 18, 2021

Sharif Muhammad

Jamaica Palin resident and Boston Public School teacher Sharif Muhammad created playing cards with images of black characters on them to share more positive imagery. A teacher by day and an artist by hobby, Sharif noticed a void of representation in an often-overlooked space… playing cards. In an effort to create more positive imagery for his children to see, he created the artwork and produced playing cards with black faces on them. His goal is to share with all communities that positive imagery matters.

Carla MontieroFeb. 16, 2021

Carla Montiero

Carla Monteiro is a leader and advocate for the Cape Verdean community. Inspired by the events she witnessed as a young person Carla set out to make a different. As a social worker, Carla focuses on the health and safety of the Cape Verdean community in the Dorchester area. She has led initiatives targeting criminal justice reform and mental health services for all.

Justin SpringerFeb. 15, 2021

Justin Springer

Dorchester native Justin Springer is a long-time advocate for health services for all in the City of Boston. As a marketing and media campaign strategist, Justin not only helps local artist actualize their vision, but he uses his talents to address serious health concerns for all Boston residents. He spearheaded the “Take the Test” initiative that encourages safe sex practices and makes it cool to get tested and know your status.

Jamaal WornumFeb. 11, 2021

Jamaal Wornum

Dorchester native Jamaal Wornum goes above and beyond for the youth of Boston. A native of the city, Jamaal knows what it is like to grow up in a place with limited resources. He has dedicated his life to making sure the youth he serves do not suffer from the same patterns. Jamaal coaches youth basketball players, coordinates basketball leagues, and makes necessary parallels with his youth to safety and overall wellness.

Sidney BaptistaFeb. 10, 2021

Sidney Baptista

Sidney Baptista stands up against social injustices by running! When Sidney heard the story of a black runner being stopped and harassed by ICE while on a run in West Roxbury, he decided to do something about it. TO stand in solidarity with the harassed runner, Sidney got together with the Pioneers Running Crew, a team of runners he launched aimed to diversify distance running in Boston to help advocate for equality for all.

Michael FagoneJan. 29, 2021

Michael Fagone

West Roxbury resident Michael Fagone went above and beyond to bring diversity and inclusion to his neighborhood. With the country constantly faced with social injustices, Michael wanted to find a way to do his part to create change. With so many libraries closing due to Covid, he initiated the West Roxbury Diverse Libraries program that provided free books on diversity, anti-racism, and social justice for all to enjoy. His hope is to build the program for many more communities.

The Kids Can ClubJan. 23, 2021

The Kids Can Club

The “Kids Can Club” is giving back to their community in a multitude of ways. With a kind spirit of giving back, this group of 10-13 year old’s meet weekly on zoom on their own to find a project that serves the community. Their first project was to create Valentines day cards for residents at a senior home. They also picked up trash in the community. They are excited about their next task and hoping to inspire others.

The McConnell FamilyJan. 16, 2021

The McConnell Family

Cranston, Rhode Island residents The McConnell Family have gone above and beyond to give back to others. For over ten years, the McConnell Family has spearheaded the collection of pajamas for families in need. This past year has been significant as more and more time is being spent at home, so they ramped up their efforts. They collected and donated bedtime books and over 900 pairs of pajamas through the Pajama Program, a nationwide initiative that serves families in need.

Amy TessitoreJan. 14, 2021

Amy Tessitore

Hanover High school Athletic Trainer Amy Tessitore Saved the life of an official during a soccer game. During a varsity boys soccer game, an official collapsed on the field during play. Many onlookers panicked, but Amy jumped to action. Locating an AED machine, she performed chest compressions until the ambulance came, saving his life.

Lisa MontrundolaJan. 7, 2021

Lisa Montrundola

In recognition of National Mentor Month, the Celtics are proud to honor Winchester Native Lisa Montrundola as a Hero Among Us! As a mentor, Lisa not only values spending quality time with her mentee, She goes above and beyond to help them achieve their long and short term goals for themselves. Pairing career readiness and independent living skills with advocacy for equal rights for citizens with disabilities make her mentorship rich and unique for her mentees.

Debbie BuonopaneDec. 29, 2020

Debbie Buonopane

Quincy native and Emergency Room nurse Debbie Buonopane contracted and overcame Covid-19 and returned to the hospital to encourage others to persevere! A Navy veteran and breast cancer survivor, Debbie has been treating COid-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. Through taking precautions, she never thought she would contract the virus and be treated by her co-workers. Fighting through, she survived the virus and returned to the ER to treat others with a positive attitude and lots of encouragement.

Evan McGrewDec. 24, 2020

Evan McGrew

13-year old Walpole native Evan McGrew started out showing support to a friend and ended up leading his community in an outpouring of love during the holidays. On October 31st, Evan’s best friend Grayson Beauregard suffered a traumatic injury that sadly resulted in him no longer being able to walk. In support of his recovery and adjustment, Evan set out to raise funds doing what he and Grayson loved to do… build! He and his family created craft Christmas trees out of warehouse pallets and sold them to community members to help Grayson and his family. Through his efforts and other fundraising sources, they have sold over 400 trees and raised over $110,000!

