Category Archives: Uncategorized

Affordable housing development in Brattleboro reserves four apartments for youth in transition

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust  celebrated its new downtown development at 29 Flat St., otherwise known as the Snow Block, October 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. The new apartment building will create 23 new homes ranging from studio to two-bedroom apartments, with the goal of revitalizing a portion of the downtown area.

Youth Services will be celebrating the the four apartments dedication to its clients with an opportunity to have services available on site.

“We are delighted by our partnership with Youth Services at the Snow Block,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Bridgewater. “Young people often have the hardest time getting their first apartment and the Snow Block will provide a home and support at a critical point in a young person’s life to set them up for success now and in the future.

Funding for the project includes monies from the state’s Housing for All Revenue Bond (HRB), which was passed into law in 2017.

“The Snow Block, located in downtown Brattleboro, has met a housing need that continues to grow throughout Vermont,” said Gov. Phil Scott in a statement. “And with both millennials and our aging populations looking to live in walkable communities close to shopping and access to public transportation, having housing they can afford in vibrant downtowns is critical. I’m so pleased our housing bond is making that possible in Brattleboro and in our downtowns across Vermont.”

Funding totaling over $7 million from numerous sources was raised to cover the total development costs. Almost $5 million came through Housing Tax Credits administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) and purchased by People’s United Bank.

“The Snow Block is the latest example of Windham & Windsor Housing Trust’s vision of a vibrant downtown Brattleboro where everyone in the community can afford their housing,” said VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins. “This building will strengthen the health, connections, and financial stability of residents today and well into the future.”

“People’s United Bank is pleased to have been a major investor in the Snow Block and we are thrilled with our long term relationship with Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, said People’s United Bank Vice-President and CRA Officer Art Casavant. “This important project reflects the power harnessed in Vermont in support of low and moderate income communities and we look forward to the occupancy of this vibrant new housing space.”

For information about any of WWHT’s apartments or to learn how to apply for housing, call 802-254-4604.

 

Brattleboro’s Youth-Led Business Seeks Volunteer Mentors: Experience with design, business, entrepreneurship or sales especially needed

Youth Services is recruiting additional volunteer mentors for its youth-led enterprise, DemoGraphix, a business-to-business screen-printing company in Brattleboro, Vermont.

The employees, ages 12-24, have been instrumental in readying the business to open this month, building a strong team, selecting the name and designing a logo, training on the screen-press, established policies, a pricing structure and a marketing plan, all with the input of adult mentors, according to Emile Kornheiser, Youth Services’ director of Workforce Development.

Employees of DemoGraphix can make and sell their own designs as well as be employed by the company, Kornheiser explained. Launched earlier this year, the company employs young people in every aspect of the business— design, printing, shipping, customer service, marketing and accounting.  “DemoGraphix is dedicated to delivering job skills for these young people and fostering entrepreneurship and community connections,” stated Kornheiser.

 Mentors join a caring, fun team of adults who support the youth both at the screen printing shop and through one-on-one meetings. “The mentors are an integral part of the overall structure which guarantees the success of our outcomes,” said Kornheiser. “Our participants learn how to be a member of a team in a connected, supportive environment, learning from adults who are on the other side of so much of what they’re going through,” Kornheiser explained. 

Youth Services asks for a commitment of four hours per month, for one year, as well as attendance at quarterly trainings. There is no one profile for a successful mentor; excellent mentors can all have different backgrounds and be different ages, confirmed Kornheiser, who suggested scheduling an initial visit or a meeting as a way to determine a good fit before formally applying.  “What all our mentors share in common is an interest in working with young people and a willingness to share their expertise,” Kornheiser said.

A one-year commitment is requested from volunteer mentors; they must be at least 21 years old; provide references and pass a background check.  Kornheiser stressed that DemoGraphix mentors must be dependable and consistent in the minimum commitment: attending two group meetings a month, typically from 4-6 pm on Wednesday afternoons at the Printmakers Co-op space in Brattleboro.

The description for mentors lists as desired qualities being a willing listener, patience and flexibility. Youth Services offers quarterly ongoing trainings for mentors and an optional mentor support group.

To learn more about joining DemoGraphix as a mentor, visit email info@youthservicesinc.org or call (802) 257-0361 x138. For screen printing estimates, email: demographixvt@gmail.com or call 802-275-7871.

View application materials to become a mentor

 

Youth Services’ Annual Golf Tournament received strong community, corporate support

A enthusiastic turn out by local golfers —78 in all — and strong corporate support, made Youth Services’ 34th Annual Golf Tournament a rousing success, generated nearly $15,000 to help underwrite the agency’s programs. The tournament was held at the Brattleboro Country Club on July 24, a breezy 80-degree day with sunny skies.

