The MENTOR Network celebrated the 12th Annual Ripple of Hope Award recipients on October 25 at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. 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,” said Bruce Nardella, president and chief executive officer of The MENTOR Network.
To help celebrate the Ripple of Hope Awards, Aaron Hobson, who receives support through MENTOR Oregon, honored the winners with a live vocal performance as this year’s winner of our Network Nightingale contest. The contest was open to individuals served by The MENTOR Network and its partners.
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, 2013 marked the first time that The MENTOR Network honored 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.”
2016 Ripple of Hope Award Recipients
Milton and Cindy Brekle—Mentors, Alabama MENTOR
Michelle Faulk—Admissions Funding Coordinator, NeuroRestorative Southeast Region
Savannah Geare—Activity Coordinator, CareMeridian Arizona
Rachael Hartfiel—Human Resources Coordinator and Direct Support Professional, REM Minnesota
Carol Heck—Direct Support Professional, REM West Virginia
Leslie Ann Milton—Mentor, Massachusetts MENTOR
Kari Montgomery—Program Director, REM Wisconsin
Nicole Pierce—Program Coordinator, REM Minnesota
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 once again recognized an outstanding community partner with a Ripple of Hope Award: Governor John R. Kasich and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Director John Martin of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities joined The Network in celebration and accepted the award on behalf of Governor Kasich and his administration.
“Governor Kasich and his administration have positively changed the landscape for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating more community-based opportunities in Ohio and establishing a higher standard of service for others to model,” said Nardella. “It was an honor to have Director Martin join us in celebration and accept the award on behalf of the Governor and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Director Martin’s deep commitment to serving others and decades of success creating opportunities for people with disabilities reminds us all of what is possible when we persist and work together on a shared mission.”