For Immediate Release - August 10, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Honors Members of the Department of Developmental Services' Urban Youth Collaborative Program

Young leaders recognized at State House for commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today honored members of the Department of Developmental Services' Urban Youth Collaborative Program (UYCP) during a celebration and awards ceremony at the State House. Over 251 interns have assisted in the care of individuals with developmental disabilities at state-operated programs and developmental centers through the program this summer.

The UYCP, now in its 26th year, introduces young adults to the field of human services, helps build an experienced workforce for the future and supports efforts to reduce the stigma associated with developmental disabilities. DDS manages Urban Youth Collaborative internship programs across the state.

“These internships are designed to encourage a diverse group of talented young people to consider careers in human services. Interns have engaged in meaningful experiences with individuals with developmental disabilities," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

"Today we honor and thank the participants of the Urban Youth Collaborative Program, who have spent their summer caring for and getting to know people with developmental disabilities across the state. Our hope is that they have learned as much from our individuals as our individuals have learned from them." said DDS Acting Commissioner Jane F. Ryder.

In addition to recognizing all of this year's program participants, DDS presented three special awards during today's ceremony.

  • The recipient of the Steven E. Collins Leadership Award was Chavaya Soto. Steven L. Collins leadership award was initiated in 2004. Mr. Collins was the former director of the Human Services Coalition. He was a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and human service programs. He also worked closely with the legislature on bills benefitting people with disabilities. Ms. Soto spoke on behalf of the UYCP program on several occasions and her compassion to those with a disability was a role model to many others.
  • This year's recipient of the Current Service Award is Amanda Brogna. Recognizing current participants who have shown excellence in the program. Ms. Brogna is a caring, conscientious, industrious and empathetic young woman whose creative involvement has significantly enriched those she has worked with.
  • The Paulette Anjorin Community Service Award was awarded to Robert Canuel. Paulette Anjorin Community Service award started as the Community Service Award in 1999. It was renamed after Ms. Anjorin in 2003. She was a dynamic trainer and a pioneer on engaging staff on issues of diversity. As the previous Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships of People’s inc., Mr. Canuel was proven to be a longtime proponent of creative program development and collaboration.

The UYCP began in Boston in June 1992 as a collaborative effort with Madison Park High School and Bay Cove Human Services with the goal of interesting young adults from diverse backgrounds in careers in human services. The program has since expanded statewide, with interns placed at state-operated programs, developmental centers and non-profit organizations across the Commonwealth in full-time summer jobs providing support to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Some locations have partnered with local colleges to offer course credit to interns for participating in the program. Since its inception, over 4,500 interns have taken part in the UYCP, with almost half continuing on to pursue careers in human services.

The following programs participated in the 2017 Urban Youth Collaborative Program:

  • BRIDGEWELL; Lynnfield, MA
  • CARSON CENTER FOR ABILITIES UNLIMITED; Westfield, MA
  • DDS CENTRAL RESIDENTIAL SERVICES; Worcester, MA
  • COMMONWEALTH COMMUNITY SERVICES
  • DIMOCK CENTER; Roxbury, MA
  • DDS HOGAN REGIONAL CENTER; Hathorne, MA
  • LIFELINKS; Chelmsford, MA
  • LIFESTREAM, INC.; New Bedford, MA
  • LUK; Fitchburg MA
  • DDS METRO RESIDENTIAL SERVICES; Waltham, MA
  • DDS NORTHEAST RESIDENTIAL SERVICES; Hathorne, MA
  • PEOPLE INC.; Fall River, MA
  • RESOURCES FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT BOSTON INC.;  Medford, MA
  • ROAD TO RESPONSIBILITY; Marshfield, MA
  • SEVEN HILLS FOUNDATION; Worcester, MA
  • DDS SOUTHEASTERN RESIDENTIAL SERVICES; New Bedford, MA
  • DDS TEMPLETON DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER; Templeton MA
  • TURNING POINT; Newburyport, MA
  • WORK INC.; Dorchester, MA
  • DDS WRENTHAM DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER; Wrentham, MA