The GS Precision team

 

The Elizabeth Walker team of Andrea Nelson, Eileen Ranslow, Terry Boyce and Elizabeth Walker won First Gross, with the Brattleboro Food Coop team of Bob Lyons, Sabine Rhyne, Jeff Houle and Tracy Sloan finishing First Net.

The Springfield Housing Authority team of Bill Morlock, Mike Augustauskas, David Nichols and Tracy Johnson took Second Gross with the Cersosimo Industries team of Michael Cersosimo, Brian Knowles, Bruce Davis and Wayne Wright taking Second Net.

Elizabeth Walker won the prize for the Women’s Longest Drive. Sabine Rhyne took Women’s Closest to the Line with Maggie Aldrich winning the prize for Women’s Closest to the Pin.

In the Men’s Division, Brian Knowles took the prize for Men’s Longest Drive. Dave Anderson took Men’s Closest to the Line with Paul Saccoccio winning Men’s Closest to Pin.

Youth Services’ Executive Director Russell Bradbury-Carlin, together with staff member Gail Bourque, ran a Putting Contest which raised close to $200 for the agency.  The winner of the Putting Contest was Bonnie McKellar.

For the sixth year in a row, there was a silent auction and over 50 items and services were raffled thanks to the generosity of local businesses who has supported the fundraiser with contributions in-kind.

Dave Manning helps helicopter pilot Michael Renaud with the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop raffle.

A special feature was the 7th year Helicopter Golf Ball Drop thanks to the Renaud Bros, Inc. helicopter, piloted by Mike Renaud and assisted by David Manning. Individuals did not need to be part of the tournament to buy golf balls, priced at $100 each, nor be present at the drop to win. Buckets of golf balls were dropped from 20 feet on the fairway at the Brattleboro Country Club, with the winner of the $3000 cash prize being Melanie Boese of Brattleboro, VT with ball #46.

Because of struggles with substance abuse in her family, Boese pledges to donate her winnings to Youth Services new Substance Abuse treatment program.  Jeff Morse and Gene Wrinn had the next closest balls. Melanie Boese was also top bidder on the helicopter ride that evening.

Winner of the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, Melanie Boese.

MANY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

PRESENTING SPONSOR (Golf Tournament)

G. S. Precision

PRESENTING SPONSOR (Gala)

Twombly Wealth Management

SUSTAINER SPONSORS

Brattleboro Savings & Loan

Chroma Technology

ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care

Edward Jones Investments

New Chapter

River Valley Credit Union

Silver Forest of Vermont

Vermont Country Deli

 

PATRON SPONSORS

Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors

Brattleboro Retreat

C.E Bradley Laboratories

Chroma Technology

C & S Wholesale Grocers

Crispe & Crispe

David Manning Inc.

Downs Rachlin & Martin PLLC

Green Mountain Tents

Phillips, Shriver, Dunn & Carroll, PC

Rolls Royce Nuclear

Trust Company of Vermont

ASSOCIATE SPONSORS

Cota & Cota Oil Co.

Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation

Stevens & Associates, PC

True North Granola

WW Building Supply

MEDIA SPONSORS

Brattleboro Reformer

WTSA

 

Youth Services is part of national and local strategy to combat opioid addiction among young people: attended RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

Youth Services’ Executive Director, Russell Bradbury-Carlin attend the RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta the last week in April. The summit, which began in 2012, bills itself as the event for decision makers and allied professionals working to address the public health emergency. The Summit is now the annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what’s working in prevention and treatment. In previous years, former Presidents Obama and Clinton presented.  President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump addressed attendees this year.

Windham County is a high-risk community for substance use disorder and is one of the 220 high-risk rural counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control as being at highest risk for HIV and Hepatitis C infections due to injection drug used.

Youth Services’ executive director attended this conference for the first time through funding from the Windham County Consortium on Substance Use, a group who together are assessing current gaps and resources in order to develop a strategic plan to uniquely address issues of substance abuse, primarily from opioids, within Windham County.

Youth Services believe that supportive and therapeutic counseling services for individuals, families and groups are effective methods to address substance related issues. “We provide a variety of consultation and clinical services designed to decrease hazardous use, promote abstinence, assist in recovery and problem resolution, improve functioning and develop a healthier lifestyle,” stated Bradbury-Carlin.

“Our approach to substance abuse counseling focuses on the belief that each individual is a person of worth and dignity and is capable of recovery,” explained Bradbury-Carlin. “An attitude of realistic hope is central to our treatment philosophy. We recognize that substance use disorders are chronic problems, with both common and unique challenges for each person,” Bradbury-Carlin said.

