Damien Margardo grew up a typical East Boston youth. He played sports, hung out at the community’s recreation centers with friends, and during the summer months, headed to the East Boston Camps in Westford with hundreds of other Eastie kids.
As a youth mentors like Marty Pino, John Forbes Sr. and Joe Weddelton shaped Margardo’s trajectory in life. As young adult Maragrdo embarked on a long career as a youth worker for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families.
However, after 31 years of service to the BCYF Marty Pino and Paris Street sites Margardo announced he was leaving BCYF to take on a new role at the Parks Department.
“After 31 years with Boston’s Community Centers, Damien (Margardo) has accepted a job with the Parks Dept.,” said BCYF Director Nicole DaSilva. “On behalf of the East Boston community, we want to thank him for hardwork and commitment to the BCYF Paris and Pino Centers. We are looking forward to working with him again in his new role as we continue to build a strong relationship with Parks Dept, bringing new programs and opportunities to East Boston.”
BCYF staff, family and friends held a special going away luncheon for Margardo recently at Paris Street. There, longtime collaborators, youth and co-workers stopped by to wish Margardo luck on his new endeavor.
“I started working for BCYF in August 1988 as a lifeguard at the Paris Street Pool,” said Margardo at the party. “Since then I moved into working with youth and was most recently a BCYF Program Supervisor.”
Margardo said he will work as a Program Manager for the Parks Dept. and is looking forward to his new role there.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenges at Parks and Rec.,” said Margardo. “What I’m going to miss most leaving BCYF will be all of the great seniors, youth and the families that I have worked with directly all these years.”
Of his biggest accomplishments Margardo said is seeing the youth he taught years later with their own families.
“My biggest accomplishment and compliment is when an adult introduces me to their children and tell them I taught them to swim, play basketball or I was just there for them,” said Margardo. “I consider myself a very lucky guy to have been involved with this many youths in East Boston.”
Longtime BCYF Coordinator Joe Weddleton said he was first a counselor to Margardo when he attended BCYF programs, later a BCYF co-worker and have been good friends ever since. “I have had the pleasure of working with Damien for over thirty years and during that time we have become great friends,” said Weddleton. “Damien is a loyal, dedicated, creative and hardworking individual. He has a very engaging personality, especially with children. Damien is a consummate professional, dedicated family man, amazing DJ and a great friend to those lucky enough to know him.”