The MENTOR Network

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The MENTOR Network Celebrates 14th Annual Ripple of Hope Awards

On November 14, The MENTOR Network held its 14th Annual Ripple of Hope Awards ceremony. This year’s award recipients included ten staff and Mentors from across the Network selected from nearly 300 nominations. They represent the very best among us, people whose dedication to the individuals we serve has led to positive change and created a legacy for others to follow.

According to Bruce Nardella, President and Chief Executive Officer of The MENTOR Network, this year’s winners are outstanding because they keep their “why”–the reason they do the work they do–at the center of everything they do, and their commitment enables The Network to provide the highest possible service to the individuals it supports.

“Those we support still matter less to far too many people in the world. Seeking justice on their behalf is our “why.” I am a firm believer that focusing on our “why”–keeping it front and center–leads to greater fulfillment in work and ultimately to a more successful organization,” said Nardella.

2018 Ripple of Hope Award Recipients

Andi Brooks, Program Director, REM Iowa

Brady Carlberg, Direct Support Professional, REM Minnesota

Melissa Coronado, Program Director, Arizona MENTOR

Brandy Fortner, Team Lead, Mentis Neuro Health, Texas

Selwa and Brian Grandison, Mentors, New Jersey MENTOR

Eduardo Hernandez, Nursing Assistant, CareMeridian, California

Leilani Lagua, Mentor, California MENTOR

Idalina and Naja Moujabber, Mentors, Massachusetts MENTOR

This year’s award recipients were honored with a performance by Charlie Wilson, the winner of the 2018 Network Nightingale contest. Served by Indiana MENTOR’s Host Home program, Charlie has been passionate about music since the age of 10 and in addition to singing also plays guitar and piano. Since 2011, The MENTOR Network has chosen a Network Nightingale, an individual who receives support from The Network and has a passion for singing, to provide a live vocal performance at the award ceremony.

“The individuals we serve are exceptionally resilient and brave. Their stories inspire us, and make the work we do that much more rewarding. This year’s Network Nightingale is a perfect example,” said Brett Cohen, Chief Operating Officer of The MENTOR Network.

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.

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.”

This year’s ceremony was held in Phoenix, Arizona. The event was attended by leadership and staff from across the country, including local employees from partners Arizona MENTOR and CareMeridian.