Bruce SealsDec. 22, 2020

Bruce Seals

NBA veteran, college basketball coach, and community leader Bruce Seals served the city of Boston for decades and has impacted the lives of countless youth. A Louisiana native, Bruce Seals was a stand out player at Xavier University and was later drafted by the Seattle Supersonics. Later in life, he coached Men's Basketball at Emerson College and served 30+ years as a coach and mentor at Dorchester's Boys and Girls Clubs. His passing early this month reminded all who knew him of his large personality and unique experience that allowed him to be a revered community figure and mentor to many generations of youth in Boston.

Christopher GoffiganSep. 26, 2020

Christopher Goffigan

Roxbury native Christopher Goffigan goes above and beyond for the city's most vulnerable population. Standing on the Health Commissions Homeless services bureau's front lines, Christopher works long hours to bring hope, dignity, and quality services to the homeless. Years prior, Christopher would even feed and clothe the homeless on his own during the holidays, providing joy and gifts.

Veronica Bettio and Josiel GonzalezSep. 23, 2020

Veronica Bettio and Josiel Gonzalez

Veronica Bettio and Josiel Gonzalez organized a community Fridge initiative in Jamaica Plain to address food insecurity and healthy eating. With food insecurity being a significant issue during the pandemic, Veronica and Josiel set out to do something about it. They found a fridge, partnered with a local barbershop committed to supplying the electricity, and solicited donations from stores, farmers, and community members to fill the refrigerator daily. The Community Fridge allows everyone to have free access to their basic food needs.

Jill Palese and Dan RakauskasSep. 22, 2020

Jill Palese and Dan Rakauskas

Hingham based company C2A Clothing quickly pivots to providing essential items during COVID months. In anticipation of their clothing brand launch in May 2020, Jill and Dan reserved factory time. But when COVID hit, and their launch was in jeopardy, they decided instead to help others. They raised funds and created over 10,000 gowns to be distributed to hospitals in need.

Justin GavinSep. 18, 2020

Justin Gavin

Waterbury, CT native Justin Gavin, saved a mother and her three children from a burning vehicle. While running an errand, Justin saw a car on fire while the driver did not know. As onlookers yelled for her to stop the vehicle, Justin sprinted after the car to help the family. When he reached them, he quickly helped the three young children and their mother to safety before the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

Siobhan SherbovichSep. 16, 2020

Siobhan Sherbovich

Woburn native Siobhan Sherbovich saved her 8-year old son's life with quick thinking and now advocates for seatbelt safety. Siobhan's son got awkwardly twisted in his seatbelt on their way home, and it began to strangle him. Siobhan quickly pulled over and tried to loosen the belt, but it only got tighter. She then ran to a nearby barbershop, grabbed scissors, cut the strap, and resuscitated him using CPR. Siobhan now advocates that all parents have seatbelt safety tools in every vehicle.

Maxwell SuprenantSep. 14, 2020

Maxwell Suprenant

Needham native and 16-year old Maxwell Suprenant has aided 70+ non-profits and mobilized more than 75,000 people through his organization "Catching Joy, Inc." As an immediate response to Covid-19, when the Boston Marathon was canceled, Max launched Catching Joy's Marathon: 26+ acts of kindness. His primary purpose was to rally kids and adults to do good from home- and aid essential workers and people in need. He assembled more than 1000 "blessing bags" filled with much-needed hygiene products and heart cards for the most vulnerable- people in Boston-area hospitals, shelter homes, nursing homes, and underserved communities.

Gunes Wong GrenonSep. 10, 2020

Gunes Wong Grenon

East Boston Resident and MassArt student Gunes Wong Grenon raised money to help hospitals and retirement staff stay safe. A fashion Student at MassArt, faced with class cancellations, decided to use her talents to help others. She raised funds on GoFundMe to buy fabric and recruited 60 fashion students to create 4,000 masks for hospital and retirement home staff in early March.

Trevv Berry-RogersSep. 7, 2020

Trevv Berry-Rogers

Lynn native and youth basketball coach Trevv Berry-Rogers went above and beyond to make sure Lynn's youth had safe and competitive spaces to play. Inspired by his current and former players, coach Trevv created "The Warehouse," a fitness program in Lynn to encourage positivity and hard work. He provided a COVID safe space for women and girls to play "Sunday pick-ups" to hone their craft and build community.

Lindsey FullertonSep. 6, 2020

Lindsey Fullerton

Boston teenager Lindsey Fullerton created over 500 masks to protect residents and raise funds for a non-profit. When the pandemic was at its worst, Lindsey stepped up for a good cause. Creating 500 masks and selling them for $5 each, Linsey was able to donate all the proceeds to a local non-profit that provides food to the hungry.

