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2018 Community Partnership Awards

Brittany-SmeltekopSpecial Education: Brittany Smeltekop
 
As a teenager, Brittany Smeltekop thought that being a mechanic would be her career of choice in the adult world. But when her boyfriend’s father noticed how good she was with children, she saw another path in her future.
 
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Jill-PszenicznyGeneral Education: Jill Pszeniczny
 
Jill has taught second grade in the Wilbraham school system for the past 18 years, with much of that time spent leading ELL / inclusion classrooms. In 2006, she attended a Center for Responsive Schools training and had an “aha” moment.
 
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Gabriel_TuckerCommunity Outreach: Gabriel Tucker
 
Gabriel believes that fate brought her to her current position. A native of Vietnam and mother of three adopted children, her work with the Home for Little Wanderers and Vòng Tay Cha Mẹ Việt, an organization for Vietnamese parents of children with special needs, allows her to help the “poor and voiceless” – those in the community that are isolated, yet desperate for help.
 
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betty_medina_lichtensteinCommunity Outreach: Betty Medina Lichtenstein
 
Betty was born and raised by Puerto Rican parents on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and moved to Massachusetts with her husband Sam in 1978. She is well-known for her grass roots community organizing efforts in Hoyloke's poorest neighborhoods around issues of equality, 100 % Graduation, and social justice.
 
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Roman_DavisInclusive Recreation: Roman Davis
 
Roman started working at the YMCA eight years ago, in Stoughton. Since then, he has moved up to become Executive Director of the Taunton facility. Roman is also the catalyzing force behind Y Ability, a menu of classes for children with special needs.
 
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Isaiah-LombardoSelf-Advocate: Isaiah Lombardo
 
Isaiah has been advocating and educating others about Down syndrome since he was young. He refuses to let a label define him, and wants others to learn to see folks for who they are rather than the diagnosis they may have.
 
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Consuelo_PerezParent Advocate: Consuelo J. Perez
 
Originally from Peru, Consuelo Perez is a passionate advocate. Like many parents of children with disabilities, she struggled to ensure that her daughter received necessary services.
 
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Paula-MoyerParent Advocate: Paula Moyer
 
When Paula found out her baby was going to have Down syndrome, she thought, “Why not me?” and immediately dove into learning all she could from knowledgeable people in the community.
 
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Amel-AlawamiHealth Advocate: Dr. Amel Hussain Alawami
 
Dr. Alawami is a developmental behavioral pediatric fellow at Center for Children with Special Needs at Tufts Medical Center, and has always been passionate about caring for children with developmental disabilities and their families.
 
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