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Journey to 30 Celebration

November 14, 2022


On Thursday, November 10th, 2022, the Journey to 30 Symposium & Celebration was celebrated at Encore Boston Harbor. This was a two-part event, the morning symposium full of workshops and peer learning. During the evening, the group came together for the Journey to 30 Celebration. The event had various speakers, which included special guests, panelists, and workshop presenters.   

Journey to 30 honored David Shapiro as this year’s Champion of Mentoring, Celebrating 15 years of the AmeriCorps Program at MMP, 12 years of the James G. Connolly Tribute Fund, 15 years of the KELLY Award, and 8 years of the ALKU Scholarship.    

ALKU, in partnership with Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), has announced that Kimberly Morales, a student at Needham High School, and Valeria Cardoza, a student at Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School, are the recipients of the 2022 ALKU Scholarship. The $30,000 award, payable over four years, is given to two rising high school seniors who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The recipients must benefit from a positive mentoring experience with an adult, be involved in their community, display leadership in and outside school, and demonstrate financial need.      

Morales, who lives in a single-parent household, has faced many obstacles to get where she is today. “My family and I are originally from Guatemala. I immigrated to the United States with my mother and brother when I was 11 years old. I come from a very low-income family; my mother works hard so that my brother and I don’t lack a plate of food. I have come fleeing from my country because the crime was getting worse, money was not enough, education was not so good, the teachers treated me badly and insulted me, they told me that I was a person who would never reach my goals,” said Morales.       

Cardoza, who also lives in a single-parent household, has faced many obstacles to get where she is today. “Growing up in a low-income single-parent household, I’ve had to work hard to be independent due to my mother having to work to bring income for us. Additionally, living as a person with a disability, spina bifida, means that there are medical costs that my mom and I have to consider daily. I’ve had to overcome many challenges with the concept of independence itself, society not being accessible physically. Having to be mindful if I can access a building or if there is a ramp makes it sometimes challenging even to access job opportunities. Having to both rely on my mother but also be the person for my mother to rely on has been a challenge I have had to overcome on multiple occasions,” said Cardoza.     

“The Journey to 30 is a celebration of the amazing work done by the great team at Mass Mentoring Partnership over the last 30 years! At this event, many different organizations that have positively impacted communities across Massachusetts had the opportunity to come together and relive the moments that have changed the lives of many of our youth. Speakers had the chance to discuss various important topics when it comes to youth mentoring, such as how to support our youth, building an inclusive mentoring program, near-peer mentoring, and so many more!”
-Elvis Bisono, Community Relations Coordinator  

President Andrew Bull spoke about our partnership through the years with MMP and how vital mentoring and the ALKU scholarship are to our employees. Elvis Bisono, Community Relations Coordinator, and Anarianny Rodriguez, Benefits Coordinator II, were present for the ALKU Scholarship award. Elvis had the honor of presenting the scholarship to Valeria Cardoza, and Anarianny awarded the scholarship to Kimberly Morales. Elvis and Anarianny went into depth about why both recipients were chosen and that they are precisely what ALKU seeks in a scholarship recipient. Both Morales and Cardoza display resilience, determination, and passion. 

We are humbled by Kimberly Morales and Valeria Cardoza’s story and happy to be able to play a part in their bright future. From everyone at ALKU, congratulations, Kimberly and Valeria! We cannot wait to see all you will achieve!   

To learn more about Kimberly Morales and Valeria Cardoza, click here.   

To learn more about MMP, click here.