Jim JamesSep. 4, 2020

Jim James

Medfield native and Bookstore owner Jim James went above and beyond to make sure children had access to books during COVID. In his 18th year in the Medfield community, Jim’s bookstore has been a go-to for children’s educational toys and books. When COVID hit, and his store had to close, his commitment to the community didn’t end there. He spent his time making personal home deliveries to families, sometimes until midnight!

Mitchell HerculeSep. 2, 2020

Mitchell Hercule

Boston native and Basketball Coach Mitchell Hercule hosts free events for youth and connects them to resources. As a long time youth worker, Mitchell has helped young people thrive and succeed in sport and life. As a basketball coach, he helped his players and other students by helping to attain vital resources for school and giving them safe spaces to learn the sport and be successful in education.

Tyrell StevensonAug. 31, 2020

Tyrell Stevenson

Worcester, MA native Tyrell Stevenson helped to save the life of a 4-year old boy from drowning. While playing volleyball with his friends, Tyrell noticed one of his neighbor's children playing near water the background. When he looked again, he was gone. Tyrell quickly jumped into the water to save the child's life, while a friend pulled him out, Tyrell administered CPR that he learned from his mother until help arrived.

Iesha JamesAug. 26, 2020

Iesha James

Dorchester native and professional event planner Ieasha James used her skills and connections to help her community during Covid. With mandated quarantining hampering scheduled spring events, Ieasha decided to shift and use her event planning company, Endless Flair events, to help others. In a few short months, she has coordinated groceries for families, executed socially distant birthday parties for children, and provided weekly prepared meals to seniors in Roxbury.

Toiell WashingtonAug. 22, 2020

Toiell Washington

22-year old Dorchester native Toiell Washington has been standing up for injustice since a teenager. From a very young age, Toiell stood up for those who needed their voices heard. As a lead organizer of the Black Lives Matter Protests, Toiell helped organize youth from all over the city to stand up for their lives and demand justice for black people. Her courage and outspokenness is an example for all in her generation.

Joe PonzoAug. 18, 2020

Joe Ponzo

Stoneham Officer Joe Ponzo never thought he would help save a life on his day off! On vacation with his family in New Hampshire, Joe took his boat out on the water during a calm afternoon when he noticed a plane landing. He quickly realized that something was off, and a crash into the water was inevitable. Landing 300 yards away from his boat, Off-Duty Officer Ponzo sprang into action and rescued a 78-year old pilot. The pilot was responsive and is expected to make a full recovery.

Sam LaiAug. 18, 2020

Sam Lai

20-year old Burlington Vermont resident Sam Lai saw a need in the community and met it! While shopping in Burlington Vermont one day, Sam forgot his mask in his car. He instantly thought of others who may also forget one day and cannot access stores to purchase a new mask. So he bought a used vending machine, filled it with affordable masks and sanitizer, and placed it outside Burlington's marketplace to meet the needs of the community in the case they are ever unprepared.

Ann Marie MartellAug. 16, 2020

Ann Marie Martell

Ann Marie Martell, a 22-year veteran nurse from Marlborough, saved the life of a man suffering from a heart attack. Making her way down Concord road, Ann Marie spotted a car and sensed something was wrong. She stopped and asked if the passengers need any help, and to her surprise, she found a man suffering from a heart attack. Immediately, she administered CPR and helped to stabilize him until the paramedics arrived. The heart attack victim made a full recovery!

Haley Blanchette and Billy CincottaAug. 12, 2020

Haley Blanchette and Billy Cincotta

Haley Blanchette and Billy Cincotta saved five children from being consumed by a strong current in Gloucester, Ma. This summer. What started as a fun summer day at the beach quickly turned into a terrifying moment. While jumping in the waves, a strong rip current swept five children into the ocean. Desperately needing help, Haley, and Billy, two employees of a nearby hotel, jumped in the water to save their lives. Diving through waves on their surfboards, Haley and Billy rescued all five children.

Dr. Alister MartinAug. 10, 2020

Dr. Alister Martin

Dr. Alister Martin, an ER doctor at MGH, assembles thousands of voter registration kits for distribution at hospitals and doctor's offices. After years of seeing patients struggling from the health consequences of poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, Dr. Martin created the VotER program. His work aims to help vulnerable populations get involved in the political process to make positive changes in their communities that will impact their health.

Sean WilliamsAug. 8, 2020

Sean Williams

26-year veteran Brookline Police Officer Sean Williams saved the life of a 64-year old essential worker. While working a detail in Brookline, Officer Williams was alerted by a bus driver of an emergency on board. Responding to the call, officer Williams found a man suffering from an apparent heart attack. Effectively applying an AED, Officer Williams' swift actions helped the man regain consciousness until help arrived!

Cody MarchAug. 6, 2020

Cody March

13-year old Cody March raised funds to bring joy to children in Maynard this summer! Inspired by his mother’s outreach in their community, Cody set out to do his form of giving back. Wanting children who are less fortunate to have a fun summer, he raised money and prepared 250 bags for the Maynard Backpack program to be disseminated. In the bags were summer toys and treats for children to enjoy!

