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Elizabeth Peabody House Award Winners

WBZ TV reporter Paul Burton hosted an awards ceremony organized by the Somerville-based Elizabeth Peabody House. The organization provides services to families and children, particularly in the immigrant community.

Editor's note: The following is from the Elizabeth Peabody House:

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Somerville, MA – Haitian-born pediatrician Dr. Nicole Prudent of Boston Medical Center, was one of child advocates being honored at this year's 4-Who-Care Awards, presented by The Elizabeth Peabody House of Greater Boston. 

Prudent joined five other our other honorees at this year’s 4-Who-Care Awards. The program, attended by a near-capacity crowd, took place on Thursday, May 3rd from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Holiday Inn Boston at Beacon Hill, 5 Blossom Street located in Boston's West End, once home to 60,000 immigrants and the birthplace of the agency. 

"I am both humbled and honored," said Prudent, who has developed over the last two decades since arriving in Boston aimed at providing improved healthcare access, remedial opportunities and educational enrichment for Haitian children and families. "Much of the credit goes to my mother, who instilled the value of doing for others.” 

The 4-Who-Care Awards is the brainchild of The Elizabeth Peabody House, a 116-year-old multi-service agency whose work in early childhood development, youth enrichment and family support services focuses primarily on immigrant communities.

In addition Prudent, The Chinese Immigrant Student Leadership program (ChISL) was another 4-Who-Care honoree. A collaboration between the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and Charlestown High School, ChISL was lauded for helping immigrant Chinese students at Charlestown High School produce a video on the challenges of coming to the U.S. The 2-minute, 40-second video, screened at Thursday’s event, ranked among the top six of 200 submitted nationwide to the White House, where, last month, the students were hosted and honored as CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE.

State Street Corporation, a Boston-based financial service company, was another honoree. Since 2008, more than 150 State Street employees have volunteered a total of 1,200 hours of time to help open and close Camp Gannett, home of The Elizabeth Peabody House’s summer enrichment camp in Sharon, Massachusetts. The camp has served children and immigrant families who otherwise could not afford a summer camp experience for nearly a century.

Honored posthumously was The Late Gaetano Privitera, a Sicilian orphan who immigrated to Boston's West End, where he married, raised a family and began to pursue the American dream. Despite government seizure of his fishing boat at wartime, a warrant placed on his head and a forced exile from his family, Privitera would eventually see a son attend college and law school, before being elevated to Somerville City attorney. He would also be pardoned by authorities and see three grandchildren also become lawyers and leading business leaders. Accepting the award for behalf of his family was Atty. Frank Privitera, Sr.

Sharon Community Television also received a 4-Who-Care Award. The community access TV station was recognized for helping promote and facilitate The Elizabeth Peabody House reconnecting to the community of Sharon. Specifically, the station hosted agency representatives on Wise Friends, hosted by Veronica Wiseman, to talk about its mission in serving children and immigrant families at Camp Gannett. Ms. Wiseman’s husband was on hand to accept the award.

WBZ TV news reporter Paul Burton, served as master of ceremonies and author Lucy Knight spoke on the subject "What Nonprofits Have To Survive In A Tough Economy."  

The four awards that were presented have a historical tie to The Elizabeth Peabody House. The Leonard Nimoy Award bears the actor's name because he attended and studied theater at the settlement house. The Winston Churchill Award bears the British Prime Minister's name because he donated all proceeds from a Symphony Hall speech to the agency in March 1932. The Mary J. Garland Award is so named for the kindergarten teacher who was the driving force behind the creation of The Elizabeth Peabody House. And The Jim Campano Award is named for the Peabody House alumnus who has fought all his life to preserve the history and heritage of the people of Boston's West End, where the agency was born. The Campano Award is given each year to honorees in both Sharon, MA and Somerville, MA, where the agency’s two campuses are located.

ABOUT US: The Elizabeth Peabody House was founded in 1896 after the death of Miss Peabody who organized the first English-speaking kindergarten in the U.S.  Friends and colleagues opened the so-called kindergarten settlement house where it would have the greatest impact. Boston’s West End was where it opened and served the children and families of poor Irish, Italian and Eastern European Jewish immigrants who settled there. In 1915, the agency opened Camp Gannett in Sharon which it still operates. The entity’s headquarters relocated to Somerville in 1959 after plans for “a New Boston” forced immigrants to move.  Today, The Elizabeth Peabody House continues its proud tradition in working among children, especially among immigrant families. Its programs include a preschool, an afterschool, a summer enrichment camp and an emergency food pantry.

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