23rd Annual Mission Awards

Each year Saint Vincent’s acknowledges staff members who have made a significant contribution to the children and families we serve and remain committed to Saint Vincent’s mission of supporting the well-being of the children, adolescents, and families both within the community and on our campus.

Throughout the year supervisors and colleagues submit nominations for individuals and teams who meet the highest standards of care. A committee, comprised of members of the Saint Vincent’s Board of Directors, review and assess the final submissions. Sr. Cathy Donovan, Mission Chair, noted that she is “so grateful that residents have been gifted with dedicated, Mission-driven staff who minister both professionally and spiritually to enflesh the Mission of mercy and compassion.”

This year 7 staff members were nominated for this prestigious honor and 3 individuals were honored. Here are some excerpts from this year’s nominations:

“Austin Teixeira started with the agency on December 26th, 2019 as a Residential Counselor in the STARR Latency Program. From that moment he had a student mentality and tried to learn as much as possible. Over the last year, his role has changed, and the student is becoming a teacher. He quickly became one of the people staff seek out to learn from. He builds strong connections with youth as well as his peers. He also works hard at utilizing the ARC framework and teaches others as well. Austin has been extremely flexible and has worked in most cottages in the agency and has been an effective presence each and every time. “

Cameron DeGrazia began his employment as Food Service Manager in August 2017. “Cam is an excellent chef, preparing nutritious food that the youth enjoy and his attention to detail is impeccable. His department is always neat and organized, and youth needs are never overlooked. He works with Health Services and the clinical team around any special diets and then follows through to make sure that he has the food items in stock, often requiring him to make a trip to the local supermarket. He also touches base with the specific youth regarding the special diet. Cam has always been invested in Saint Vincent’s and its Mission, volunteering at numerous fundraising events, and always willing to be flexible with his schedule to meet the needs of the agency and the youth.”

Serena McHugh started in March of 2019 in the STARR Latency program as a Residential Counselor. She has recently taken on the duties of an interim case manager for the program. “Serena has the unique ability to stay calm and help youth get through tough situations no matter what they are. Serena is very creative when it comes to activities and enjoys engaging youth in arts and crafts activities that they wouldn’t do every day. There was a day where Serena ran a Papier-Mache activity that all the youth really enjoyed. Another example of Serena’s ability to be completely attuned with youth and caring enough to know the history and background of all her youth.”

Congratulations to our 23rd Annual Mission Award recipients.

Pictures from left to right: Cameron DeGrazia, Food Service Manager; Austin Teixeira, Residential Counselor; Serena McHugh, Residential Counselor