Melissa MarramaAug. 4, 2020

Melissa Marrama

Fitchburg, MA native Melissa Marrama worked to donate over 30,000 masks to residents in need in New England! At the beginning of the pandemic, Melissa wanted to do what she could to help others. She worked as the "connector," matching up people who had supplies, to mask makers, to deliver them to people in the field. She also created a food program, providing meals and snacks to truck drivers, nursing homes, veterans' homes, hospitals, childcare facilities, homeless shelters, and more.

Lovern GordonAug. 3, 2020

Lovern Gordon

Lovern Gordon has worked tirelessly to help survivors of domestic abuse during the pandemic. Through the Love Life Now Foundation, Lovern recognized that everyone isn’t safe and sound at home. She has worked to raise awareness for vulnerable residents and help them access resources while educating others on the importance of identifying signs of abuse. Her shift from accepting calls to text messages allowed those who need help to do so safely.

April RicciAug. 1, 2020

April Ricci

Hyde Park native and essential worker April Ricci goes above and beyond to serve her community. As a supermarket manager, April’s assurance that Hyde Park residents shop in a comfortable and safe atmosphere is only the beginning of her service. She has spearheaded fundraisers for food banks and hospitals, helped beautify her neighborhood with clean-up efforts, and celebrated her staff members graduations who could not walk the stage due to Covid-19.

Dr. Vonzella BryantJul. 30, 2020

Dr. Vonzella Bryant

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Vonzella Bryant has been leading the fight against the pandemic, helping Boston’s most vulnerable residents. Recognized as a “hospital hero,” Dr. Bryant was honored amongst the top doctors in the nation for her efforts at Boston Medical Center during the Coronavirus peak. Taking on a massive influx of sick patients in the emergency room, Dr. Bryant led many patients towards recovery within Boston's largest safety-net hospital.

Feliciano TavaresJun. 30, 2020

Feliciano Tavares

Roxbury native Feliciano Tavares helps make black communities stronger through innovative youth work. A longtime violence prevention specialist, Feliciano’s forward-thinking, inspired him to create X Academy, a youth development program aimed at empowering culture, commerce, and civics. His efforts equip young people to be active and informed in building the community they want to see. He’s a mentor to many youths and a powerful voice for black communities in Boston.

Monica Cannon-GrantJun. 28, 2020

Monica Cannon-Grant

Roxbury Resident and community organizer Monica Cannon-Grant leads marches for justice for the black community. Faced with violence plaguing her neighborhood, Monica decided to use her voice to protect her family and make a difference. She quickly became one of the most outspoken change agents in the city. Her efforts helped to spearhead violence prevention initiatives, feed thousands of families in need, and, most recently, she organized several Black Lives matter marches attend by thousands.

Athena VaughnJun. 23, 2020

Athena Vaughn

Dorchester native and trans activist Athena Vaughn has always used her voice to act. As a lifelong advocate for Trans rights, Athena has always used her abilities to connect with people to make a difference. With recent outrage for the awareness of black lives, Athena stepped up for the often-overlooked Black LGBTQ+ community in a big way. She organized and led the “Trans Resistance Rally and March” to raise awareness of overseen issues in our communities and demand that changes happen.

Tory BullockJun. 21, 2020

Tory Bullock

Dorchester native Tory Bullock uses his online platform to lead tough conversations on equity and social change. Growing up in Boston, Tory always wanted to impact others with his love of theater and entertainment. After sharing his opinion online on police brutality, he quickly learned that the power of sharing his truth could be both entertaining and carry educational value. He now stands for justice for the black community in Boston and encourages his viewers to think deeply about societal issues.

Jordon CruzJun. 16, 2020

Jordon Cruz

Brockton, MA native Jordon Cruz has taken his giving efforts to a new level in his neighborhood. As an intervention specialist at Brockton High school, Jordon has always found ways to connect with his students and meet their immediate needs. However, when school dismissed for the year, Jordon didn’t let the distance stop him from serving his community. He initiated the “Every Body Eats” program that collects donations for essential items to be delivered to low-income families.

Cole StrachanJun. 14, 2020

Cole Strachan

17-year old Cole Strachan from Charlestown is using his time away from school to help others in need. When Boston Latin school closed, Cole knew he needed to use his time away to impact others. He reached out to a few of his teenaged friends and started a non-profit called “A Helping Elbow” to deliver groceries to his neighbors for free. This free delivery service has now expanded to supply masks and other essential resources!

Olivia CarlsonJun. 9, 2020

Olivia Carlson

22-year old Olivia Carlson from New Hartford, CT, creates quarantine bears to give comfort to children during these challenging times. Over a year ago, when Olivia lost her dad, she found comfort in the teddy bears they made for one another. In this time of loss and uncertainty, Olivia wanted to do all she could to bring that same comfort to children while raising safety awareness for Covid-19. She created matching masks for the bears and children with tips on how to be safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19. Proceeds will be donated to children’s COVID relief funds in the area!

