Heroes Among Us - January 2011

January 25, 2011 - Delores Johnson and her mentee Vanessa

In honor of Mass Mentoring Night and the Celtics commitment to the 3,000 youth currently on the waiting list for a mentor, we would like to recognize Delores Johnson, a mentor and board member at Cambridge Family and Children’s Services. For the last three years Delores has been an advisor, counselor and friend to her mentee Vanessa.

A long-time advocate of mentoring, Delores strives to strengthen the lives of today’s youth. She has devoted countless hours to Vanessa in order to give her new and meaningful experiences like visiting museums, a trip New York Stock Exchange and attending their first Celtics game!

For her dedication to mentoring and life-altering impact on Vanessa’s life, please welcome tonight’s Hero Among Us, Delores Johnson and her mentee Vanessa.

January 21, 2011 - Maria Dickerson

In March of 2008, Maria Dickerson’s close friend was tragically murdered leaving four siblings without a family or home. Upon hearing from a social worker that her friend’s children would be placed in separate homes, Maria knew that she had to take action.

Knowing that she did not want her friend’s children to be separated, Dickerson immediately stepped in to keep the siblings together. She bought bunk beds, quit her well-paying job to devote more time to her growing family, and welcomed four more children into her home and her heart!

For her compassion, selflessness, and generosity, please welcome tonight’s Hero Among Us, Maria Dickerson.

January 19, 2011 - Barbara Shapiro

When Barbara Shapiro learned that over 100,000 children are homeless across Massachusetts, she knew she had to take action. For the last 10 years, she has devoted countless hours caring for hundreds of youth through her volunteer work with Horizons for Homeless Children and the Schoen Family Community Center in Dorchester.

A longtime supporter of Horizons, Barbara wanted to do more to end youth homelessness. She has successfully recruited over 50 new volunteers to help with this important cause, and wants you to get involved as well!

For selflessly devoting her time to enrich the lives of homeless youth, please join us in welcoming Barbara Shapiro as tonight’s Hero Among Us!

January 17, 2011 - Debra Blandin and Carolyn Kennedy

At 4:00 a.m. Christmas morning, police officers Debra Blandin and Carolyn Kennedy were called to a home in East Boston for a domestic incident. The two 15-year veterans efficiently mediated the dispute but noticed something was amiss.

Looking at their surroundings, both officers realized that there were no Christmas decorations or gifts in the house. The family, who had a two-year old daughter, celebrated Christmas but unfortunately could not afford holiday decorations. Touched by the scene, Debra and Carolyn immediately went out to purchase decorations and gifts so that the little girl would wake up to a very merry Christmas!

For going beyond the line of duty in serving our community, please join us in welcoming Debra Blandin and Carolyn Kennedy as tonight’s Hero Among Us!

January 14, 2011 - TSgt Greg Pauli

Technical Sergeant Greg Pauli has spent the last three years in the Middle East on two deployments in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

During his first deployment in 2007, Greg was in a convoy of five vehicles when suddenly, the first car in the convoy was hit with an explosive which seriously injured or killed four of his comrades. Greg heroically brought the injured to safety, recovered the deceased and protected his fellow soldiers after the ambush. For his bravery, Greg was awarded the first of his two Bronze Stars!

For his commitment to protecting our freedom, please join us in welcoming TSgt Greg Pauli as tonight’s Hero Among Us!

January 12, 2011 - Jill Vialet

Jill Vialet is the Founder and President of Playworks, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the health and well-being of children in low-income schools. For the last 20 years, Jill has worked tirelessly to help kids become more active while working to eliminate bullying and promoting conflict resolution.

As a former Harvard basketball player, Jill understands the importance of exercise and how it extends into the classroom. To that extent, while many people would turn their backs on today’s under-privileged youth, Playworks provides schools with full-time coaches focused on sports activities during recess. Amazingly, Playworks is impacting the lives of over 100,000 of this country’s youth every school day!

For her ground-breaking initiative to get kids active, please welcome tonight’s Hero Among Us, Jill Vialet.

January 10, 2011 - Alice and Chris Greenleaf

In anticipation of this Friday’s Seats for Soldiers night, the Boston Celtics would like to recognize Alice and Chris Greenleaf for their commitment to supporting our troops.

In 2003, Alice, searching for a purpose in life began sending letters and Christmas cards to our soldiers. Eight years later Alice and her husband Chris have recruited more than 100 volunteers to assist in their efforts. Simply called “Soldiers Helpers” the Greenleaf’s and their volunteers have incredibly mailed out over 33,000 cards and care packages to our troops. Alice and Chris are determined to let our troops know how much they are appreciated back home.

For her tireless work and devotion to our soldiers, please join us in welcoming Alice and Chris Greenleaf as tonight’s Heroes Among Us!

January 7, 2011 - Rebecca Morse

A week before her senior year of high school, Rebecca Morse was following her lifelong friend Michelle home after both finished their shift. Suddenly, Michelle lost control of her car and slammed into a tree.

Terrified for her friend’s safety, Rebecca pulled up to the scene and immediately raced to the totaled car. Pushing back debris and navigating through the broken glass, Rebecca reached the driver’s seat door. Half-dragging, half-carrying her friend, Rebecca managed to get Michelle out of the car and to safety just moments before Michelle’s car was engulfed in flames.

For her brave and lifesaving actions, please join us in recognizing tonight’s Hero Among Us, Rebecca Morse!

January 5, 2011 - Jerry Henry

For the last seven years Jerry Henry has vigorously worked to ensure greater access to higher education for Boston’s low income youth. As Director of High School Advising for ACCESS, Jerry works with 42 high schools as a mentor, advisor, college counselor and friend to youths and their families.

In October, out of thousands of nominations, Jerry was singled out nationally for his efforts as the nation’s top college counselor. Jerry’s leadership and unwavering dedication has incredibly assisted nearly 3,000 students to make their college dreams a reality!

For his relentless work with today’s youth, please join us in welcoming Jerry Henry as tonight’s Hero Among Us.

January 3, 2011 - Sergeant Dennis Leahey

While off-duty, Burrillville Rhode Island Police Sergeant Dennis Leahey was eating lunch and saw another patron collapse to the floor while having a seizure. Leahey immediately rushed to the man’s side and used his police training to open the man’s airway and keep him breathing. Leahey stayed with the man throughout the seizure and kept him safe from injury until the paramedics arrived. Thanks to Dennis’ quick and decisive actions, the man has made a full recovery.

For dedicating himself to service and for his life-saving actions, please join us in welcoming tonight’s Hero Among Us, Sergeant Dennis Leahey!

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