MyFM Media is proud to announce that Jennifer Ward of Millis has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Butch Moore “You Touched Upon My Life” Award.
Jen Ward, a Stonehill College graduate began her journey in Milford as an AmeriCorps member in 2009, serving as the Youth Leadership Coordinator for the Milford Youth Center and Social Capital Inc. After majoring in Sociology and International Studies with doing a semester abroad in Granada, Spain to improve her Spanish and participating in numerous volunteer trips to New Orleans, Peru, and the Bronx, Jen made the decision to join AmeriCorps after graduating. AmeriCorps is a federally funded program that provides funds to local and national organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. This experience allowed Jen to combine her passions of volunteering, playing sports, and creating events and programs for at at-risk and diverse youth!
After completing 2 years of full-time service with AmeriCorps Jen took a job with You Inc. as an Education Specialist in Northbridge. The goal of the program is to assist out-of-school youth, ages 16-21, in overcoming barriers to education and employment. By successfully meeting program objectives, students are able to obtain their GED and develop lifelong employability skills. After a year, Jen returned to Milford and became the Youth Center’s Program Coordinator and after a year became the full-time Assistant Director. After helping the Center advocate for the multimillion-dollar renovation of the Armory, home of the Milford Youth Center, Jen was asked to become the Director in 2016, in which she remains in the role today. In 2017, Jen was recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as a member of their Unsung Heroines, class of 2017. Through her continued tenure, with the help of her coworkers, volunteer, youth commission and Town/community, the Center has been able to expand its youth participation, program offerings and space, like adding a boxing ring, dance/movie room and future music and multimedia center, all post renovation!
Over the last year, the Center like so many other businesses and organizations, has also had to find ways to adapt and reinvent their role in the community due to the current pandemic. Through virtual programs, small on-site programs, birthday parades, mask making, care packages, remote learning and extended day program, the Center never stopped finding ways to stay involved as best they could! Finally, with the help of Cora, Jens dog and the MYC therapy dog in training we have been able to keep a smile on our face through the ups and downs! If this year has taught us anything it has reminded us more than ever that it is due to organizations, individuals, and businesses, like everyone who supported us during this difficult time, that we will be able to continue to offer free after school programming, an affordable summer camp, and provide a safe and fun environment for the youth of Milford in the future!
In her free time, Jen enjoys traveling, playing sports, being with her friends and family or just relaxing at her house on a small lake with her fur babies Cora, Queso and Rondo! She would dedicate this award to her mother, Joan, who has helped shape her to be the woman she is today, always willing to help her community and family!
Butch Moore was a local singing legend that toured throughout Ireland, Europe, and the United States, initially with The Capitol Showband and later with his wife Maeve as the famed singing duo, Butch and Maeve. His signature song, “You Touched Upon My Life,” spoke volumes about a man that had touched the lives of so many around him with his music, his smile, his generosity, and his big heart. With Butch’s passing in early 2001, WMRC-First Class Radio created this award in his honor.
Past recipients of the Butch Moore “You Touched Upon My Life” Award include: Kevin Meehan, Billy Hood, Linda Varney, Judge Francis & Virginia Larkin, Senator Richard T. Moore, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Tony & Virginia Brenna, Chris Morcone, Gina Oliva-Tarolli, Tom McGovern, Paul Surapine, The Kimball Family, the Ellis Family, Justine Brewer, Frank & Wendy Saba, and Tony Khoury, John Fernandes, the Tinio Family, Julie Atherton and Jennifer Walsh.
The official award presentation for Jennifer Ward will take place at 9AM on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th live from the MyFM Studio’s.