Anika SukthankarJun. 7, 2020

Anika Sukthankar

15-year old Anika Sukthankar from Shrewsbury, MA, is using her time to think of those who have been overlooked. When recognizing that many front-line workers in hospitals were receiving food donations from many places, Anika thought about another important group. The Covid-19 testing tent workers in her neighborhood were being overlooked, so she raised funds to purchase meals for them. Every Wednesday and Friday, she makes deliveries so the tent workers can continue to do daily testing.

DJ SiskoMay. 26, 2020

DJ Sisko

Lynn, MA native DJ Sisko, hosts a weekly DJ set to raise funds and bring joy to others during the quarantine. As a night club DJ in Boston, DJ Sisko’s world changed drastically. But instead of waiting to get back to work, he took his love of music online and hosted a weekly online party to raise funds for groceries for families in need. To date, he has raised over $4,000 through donations that have fed families in the greater Lynn area.

Pooja ChandrashakarMay. 24, 2020

Pooja Chandrashakar

First-year Harvard Medical School student Pooja Chandrashekar created much needed Covid-19 resources for underserved populations throughout the commonwealth. With information about Covid-19 coming in at a rapid pace, Pooja identified an urgent need to translate that information to vulnerable populations throughout Massachusetts. In under three weeks, Pooja gathered 175 medical students from around the country to accurately translate prevention and emergency response resources in over 40 languages.

Alexa SequeiraMay. 19, 2020

Alexa Sequeira

Ludlow, MA, native, and emergency room nurse Alexa Sequeira helped save the life of a man coming home from work. After a 12-hour shift of caring for Covid-19 patients in Winchester Hospital, Alexa drove home on 93-South. On her way, she witnessed two officers frantically reviving a car accident victim and courageously decided to help. With her assistance, the passenger made a full recovery from his injuries.

Addison GigliottiMay. 17, 2020

Addison Gigliotti

5-year old Addison Gigliotti from Middleton, MA, uses crafting to raise vital funds for hospitals while awaiting surgery. Diagnosed with a rare blood disease, young Addison has been quarantining in preparation for her stem cell surgery since December 2019. When the pandemic hit and her surgery had to be rescheduled, Addison focused on crafting items to encourage her classmates to stay positive while being away from one another. She now uses those crafts to raise money for Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has raised over $15,000 to date!

Rachael KeoghMay. 12, 2020

Rachael Keogh

Rachel Keogh helped save small businesses and donate essential resources in the face of a pandemic. When Rachel opened her local distribution company in late 2019, no one predicted she would be facing uncertain times. Her focus on amplifying small businesses seemed to be at a crossroads when she decided to shift her focus to helping first responders protect themselves from Covid-19. Her efforts have resulted in the reopening of small businesses in the New England area that directly supplies over 600 essential resources to private practices.

Gregg and Julian MillerMay. 10, 2020

Gregg and Julian Miller

Dr. Gregg Miller and his 19-year old son Julian Miller took volunteering in the face of a crisis to another level. A junior in High school with more time on his hands, Julian wanted to help his father help others dealing with the crisis on the front lines. While he helped prep and supply rooms for patients, his father Gregg worked tirelessly as a radiologist to assist with daily medical services in the emergency relief site at the 1000 bed Boston convention center.

Sarah ReaganMay. 5, 2020

Sarah Reagan

Holden, MA native and Celtics Dancer Alum Sarah Reagan spent the last several weeks caring for pediatric patients with Covid-19. A Celtics dancer and captain from 2014-2017, Sarah has hung up her palm palms and has been on the front lines of intensive care units for several years. During the pandemic, Sarah has worked tirelessly at UMASS Memorial hospital, caring for young patients from 0-18 years old. With her help, many children have been restored to health and reunited with their families.

Caroline SellmerMay. 3, 2020

Caroline Sellmer

Celtics Dancer Alum and registered Nurse Caroline Sellmer spent the last several weeks serving the most vulnerable populations in Massachusetts. Celtics dancer alum and Registered nurse for seven years, Caroline has served on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Being reassigned to a respiratory clinic in Chelsea, Caroline has been an integral part of the recovery process using her bi-lingual skillset to connect with patients and help nurse them back to health.

Ben PuegueroApr. 28, 2020

Ben Pueguero

Boston Police officer Ben Peguero goes beyond the call of duty to help others. When Officer Peguero stopped at a grocery store on his way home, a woman sitting on the curb crying immediately caught his eye. After approaching to help, she explained how she might not be able to feed her three girls while they are home from school closings. Instead of directing her elsewhere, Officer Peguero comforted her, brought her inside, and paid for her groceries from his own pocket, proving that his service to others extends beyond his work shift.

Harry HolbrookApr. 26, 2020

Harry Holbrook

12-year old Harry Holbrook’s interest in STEM technology has turned into a mission to help first responders! After hearing about the ear soreness nurses were enduring from wearing masks for 12-hour shifts, Harry set out to do something about it. He used his 3D printer to create Mask extenders that relieved the stress on ears and started the #savetheears campaign. Because of his hard work, over 3,300 mask extenders have been distributed to nurses and doctors throughout the New England area! Each one comes with a note that says, "We save your ears so you can save the world."

