Every year at Celebrate: Triangle, Inc.’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser, we honor people who use their voice to advocate for inclusion in the community. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing this year’s honorees to be recognized at the event on Wednesday, April 15th at the JFK Library and Museum. Event tickets and sponsorship information is available here.
We are excited to announce that Dianne Lescinskas will be our 2020 Carmella Gregorie Disability Advocate of the Year. Dianne’s daughter, Alexa, has served as her biggest inspiration and led her to a life of advocacy. As a mother of a young woman with a disability, she has focused her energy on creating a more inclusive world by serving as a member of Boston Public Schools’ Special Education Parent Advisory Council, Boston Public Schools’ Inclusion Task Force, and the Boston Special Education Transition Project. In these various roles, she advocated for Triangle programs, including IMPACT:Ability.
Since 2010, IMPACT:Ability has established itself as one of the only evidence-based abuse prevention programs in the United States. Most of the research that established the program’s efficacy was conducted inside of BPS classrooms. Dianne’s continued support of IMPACT:Ability helped the program to rapidly expand within BPS and diversify its curricular offerings to include advanced IMPACT:Ability classes for older students and healthy relationship training. Hundreds of students now have the tools they need to live empowered and independent lives while being fully engaged citizens in their local communities. Further, due to this success in Boston, IMPACT:Ability programs are now a national model for disability service organizations, special education departments, adaptive sports programs, and specialty schools.
Dianne’s dedication and expertise in advocating for people with disabilities has led her to work as the Program Development Manager at the Massachusetts Autism Commission. The Autism Commission makes recommendations to state lawmakers on legislation that influences individuals with autism. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Partners for Youth with Disabilities and on the Massachusetts Advisory Board for Best Buddies International. She successfully advocated for the first Best Buddies Chapter in Boston Public Schools, which was nationally recognized as the Middle School Chapter of the Year. Additionally, she currently serves on the board of Project DEEP (Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program) and is a volunteer coach for the Martin Richard Challenger Sports Program. She played a major role in the expansion of the Henderson Inclusion School from a kindergarten-fifth grade elementary school to its current program, which serves children with disabilities from kindergarten to age 22.
Carmella Gregorie (Mel), the namesake of the Disability Advocate of the Year Award, was a business leader and disability advocate who served on Triangle’s board for 43 years. Triangle, Inc. will present Dianne with the 2020 Carmella Gregorie Disability Advocate of the Year Award on Wednesday, April 15 in recognition of her tireless commitment to improve the lives of countless individuals with disabilities across the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Please stay tuned to our email newsletter, ConnectAbility, and our social media channels as we announce our other honorees.