East Boston native and longtime East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) employee Joanna Cataldo was recently honored at ABCD’s (Action for Boston Community Development) annual Community Heroes Celebration.
Cataldo and others from Boston’s neighborhoods were honored for their work in their respective communities at the annual gala that was held on Nov. 8, at Boston Marriott Copley Place. The event also featured six-time Tony, Grammy and Emmy award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald.
Cataldo grew up in Eastie and has worked here for the past 25 years, most of that time in various roles at the EBNHC. Her positions at the EBNHC include coordinator of the smoking cessation program, director of the Education and Training Institute, and for the past five years manager of the substance use and misuse prevention coalition.
“I truly enjoy connecting people to valuable resources that can put them on a path toward personal improvement and/or advancement—in a career, interpersonal relationships, better health, or in some other meaningful way,” said Cataldo. “Over the course of 25 years of working and volunteering in East Boston, I have had the privilege of supporting and celebrating many residents as they fulfill these goals.”
Her current role brings her into contact with youth in the prevention arena all the way to adults who struggle with addiction. In this capacity Joanna serves as a connection between the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen and EBNHC. She has collaborated with the East Boston APAC for many years, helping clients who are dealing with substance use disorders gain access to vital community resources.
Cataldo has also been a key player in helping the East Boston APAC schedule free NARCAN trainings for staff and clients.
Cataldo has also held positions on the Board of Directors of EBNHC as well as EBECC, and she currently serves as a secretary for the East Boston Chamber of Commerce.
“Extraordinary volunteers are at the heart of ABCD’s 2019 Community Heroes Celebration on November 8th,” said ABCD President and CEO John Drew.
Drew said the annual gala is about acknowledging those who inspire others by selflessly giving of themselves.
“These community heroes are exceptionally committed to taking action to impact those around them,” said Drew. “By serving those in need and providing them with tools and means, these heroes turn a flicker of hope into a flame of opportunity and fulfillment for years to come. By sharing their light, they illuminate the Path for others. With a mission to help underserved people and communities transition from poverty to stability to success — through advocacy and collaboration with local leaders, politicians, businesses, and of course the humble heroes among us — ABCD provides a ladder upward to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers and to seize opportunity.” BPDA approves