Ben BurnsApr. 21, 2020

Ben Burns

Winchester native and High School junior Ben Burns is using his talents to bring joy to others. In the wake of a nationwide emergency, Ben recognized that this could be an especially lonely time for senior citizens in his neighborhood who could no longer receive in person visits from family in friends. GenLynk was his response. This platform recruits community members to link with seniors to break through loneliness by video and telephone meetings. To date, Ben has recruited over 80 volunteers in his neighborhood to commit to daily and weekly virtual visits.

Dennis BrooksApr. 19, 2020

Dennis Brooks

Days before the entire nation shut down for quarantine, Dennis Brooks noticed an overwhelming number of residents buying up essential items in the stores he was in. Instead of thinking about himself, he though of how the most vulnerable populations in his neighborhood may be going without and Dennis decided to do something about it! With a few volunteers, Dennis gathered as many essential items and donations as he could and created a pop-up shop for seniors in the community to get their immediate needs met. A one-time effort turned into a weekly outreach that services over 150 seniors a week!

Christy HathawayMar. 7, 2020

Christy Hathaway

Staff Sergeant General Christy Hathaway has courageously served 22 years in the U.S. Army! Enlisting as a young woman, Sergeant General Hathaway has performed numerous acts of heroism and leadership for two decades! She has supported world missions to Afghanistan and Germany, lead the medical care of 400 soldiers. When an armored vehicle rolled over, Hathaway immediately sprang into action, where she helped save the lives of all nine soldiers inside!

Pam Indorato and Brent MarshallMar. 5, 2020

Pam Indorato and Brent Marshall

Ayer, MA residents Pam Indorato and Brent Marshall’s quick thinking helped to save a neighbor and her 11-month old baby girl. When Pam and Brent noticed smoke coming from a house across the street, they courageously sprang into action. Together they kicked down the door of the burning home, ran upstairs and woke up their neighbor who was unaware of the fire. They carefully escorted the mother and her child away from harm, saving their lives!

Morgan StickneyMar. 2, 2020

Morgan Stickney

21-year old Bedford, NH native Morgan Stickney is living proof of someone turning adversity into triumph. At age 15, Morgan was ranked top-20 swimmers in the nation before a rare disease led to the amputation of both of her legs. Still, Morgan never lost sight of her dreams, and less than a year after surgery, Morgan is back in the water! Today she inspires others to persevere through their obstacles, and she is a contender for the 2020 Paralympics!

Dr. Jean McGuireFeb. 28, 2020

Dr. Jean McGuire

89-year old education & civil rights activist Dr. Jean McGuire has spent her lifetime serving the city of Boston. In the 1960s, Dr. McGuire fought passionately for equal rights in education for black communities. She was the first African American female to gain a seat on the Boston School Committee and later served 43-years as the executive director for METCO; a program aimed to create opportunities for all students to experience the advantages of learning and working in a racially and ethnically diverse setting.

Oscar SimozaFeb. 12, 2020

Oscar Simoza

Somerville native Oscar Simoza’s quick thinking helped him save the life of a customer. While bartending at a restaurant in downtown Boston, Oscar witnessed a customer choking on a piece of food. With minimal experience, Oscar remembered lifesaving techniques he learned as a kid and sprang into action. He quickly came from behind the bar, dodged through the crowd, and applied the Heimlich maneuver to the man. After a few attempts, the object dislodged, the customer began to breathe and has since made a full recovery!

Rob KearneyFeb. 6, 2020

Rob Kearney

Easthampton native and professional strong man Rob Kearney has broken barriers in the sports world. Branded the “World’s Strongest Gay”, Rob has competed all over the world and holds records in log lifting and yoke walking. But what took the most strength was being the first openly gay active professional in Strong Man competitions. Today, Rob speaks nationwide advocating for inclusion and diversity in sports, and his courage and pride has redefined what it means to be one of the world’s strongest men.

Benny Correa and Amanda DisleyFeb. 4, 2020

Benny Correa and Amanda Disley

Benny Correa and Amanda Disley went above and beyond to help save the life of a child. On January 15th an Amber alert was issued for the abduction of 11-year old from central Massachusetts. As the community frantically searched for leads, Benny and Amanda spotted the vehicle on their way home and decided to follow it. As the assailant attempted to flee, they dashed through busy streets to keep up with the car while calling the police. Their courageous efforts led to the arrest of the kidnapper, and the girl was returned to her parents.

Rob "Problack" GibbsJan. 31, 2020

Rob "Problack" Gibbs

Roxbury native Rob “Problak” Gibbs has inspired generations to embrace black culture through art. As a young man, Rob’s passion for art and the absence of positive African American imagery sparked a movement in Boston that carries on to this day. He co-founded Artist for Humanity a youth program that provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through employment in art and design. Today, he mentors over 350 teen artists per year, and his breathtaking murals have empowered the city to embrace diversity and celebrate black culture in Boston.

