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Vincent Pompei, Max Disposti, Carolyn Bolton honored as KPBS Local Heroes

SAN DIEGO -- As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of LGBT Pride Month, Union Bank has partnered with KPBS to honor three members of San Diego’s LGBT community as part of the Local Heroes program: Carolyn Bolton, Max Disposti and Vincent Pompei.

The program recognizes and pays tribute to extraordinary leaders of the community who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their profession, community, region and the world.

North County’s LGBTQ Resource Center founder and executive director Max Disposti, along with colleague and director of Project Youth’s Carolyn Bolton, work to give the community access to tools and resources to live a successful and productive life. Vincent Pompei, an educator and LGBT advocate, aims to make area schools a better place for youth to learn and grow up.

Earlier this year, honorees were identified during Black History Month (February); Women’s History Month (March); Jewish American Heritage Month (May); and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May) and will also be identified during Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October); Disability Awareness Month (October); and American Indian Heritage Month (November). Honorees will be formally recognized during celebration dinners, which Union Bank sponsors with KPBS.

“Union Bank is very proud to partner with KPBS to celebrate these remarkable leaders,” Union Bank senior executive vice president Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “The Local Heroes program represents our vibrant and diverse communities, and we are pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals who contribute so much to enrich the San Diego community.”

“We are privileged to partner with Union Bank as we celebrate the work of these incredible individuals,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. “These honorees are doing outstanding work to benefit the local LGBT community, the San Diego community in general and the world at large, and we are delighted to feature each individual in our programming as their stories are incredibly unique and inspiring.”

The 2013 LGBT Pride Month honorees are:

After overcoming a childhood of adversity, Vincent Pompei dedicated his life to making a difference for LGBT youth. He is the project director for the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL) and the chair for the only national educator conference focused on LGBT youth. Mr. Pompei is a member of the California Teachers Association LGBT Issues Advisory Committee, a national LGBT cadre trainer with the National Education Association and the author of the LGBT section of the American School Counselor Association’s National Model. He was one of four public educators invited to the first White House Anti-Bullying Summit with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Max Disposti has worked as a community organizer for human rights organizations since arriving to the United States in 1998. In January 2008, Disposti founded the North County LGBT Coalition, a non-profit organization in the North San Diego community. Four years later, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center was founded. Disposti volunteers as the executive director, alongside Carolyn Bolton, who volunteers as the director of Project Youth. Bolton has been involved with the LGBTQ Resource Center for the past five years. She ensures that the youth in her community feel safe at the Resource Center, and also in their schools. Bolton has been instrumental in creating and maintaining Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) at both high schools and colleges.

Throughout the respective commemorative heritage months, KPBS will air video profiles of each honoree, highlighting how they make a difference in their community. The 2013 profiles can be viewed on the web at www.kpbs.org/heroes.

For more information about the Local Heroes program, or to nominate a 2014 local hero, please also visit HERE.

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Vincent Pompei