Youth Enrichment Services

YES teens deliver moving speeches at 6th Annual Black Diamond Gala

More than 400 guests joined together to celebrate and support Youth Enrichment Services (YES) at its 6th Annual Black Diamond Gala on Thursday

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(L to R): YES youth speaker, Aaliyah Yarde; YES Academy Director, Shiona DeCarvalho; and YES youth speaker Bruno Zotarelli. (Credit: Hurley Event Photography)

April 7, 2016.  More than $625,000 was raised at the event – a nearly 10% increase as compared to last year’s gala.  Funds will directly support YES’s mission to provide Boston’s young people with year-round outdoor enrichment and leadership programs.

Two YES teens spoke at the event, Aaliyah Yarde and Bruno Zotarelli.

Aaliyah is an 18 year old high school senior from Mattapan and YES Junior Volunteer.  “The inclusion and sense of community I experience at YES is something I’ve never experienced anywhere else,” remarked Aaliyah. “YES has helped me become more confident. I am grateful for the leadership opportunities that YES has given me and hope to take the values that YES has taught me about sense of community, inclusion, and adventure with me wherever I go.” Aaliyah will graduate this June and plans to attend college at Skidmore College, where she will study Physical Therapy.

Bruno, an 18 year old teen from Lynn and YES Junior Volunteer, spoke about the impact that YES has had on his life. Bruno and his sister are first generation Americans.  Bruno will be the first in his family to attend college when he graduates from high school this spring.  “YES has given me the opportunity to ski, snowboard, and so much more,” Bruno told the crowd. “But YES isn’t just the place I get to snowboard, I also get to plan for my future, make friends, and be inspired.  I will be the first in my family to attend college.  I hope to take the lessons I learned on the slopes with YES and in my JRV workshops with me as I pursue a career in teaching.”  Bruno will graduate this June and plans to attend the Mass College of Liberal Arts to study Secondary Education.

Click here to view photos from the 6th Annual Black Diamond Gala.