Owen ColleyJan. 29, 2020

Owen Colley

6-year old Owen Colley is tacking one of the world's biggest environmental disasters. When the Hingham native and animal lover heard of the tragedy of wildfires spreading in his father's native country of Australia, he sprang into action. He set out to raise $1,000 by creating small clay koala bears as a thank you to send to donors for their contributions. Amazingly, Owen's efforts went viral, and he shattered his goal of raising $1000 by raising nearly $280,000 to help save wildlife in Australia!

Brockton FirefightersJan. 21, 2020

Brockton Firefighters

Brockton Firefighters Lt. Heather Angelo, Carol Dawkins, and Katie Dubeau all made history earlier this month. No fire crew in Brockton’s history has been led solely by women. Their example, which paves the way for female Firefighters for generations to come, serves as a reminder that before gender comes the heart to serve. Collectively, they have over 19 years of military service and over 30 years on the front lines protecting our nation and the City of Brockton!

Dr. Ted LandsmarkJan. 19, 2020

Dr. Ted Landsmark

Dr. Ted Landsmark is a civil rights lawyer, professor, and activist who has stood on the front lines for decades. Being the victim of a 1970s bussing protest assault, famously depicted in the award-winning photo "Soiling of Old Glory," only fueled Dr. Landsmark’s ambitions to make a change. One of Boston's most accomplished civil rights leaders, Dr. Landsmark, has marched for equality in Washington, New York, and Selma, Alabama. Incredibly, he has held positions at Harvard, MIT, and Northeastern University and has fought victoriously for the rights of voters, women, and people of color all over the country.

Braydon DionJan. 17, 2020

Braydon Dion

7-year old Braydon Dion is on a mission to honor all those who put their lives on the line for us every day. Inspired by his hero, Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon, who tragically died in the line of duty, Braydon set out to honor Sean’s legacy and those who sacrifice themselves for our safety. Braydon started a fundraiser that filled a fire truck with over 250 toys for children of fallen first responders in the hopes to bring them some joy during their time of loss

Shaw Pong LiuJan. 14, 2020

Shaw Pong Liu

Violinist and composer, Shaw Pong Liu uses music to help heal survivors of violence. Shaw Pong created the Code Listen project in 2016 to engage residents, Boston Police, and family members surviving homicide in powerful dialogs about violence in the city. She uses music to help bridge the gap and ultimately helps turn feelings of loss and frustration into inspiration and resilience.

Tom CostanzoJan. 12, 2020

Tom Costanzo

Pizzeria owner Tom Costanzo's fast thinking and courage helped to save someone's life. On a busy Saturday night, a car got stuck on the railroad tracks as the driver was trying to turn into the restaurant's driveway in Redding, CT. The man was still in the car when Costanzo heard the train horn blow. Thinking fast, he helped the man escape the vehicle right before it was struck by the train. Incredibly, no one was injured!

Will HatleyJan. 10, 2020

Will Hatley

U.S. Navy veteran Will Hatley continues to serve his country by helping other veterans overcome life’s obstacles. As a Vocational Rehabilitation specialist in Bedford, MA, Will assists veterans with challenging barriers to maintaining employment. Will overcame his struggles with PTSD and homelessness and is wholeheartedly committed to helping other veterans who struggle as he once did, working to “catch them when they fall.”

Angel "Ace" VasquezJan. 7, 2020

Angel "Ace" Vasquez

In honor of National Mentoring Month, The Boston Celtics are proud to recognize an individual committed to changing his community. Ace Vasquez is a mentor and example to many youths throughout the city of Lawrence. Struggling himself as a young person transitioning from Puerto Rico to the U.S., Ace takes hard lessons he’s learned and positively influences all his mentees. As the facilitator for the Amigos Mentoring Program, he has personally recruited more than 15 volunteer mentors for youth in the program, earning him the nickname "the mentor whisperer."

Robert GignacJan. 2, 2020

Robert Gignac

For Lowell native Robert Gignac, community activism is a lifelong commitment. The city of Lowell elected Robert as a member of the School Committee at 21 years old, one of the youngest elected officials in the city's history. Soon after being sworn into office, Robert worked with local and state leaders to kickoff Opiate Abuse Prevention & Awareness Programs throughout the Lowell Public Schools. Now working as Chairman of the Megan House Foundation, Robert's leadership has helped to save lives and led to the recovery of many individuals and families.

Jeffery LopesDec. 27, 2019

Jeffery Lopes

Dorchester native and Boston Police Officer Jeffrey Lopes creates initiatives that empower youth to lead safe and fulfilling lives. In his role as Community Initiative Liaison, Officer Lopes created the “We Belong” program that empowers at-risk youth with education to strengthen their neighborhoods. He is a mentor to many and a shining example of what it means to give back to your community.

