East Boston resident Donna Papapietro was honored on October 27 for her outstanding record as a community volunteer at the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) 37th Annual Community Awards Dinner at the Seaport World Trade Center on the historic Boston waterfront.
The gala brought approximately 900 guests together from Boston’s business, political, and nonprofit worlds to honor Papapietro and 18 other exceptional community heroes for their dedication, service and compassion to ABCD throughout the year.
ABCD and the East Boston APAC celebrated Papapietro for her lifelong service to the neighborhood she has always called home.
Papapietro experienced first-hand the important role the APAC serves for the people in her community. As a youth, struggling to gain confidence in her abilities, she found support at the APAC at a young age. She first came into contact with the ABCD when she enrolled in their Neighborhood Youth Corps program, known today as SummerWorks. Her experience ignited a sense of passion for serving those less fortunate and she soon became an integral presence in her neighborhood.
As an undergraduate student at nearby Boston College, she never lost sight of the community that nurtured and encouraged her development, choosing to spend her work-study experience supporting the agency that once supported her.
Her resume of community service is extensive, always putting in the extra effort to encourage those in need.
She has served as a SummerWorks counselor, organized food and clothing drives, and created the agency’s first community resource guide that is still in place today. Her service to the APAC’s Board of Directors is unrivaled, having served in the role of Secretary for the past 20 years and helping to orient new members.
“She has a deep-rooted passion and commitment to our community that continues to uplift the downtrodden among us. She is beloved by all who come in contact with her,” said East Boston APAC Director Amy Lima.
Papapietro said she is kept motivated in her efforts to help those less fortunate overcome their barriers by the memory of her experience when she first walked through the APAC’s doors in 1976.