Youth Enrichment Services

YES Gala Raises Over $600k for Boston Youth

East Boston teen and YES Gala youth speaker, Juan Pablo Zuluaga (L) with Hyde Park teen and YES Gala youth speaker, Laura Mendez (R). (Photo Credit: Person + Killian Photography)

Over 350 YES supporters, including Olympic skier Julia Ford, attended YES’s 7th Annual Black Diamond Gala on Thursday, April 6 at Royale.

A highlight from the evening was the two speeches given by YES youth, Juan Pablo Zuluaga and Laura Mendez, who both hope to be the first in their family to attend college.

Laura, a 17-year-old Hyde park teen and YES Leadership Corps teen, spoke about the impact that YES has had on his life. Laura told the crowd, “Being at YES helped me find my passion of snowboarding and grow in many ways. I am doing things I never thought I would do. YES is a place not only that it taught me about snowboarding but also about myself and helped me grow personally into a leader.

16-year-old Juan Pablo, who has participated in YES’s Leadership Corps and College Preparation programs shared, ““With the help and support from YES, I now feel prepared to pursue my dream of being the first in my family to go to college. Thanks to YES, I feel ready for the life that’s ahead of me.” 

The event raised over $600,000 for Boston youth. Funds will support YES’s outdoor sports and leadership programs: Operation SnowSports, Outdoor Adventure, Girls Outdoor Adventure Leaders, Leadership Corps, College Preparation, and Career Exploration programs.

Boston philanthropists, Paul and Carol Fremont-Smith, were honored with the 2017 YES Achievement Award.  U.S. Ski Team athletes, Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Robby Kelley, received the T2 Foundation Community Service Athlete of the Year Award.

Top sponsors of the 7th Annual Black Diamond Gala included Adage Capital Management, Citi, The George Macomber Foundation, Leerink Partners, The Martin Richard Charitable Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Peabody Office Furniture, and RBC Capital Markets.

Click here to view photos from the 7th Annual Black Diamond Gala.