Bill McCallisterDec. 26, 2019

Bill McCallister

North End native and Food Truck owner Bill McAllister has a heart for giving. While driving his food truck through greater Boston, Bill often stops to give food to the homeless. Unknowingly, his most recent act of kindness, was captured and shared on Facebook. Hours later, the post went viral and reached thousands online who were inspired by the story. Surprise by the attention, Bill only hopes that others will also do what they can to help those in need.

Titciana BarrosDec. 21, 2019

Titciana Barros

Roxbury Prep. high school Principal Titciana Barros is a shining example of what it means to come full circle. As a student at Roxbury Prep. in the early 2000’s, Titciana never let her limited resources stop her from achieving academic success. A lesson she now teaches the faculty and students of her alma mater as principal! Titciana instills a culture of joy and high expectations to help her school reach its collective and individual goals. Under her leadership, the students at Roxbury Prep. consistently score high in AP exams in the city.

Stephan GreenDec. 19, 2019

Stephan Green

Boston Police Sergeant and Roslindale native Stephen Green brings joy to Boston’s neighborhoods during the holidays. Known around police headquarters as “Sergeant Santa”, Stephen has spent the last 20 years shopping for gifts for children and families in need. This holiday season he has impacted over 50 families, generously distributed over $10,000 worth of gifts and helped to strengthen the relationship between cops and the community.

Kaden PerryDec. 11, 2019

Kaden Perry

17-year old Middleboro High School student Kaden Perry is a quick-thinker and has the heart to help others. Kaden stayed after school one afternoon to receive some extra help when, suddenly, a fellow student began choking. The teacher who was in the room tried helping first but was unsuccessful. As the teacher frantically called the nurse, Kaden sprang into action. Earlier that week, he learned the Heimlich maneuver from his mother, who works in health care. He instantly used his skills to dislodge the object and saved his classmate’s life.

PO Michael KellyDec. 8, 2019

PO Michael Kelly

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer and Mashpee native Michael Kelly sacrifices for our safety every day. Seventy miles off of the coast of Portland, Maine, four fishermen were stranded at sea after an aggressive storm caused their boat to sink. Desperate for help, a helicopter from the U.S. Coast guard arrived. PO Kelly jumped from the aircraft and swam 100 yards against 60 mph winds and through 20-foot waves to reach the raft. One by one, he swam them to safety and saved their lives.

Leah UngerDec. 5, 2019

Leah Unger

9-year old New Hampshire native Leah Unger has inspired many across the globe. In April, Leah and her family visited the country of Uganda with a non-profit that helps children affected by war. Inspired by the trip, she returned home and signed up to run the Seacoast Half-Marathon as a fundraiser for the organization. With the help of her younger sister Abby, Leah raised over $30,000 to help build a well and a medical center in villages in Uganda. Amazingly, she completed the half-marathon in under 2 hours!

Katie KellnerDec. 3, 2019

Katie Kellner

What started as a relaxing morning jog quickly turned into a dramatic scene for Brighton resident and Olympic qualifying marathoner, Katie Kellner. While running around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in late September, Katie noticed a man frantically entering the water to save his dog. When both the man and dog began struggling against the current, Katie’s instincts kicked in immediately. With no regard for her own safety, she swiftly jumped into the water, grabbed them, and swam them to safety.

KJ RicciNov. 26, 2019

KJ Ricci

16-year old cancer survivor KJ Ricci inspires children to beat cancer by uplifting spirits and providing vital funds. As a little boy, KJ was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Leukemia. After three years of treatment and over 20 surgical procedures, KJ is cancer-free. He now focuses on raising awareness and visiting clinics to inspire other children to be resilient and positive in their fights against the disease. Amazingly, he has also personally raised over $30,000 for a variety of cancer charities.

Ross DuganNov. 24, 2019

Ross Dugan

When New Bedford native Ross Dugan witnessed a horrific car accident that left one car engulfed in flames. Without hesitation, he pried open the passenger window to allow one man to escape and then pulling out three others!

Allan HaleNov. 12, 2019

Allan Hale

30-year New York City Police Detective and 9/11 first responder, Allan Hale, has dedicated his life to serving others.

Peter FantasiaNov. 10, 2019

Peter Fantasia

Boston native and 103 year-old US Army veteran, Peter Fantasia, served courageously in World War II as a Technician 3rd Grade rank in 1944

Al McClainOct. 31, 2019

Al McClain

Former Massachusetts State Basketball Champion, University of New Hampshire All-Time Leading Scorer and 1984 NBA draft pick, Al McClain, has dedicated his post-playing career to using the game of basketball to impact the lives of Boston kid

Collette DiVittoOct. 29, 2019

Collette DiVitto

29-year old baker and entrepreneur, Collette DiVitto, struggled to find work as she pursued her passion to bake for a living. Taking matters into her own hands she decided to open up her own bakery to provide for herself and others with disabilities, showing the world how much those with Down Syndrome can contribute to the world

Nora BastonOct. 24, 2019

Nora Baston

Hyde Park native and 24-year Boston Police veteran Nora Baston is the 4th female to ever hold the position of Superintendent in the City’s Police Department.


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