North Haven student among ACES Education Foundation honorees

North Haven student among ACES Education Foundation honorees


ACES Education Foundation has scheduled its 15th anniversary celebration for Thursday, March 22. The gala event is planned for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Woodwind’s in Branford.

The honorees are ACES revered former executive director and current ACES Education Foundation board member Peter C. Young, former ACES Education Foundation board member Roger Joyce, and ACES student Drew Gambardella.

Young joined ACES in 1970 as coordinator of the film library. Within six months, he became the executive director.

During his 32-year tenure, Young grew ACES from a staff of three, and a budget of $70,000, to a staff of over 900 and a budget of $76 million. He remains active with ACES as a member of the ACES Education Foundation Board of Directors. 

Joyce is a former Bilco executive and former ACES Education Foundation board member. He has been active in Connecticut’s business and philanthropic communities for over 30 years. Among his accomplishments, he served on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, was chairman of the Business Division for the United Way of Greater New Haven, co-chaired the Connecticut State Scholars Initiative, and was chairman of the Tweed-New Haven Airport Authority. He was named Citizen of the Year by Business New Haven Magazine in 2000.

The student honoree, Gambardella, is a ACES Whitney High School East student and North Haven resident.

Gambardella is a remarkable student who is on the autism spectrum. He came to ACES at 3 years old and attended ACES Village School. He loved music and loved playing with musical toys as a toddler.

He never played an instrument, however, until recently when he watched a music therapist play piano and became mesmerized.

Gambardella doesn’t read music but he hears the notes clearly and can determine what they are. This past year, he performed at ACES Employer Recognition Dinner in front of over 200 guests, and in November performed at the ACES Convocation event where he performed for an audience of 800.

-- Press Release


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