This past November, Congressman Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District visited Massachusetts MENTOR’s Taunton office. He joined The MENTOR Network CEO Bruce Nardella, Massachusetts MENTOR Executive Director Paul Cataldo, and other staff members to learn more about the organization’s services for individuals with disabilities and youth at risk.
During his visit to the Taunton office, Rep. Kennedy learned about Massachusetts MENTOR’s services and supports, including the Treatment Foster Care, Shared Living, Therapeutic Mentoring, and In-Home Treatment programs. Massachusetts MENTOR employees Melissa Lewis, Nicole Paicopoulos, and Ed Mendonca shared the ways in which these programs enhance the lives of the people they serve through individualized, community-based supports.
Rep. Kennedy also met with three of Massachusetts MENTOR’s Therapeutic Mentors, Michelle Spinney, Marc Pericles, and Josh Ivanovs. They shared how their work impacts the communities they serve and about the challenges they face in working with youth at risk. In addition, the congressman met with a child who receives services through Massachusetts MENTOR’s Therapeutic Mentoring program and learned how the program helps him and other children with behavioral challenges develop the life skills they need to reach their full potential.
A strong advocate for individuals with mental health challenges, Rep. Kennedy has worked to destigmatize mental illness and remove barriers to mental health treatment. He has led efforts to expand access to substance abuse treatment and hold insurance companies accountable for providing adequate mental health coverage.
“It was an honor to welcome Rep. Kennedy, who shares our mission to improve quality of life for those with mental health challenges and other complex needs,” said Nicole Paicopoulos, Program Director for Massachusetts MENTOR. “He was genuinely interested in learning more about Massachusetts MENTOR and we hope he left here with a better understanding of our positive impact on the communities we serve.”