Celebrating Leaders for Life: 2012 Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards

Since 1995, the Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards have recognized more than 80 City Year Alumni who have continued their dedication to addressing community issues through innovative solutions and who exemplify the core values of City Year. Five winners are selected each year to receive a $1,000 Leadership Grant.  

These exceptional alumni were honored at City Year’s Summer Academy, and we are pleased to share their inspiring stories with you:

Service to a Cause Greater than Self

Christina Cotto, City Year Rhode Island ’01, ‘02

For her exceptional commitment to developing leaders through mentorship, and more than a decade of building the national service movement in Providence, RI.  As Program Director for City Year Rhode Island, Christina led and developed more than 200 corps members to increase student achievement throughout Providence public schools.  Through her leadership on the Coordinating Councils for the AfterZone system, a nationally recognized model for afterschool programming, she has forged a strong service partnership  with City Year Rhode Island to support the needs of nearly 1,000  middle  school  youth each year.


David Hureau, City Year Boston ’98

For his tireless commitment to reducing youth gang violence in Boston through advocacy, research and intervention programs to strengthen urban neighborhoods.  David is the lead designer and project manager guiding the implementation of The Boston Foundation’s StreetSafe Boston initiative, which  serves 22 gangs with more than 1,100 members in five disadvantaged communities. He also co-founded Villages Without Walls, an innovative youth violence intervention program, focused on interrupting violent activity in two of Boston’s most historic gangs through supporting their members with employment and social services.

Social Justice for All

Molly Ola Pinney, City Year Seattle/King County ’01

For her relentless dedication to developing and sustaining innovative approaches to improve the lives of children with autism around the world.  As the CEO and Founder of the Global Autism Project, Molly mobilizes resources to provide quality autism services, advocacy and awareness to hundreds of special needs children and their families in India, Ghana, Kenya and Peru. With nearly ten years of experience in community development, she is an invaluable voice and collaborator in the conversation and solutions to bring social justice to the lives  of children and adults affected by autism.

Level Five Leadership

Katie Provencher, City Year Boston ’04

For her outstanding leadership as a community organizer and advocate for affordable housing.  As the Director of Community Engagement for Urban Edge, a community development corporation within the Jackson Square neighborhood of Boston, with over 1,100 units of affordable housing, Katie builds relationships with stakeholders, partners and residents to prevent homelessness and advocates for new housing and business real estate.  As a key driver of legislation necessary to advance economic development in Jackson Square, she is the bridge between public officials, real estate developers and residents to bring 413 new units of affordable housing and an indoor multi-sport athletic facility that will provide recreation and youth programs to thousands of children and families.

Students First, Collaboration Always

Matthew Stahl, City Year Boston ’98

For his entrepreneurial leadership and more than a decade of public service as an educator in Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts Public Schools.  As the principal for three public schools simultaneously in 2010-2011–Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary School, Moody Elementary School and Washington Elementary Schools –Matthew oversaw and developed 135 staff and faculty who support student learning and achievement for more than 1,000 pre-kindergarten to 4th grade children.  His innovative solutions to improving overall school climate focus on building parent engagement, elevating daily attendance, and implementing a school-wide behavior system, and literacy and writing programs.


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