A Regent University School of Business & Leadership (SBL) graduate student was honored as a hero for her dedication to her community. The Boston Celtics recognized Geralde Gabeau ’16 (SBL, Doctorate of Strategic Leadership) with its ‘Hero Among Us’ award for her service as deputy director of Youth & Family Enrichment Services (YOFES) in Boston. The team bestowed the recognition in the form of a trophy in front of thousands of fans on Nov.12 at TD Garden in Boston.
The ‘Hero Among Us’ award is given to individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others. It’s been a Boston Celtics tradition since 1997, and Gabeau was glad the award brought recognition to the people her organization seeks to serve.
“I never want the focus to be on me,” said Gabeau. “I told them when they called me for the award that the only reason why I would receive it is if they put the focus on the children. I believe the real heroes are the children and families we serve. They were able to show pictures of the children on the jumbotron which was rewarding. Some of the children were also at the TD Garden and saw their pictures on the big screen with the public applauding. It was really nice to see that.”
Gabeau was selected to receive the award because of the work YOFES does to support Haitian families and immigrants. Her organization touches the lives of more than 500 children per year in Boston with its Open Access to Music Education for Children program (OAMEC). Its goal is to create an atmosphere where students can focus on something positive and joyful.
Students who never dreamed of playing instruments now receive a quality music education. It started when Gabeau saw her community struggling with youth violence, teen pregnancy, high school students dropouts, and other social and emotional disorders, and she decided to do something about it.
“I believe God has called me to serve,” said Gabeau. “In fact, I don’t see my life any other way than in service. For what God has done for me, my only response to His love is to reflect His glory through the lives He has allowed me to touch one way or another. If we are called to transform the world, we have to be busy at spreading the love of Christ through our service to others.”
Her service to others officially began in Haiti when Gabeau was 16. She and a friend started the Association for Brotherly Love to spread the love of Christ among the poor and the widows. That friend is now her husband, and when they moved to Boston, that sort of heart-felt, innovative service continued with YOFES. Gabeau plans to continue to empower her ability to serve with an education from Regent.
“I chose Regent because of my calling to serve,” said Gabeau. “I wanted an education that would better prepare me both academically and spiritually to serve. As a Christian, I am always looking for ways to transform the world with the love of Christ, and I believe that is exactly what is happening right now with my Regent experience.”
Gabeau encourages others to find out what they are called to do and do it with love and care for the glory of God.