On November 20, 2019, Pepe Auto Group and Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle partnered with Backyard Sports Cares to host a mentorship event for current residents of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester. The shelter serves as a home-like alternative to incarceration for young men, aged 16 to 21, awaiting disposition of various criminal charges. The program fulfills a wide spectrum of educational and therapeutic needs, including sports activity programs facilitated by Backyard Sports Cares.
Led by Megan Leone, Pepe Auto Group Marketing Manager, Danielle Gagliardi, Pepe Auto Group Marketing Specialist, and Chris Tokarz, General Manager of Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle, the evening included a tour of the showroom and service department, a “behind the scenes” dinner in the board room and a mentoring session that offered career advice from staff in various departments, including management, sales, marketing, tech/service, and parts.
“Ray”, a young resident at the shelter, said he and his peers had an amazing experience at the Mercedes Benz dealership. “The employees made us feel comfortable and welcomed. Just sitting in the cars brought you into a place of joy. We are extremely grateful for the experience. I would really like to do something like this again during my stay at the Youth Shelter.”
“These young men not only got a chance to network, eat pizza and take a look at some really cool cars, they also had a unique opportunity to explore various career paths and hear stories from professional staff who all overcame unique challenges to find success in their careers with Mercedes Benz,” said Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares.
“Giving back to the community is so important to the Mercedes-Benz of New Rochelle family,” said Megan Leone, Marketing Manager at Pepe Auto Group. “No matter what life presents us, we know there is always someone who faces challenges that are even tougher than ours. If we can make even the smallest difference or positive influence in one of those young men’s lives, then we did something right and our time together was a success!”
As part of a global organization comprised of employees from many different backgrounds, Mercedes Benz’ corporate culture embraces diversity. At the local level, Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle exemplifies this inclusive philosophy through the active role that employees play in building real relationships and becoming personally involved with nonprofit organizations to create life-changing experiences in their community.