by Joy Errico Seusing
2013 is a special year for us as it marks Jumpstart’s 20th Anniversary. In celebration of this occasion we’ve established the first-ever Jumpstart Awards. Over the course of the year we pored over hundreds of qualified candidates, finally selecting four exemplary individuals: a supporter, a legislative champion, a Corps member, and an alumnus.
Each of these awards is based on Jumpstart’s core values – kindness, determination, connection, and learning. Award winners were selected by judging panels composed of Jumpstart staff, alumni, Corps members, board members, and supporters. We thank them for their leadership and expertise in selecting this year’s winners.
This is the third blog post in a four part series highlighting Jumpstart’s 20th Anniversary Award recipients.
The Alumni “Connection” Award is presented to an active Jumpstart alumnus who remains connected to the organization, delivering ongoing and unwavering service to support our mission. This award is presented to Andrew Di Sorbo based on his passion for Jumpstart and the children we serve. Andrew, a former Suffolk University Corps member, has remained connected and committed to Jumpstart since his term of service ended in 2009.
Andrew truly stood out among his alumni peers. He served four full years with Jumpstart at Suffolk University, ultimately changing his major from Biochemistry and Forensic Science to Early Education, later taking a teaching job at the same Head Start preschool in which he served with Jumpstart. Andrew is now teaching at a new preschool, but during his time at Head Start he had the unique opportunity to mentor the Jumpstart Corps members that followed in his footsteps.
What is most inspiring about Andrew is the way he talks about our program. Below is a short anecdote Andrew shared that speaks to the impact each Corps member has the potential to make:
“My favorite memory, and the one that hooked me for life, was after one of my Jumpstart classroom sessions. I was talking to the mother of my partner child, and she shared that her family was going through gallons of milk at an alarming rate. Curious, I asked why. She told me that her son was drinking glass after glass of milk in an attempt to become as big and strong as his friend, Andrew. It was at that moment that I realized the importance of the work I did with Jumpstart. I became a team leader for my final three years at Suffolk, and helped guide my peers to find the same joys I had found.”
Since Andrew’s graduation in 2009, he has taken every opportunity to engage with Jumpstart, becoming a true ambassador of the organization. He has attended numerous events, joined the first-ever alumni chapter, and even spoke directly with countless supporters.
Andrew’s love for the field of early childhood education doesn’t stop there. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s Program for Early Education at Lesley University, where he is learning new skills, strengthening his passion for early education, and confirming his decision to change his life’s path.
Andrew had this to say about his experience with Jumpstart: “I’ve been humbled to be a part of something so amazing, and am honored to be called upon to represent Jumpstart. I will continue to do so far into the future, for it has changed my future for the better.” Andrew is a true inspiration, and it is our honor to recognize him with our first-ever Alumni “Connection” Award.
Stay tuned for the final post in the series, highlighting our Corps Member “Learning” Award recipient.