Albany – State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that Guy Cosentino of Auburn has been awarded the New York State Senate Achievers’ Award. The prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the lives of people with physical or mental challenges.
“It is a privilege to honor Guy Cosentino today,” said Senator Nozzolio, who nominated Guy for the award. “The compassion that Guy has displayed throughout his life is an inspiration to all of us, and shows how you can make a real difference through hard work and dedication.”
Since 1996, Guy Thomas Cosentino has been the Executive Director of Options for Independence, an Independent Living Center that serves the needs of people with disabilities, their families and the business community in Cayuga and Seneca counties.
Guy has continually looked at ways to increase the role of Options for Independence in the community. The agency has played an active role in the growth of the Cayuga County Human Services Coalition, with Options staff serving on several of its task groups. Under his leadership in 1997, the organization was able to have the Cayuga County Legislature create and fund a continuous portable ramp program for county residents.
During his tenure, the organization has taken a lead role in increasing public awareness about disability issues. In 2001, the agency became a Cayuga County United Way Agency to help diversify its funding stream. In 2004, they coordinated two successful voting registration drives and a candidate's forum.
Knowing the need for services for the disabled homeless and near homeless, Options for Independence assisted in the development of a Federal Continuum of Care submission in 2004. In January 2005, the agency was notified that it would be provided funding to do data collection for the Cayuga County Homeless Task Force and also to provide housing subsidies for the disabled homeless.
In 1991, Mr. Cosentino was elected Mayor of the City of Auburn and focused on the needs of the disabled community. During his tenure as Mayor, the City of Auburn took an aggressive role in making sure that curb cuts and curb ramps at street corners were installed. The City made such changes part of their Capital Improvement Plan and financed them annually.
Mr. Cosentino was born and raised in Auburn, attending local schools. He is a 1985 graduate of Syracuse University where he studied history.
The New York State Senate Achievers’ Awards are presented each year in conjunction with the Senate’s Disability Awareness Day, an annual event sponsored by the Senate to raise public awareness of the efforts and accomplishments of citizens with disabilities.
“Guy Cosentino could not be more deserving of the Achievers’ Award. He is to be commended for making a difference and helping others,” Senator Nozzolio concluded.