Patrick Pinchinat wins PASEsetter Award
On March 1st, Patrick Pinchinat, Director of Queens Community House’s (QCH) Beacon Program at JHS 190 in Forest Hills, received the prestigious 2012 PASEsetter Award, which honors youth workers who have provided outstanding service and leadership. Patrick has been an extraordinarily positive influence on youth in Forest Hills, Corona, Rego Park and Jamaica. He has brought a sense of purpose, calm and intentional youth development to his work with thousands of young people over more than 16 years. Watch his acceptance speech on Youtube.
From the beginning of his professional life as a teenager, and through his growth into leadership roles, Patrick has stood out as motivated, talented and passionate about his work with young people. He has been involved with QCH since the summer of 1995, when he began working at the summer day camp. Patrick distinguished himself by his enthusiasm and total concentration on the children. When the summer ended, he was hired to work in QCH’s After School program as a homework assistant; he was subsequently put in charge of escorting children from the local elementary school , and soon after moved up to Senior Recreation Specialist. From the start, Patrick distinguished himself by his sense of fairness, keen sensitivity to children and ability to help them resolve conflicts. When QCH opened the Beacon program in 1998, Patrick was one of the first two staff members hired. He brought with him a following of youth from the neighborhood who were eager to spend time with him and be part of the positive environment that he creates.
His rare skills have been acknowledged by other agencies. In 2002, the Associate Executive Director of Girls Incorporated noted that “As a result of the qualities which Patrick Pinchinat exemplifies, he is the only man we have trained in Operation SMART who is authorized by Girls Incorporated to facilitate the SMART program (for Science, Match And Related Technologies) for girls.”
Patrick has sought continual improvement and brings these back to the youth at the Beacon. Patrick has also sought continual improvement for the field as a whole. He has been a passionate and effective spokesperson for the Campaign for Summer jobs. This yearly Campaign seeks to secure Summer Youth Employment funding for summer jobs. Young people learn the skills of advocacy, public speaking and talking to legislators from across NY State. As Beacon director, he has developed the youth and staff as the core of the annual campaign as speakers and advocates. Patrick was one of the active participants in Networks for Youth Development through the Youth Development Institute, and one of the youth workers profiled by Dr. Jackie Davis-Manigault in her study of that initiative. He is among the most active in terms of ensuring that his Beacon is involved with many city-wide and state-wide advocacy efforts, and his staff and participants can be found at most of our agency advocacy efforts.
Most recently, Patrick was asked by NYC Department of Youth and Community Development to be a part of a planning committee to develop a stronger network of support and capacity for Beacon Directors and help to inform funders of trends and needs. This committee, working alongside the leadership of the Beacon unit of DYCD, will strengthen a valued partnership between funder and providers.
Patrick has also led his youth to have a positive impact on the community. Every year, the Beacon youth select a community issue to address and propose a solution. The youth have tackled issues such as the need for language translation in schools for parents (subsequently legislated as a requirement); ways to make the community safer; replanting of trees that were uprooted by a tornado last year; and a redesign of a park for youth of all ages.