Former Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo is the recipient of the East Boston Social Centers 2021 Courageous Leadership Award

East Boston Social Centers (the Social Centers) is proud to announce (former) Speaker of the Massachusetts House, Robert A. DeLeo, as the recipient of the 2021 Courageous Leadership Award. He will be honored as part of their upcoming virtual event: Joy:us, A Celebration of Community, on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 7:00PM. Recently retired, Mr. DeLeo is an East Boston alum and Winthrop resident, known for his leadership on behalf of the most vulnerable–and on behalf of the early education and care system.

Indeed, Justin Pasquariello, the Executive Director of the Social Centers, lauds not only Mr. DeLeo’s years of public service, but his ongoing commitment to and passion for ensuring all who live in the Commonwealth have what they need to be healthy, happy and to thrive. Says Mr. Pasquariello, “Speaker DeLeo is a favorite son from East Boston; his family roots run deep throughout our neighborhoods. The love and support of our tight-knit community helped launch him to become one of the most powerful political leaders in Massachusetts, and we want to celebrate his remarkable career and his devotion to his constituents, especially to children in terms of quality, affordable early childhood education and childcare. He has also been a champion of GLBTQ rights and has worked to support sensible gun regulations.”

A multi-service agency and community center that cultivates community, belonging, and joy, East Boston Social Centers was founded in 1918 to welcome and support immigrant families, and continues to proudly embrace “welcome” in all they do. Their core services range across educational, social, and recreational programs to support the diverse community of East Boston and their neighbors in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop of all ages. Each year, they provide direct programming for 3,000+ children, teens, and adults, with an additional 30,000+ people (pre-pandemic) benefiting from their meeting spaces and community events.

The theme for their event: Joy:us, is focused on rebounding from COVID-19 with joy and resiliency, and they hope people will join to celebrate Mr. DeLeo’s accomplishments, and to celebrate the support that East Bostonians and others provided the Social Centers during the pandemic. “That support plays a critical role in the Social Centers’ continued ability to respond to the significant material and basic needs in our communities,” states Mr. Pasquariello, “to provide safe, healthy, high-quality in-person early learning and school age care for our diverse families; to keep older adults active and connected; and to advance our movement to help all East Boston children enter Kindergarten thriving, joyful, and ready to learn.”

Currently, more than 90% of the children served in our early learning and school age programs receive subsidy or voucher based on family income or other needs.  We are committed to high quality programming for all, regardless of income or family situation (we serve many DCF-involved families and children with varied developmental strengths and needs). Many staff are bilingual—to better serve diverse families.

Every contribution can quite literally be the stopgap for someone who is struggling to feed their family, to get caught up on rent to avoid eviction, to get their utilities turned back on, or to find affordable quality childcare as they work or look for work. Supporters help us bring our motto, “When all give, all gain,” to life and that’s definitely a cause for celebration!”

During the Joy:us event, East Boston Social Centers will feature sneak previews of new facilities and their updated brand, a behind the scenes tour of Speaker DeLeo’s East Boston and an interview between one of their teens and award winning humorist and stress expert Loretta LaRoche–all in ~45 minutes!

For more information about the East Boston Social Centers, to sponsor the event, and to join them at their virtual event on November 10, please go to 

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