 

Local “Celebrity” dancers brought out the crowds at Youth Services’ Spring Gala & Dance Show, raising close to $25,000

Nearly every seat was occupied at Youth Services’ Annual Gala & Dance Show at SIT on Saturday, April 27, with 106 guests witnessing local “celebrities” showcasing their dance skills and supporting a great cause! This was the second year that the much anticipated annual event showcased a twist on televisions’ hit reality show, Dancing with the Stars.

Presented by Twombly Wealth Management, the festive evening of food and drink at SIT started with a silent auction auctioning art and crafts, gifts, and getaways from 95 local artisans and businesses which grossed $12,000 for the youth serving nonprofit.

Dinner was followed by the Can Windham County Dance? show featuring local “celebrity” dancers. None of the celebrities were novice dancers but all rehearsed numerous times to perfect their routines.

Matt Peake and Connie Burton dance The Lovers’ Waltz.

Richard and Margo Langlois, long-time line dance instructors shared their medley of 1950’s/60’s novelty dances. Car wash owner, Connie Burton and artist Matt Peake prepared a beautifully executed performance of The Lovers’ Waltz. Attorney Andrew Marchev of Phillips, Dunn, Shriver & Carroll and Physical Therapy Assistant at BMH Melissa Kuralt danced a charged and flawless Salsa to “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi.

Architects Joseph Cincotta and Julie Lineburger performed a high octane and original swing dance to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, while the audience clapped. Dr. Jesper Brickley and his wife, Cara Wolff performed a crowd pleasing Hustle, including lifts. Dance teachers Gershom Moore and Francesca Bourgault, owner of Windham Movement Apparel tapped out an elegant duet to “After Hours” by Qunicy Jones and his Orchestra. Internationally recognized ballroom dancers Justin Vasselli and Sophia Marx, amazed the crowd with their precision Cha cha to “Diras Que Estoy Loco” by Miguel Angel Munoz.  Closing the performance was Victoria Jaenson, participating courtesy of the Charlotte Ballet Co., with an choreographed original contemporary piece to the music “Maribel” by Oskar Schuster, to much applause.

Francesca Bourgault and Gershom Moore perform tap dancing to the music of “After Hours” by Quincy Jones and His Orchestra

Top prize for fundraising went to “celebrity” Dr. Jesper Brickley and his wife Cara Wolff, jewelry maker and Brattleboro shopkeeper, for raising the most donations to support Youth Services critical safety net for area young people. All together their sponsors contributed close to $5000 to Youth Services. In second place for fundraising was “celebrity” Melissa Kuralt and Andrew Marchev whose sponsorships totaled $1338; Margo and Richard Langlois who raised $1163; and Joseph Cincotta and Julie Lineberger who closely followed them by raising $1141. All together the eight sets of dancing partners raised $9505 on-and off-line from 67 donors from as far away as Nebraska.

Cara Wolff and Dr. Jesper Brickley won the trophy for top fundraisers for the event by raising close to $5000 singlehanded.

“We appreciated our presenting sponsor, Twombly Wealth Management, the great turnout from the community, the lovely venue SIT provided, and the dedication of the dancers and volunteers who made this a truly memorable event,” stated Russell Bradbury Carlin. “Through their incredible support of Youth Services, it is clear that the community is committed to each young person realizing their full potential,” he said.

Youth Services anticipates holding a third “Can Windham County Dance” event next spring and will be seeking a new line-up of local “celebrity” dancers in January, representing different genres of dance, towns, professions and most working intensively with dance instructors to prepare for their debut. Youth Services’ Pacesetter Sponsors for 2019 are The Richards Group, GS Precision and Brattleboro Subaru. For more information call Youth Services at (802) 257-0361 or email info@youthservicesinc.org.

 

Youth Services calls for “local celebrity” dancers to perform in signature fundraiser April 27

Are you interested in joining the 2019 cast of Can Windham County Dance?

Have you ever imagined yourself dancing in the spotlight? Would you enjoy performing in front of a live audience? Are you looking for a way to positively influence the lives of young people and families in Windham County? If you answered yes to the above questions, Youth Services has an opportunity for you to fulfill that dream.

BAMS Keith Lyman & daughter Chloe

Youth Services is hosting So Can Windham County Dance? second annual gala  presented by Twombly Wealth Management, with a goal of $20,000 raised to strengthen the safety net for area young people and families. This spring, Can Windham County Dance? gala takes place on Saturday, April 27, once again at SIT in Brattleboro.

Mollie Burke & Peter Gould

Youth Services’ newest signature fundraiser pairs well-known “celebrity” members of the community with their own partners or professional dance instructors who train with them on a dance routine that is performed in front of a sold-out gala crowd at SIT.  This is a local twist on the reality TV show, Dancing with the Stars. The winner of the dance ‘competition’ is determined by both talent and fundraising ability.

 

 

“We encourage anyone who’s up for the challenge, to apply to join the cast of So Can Windham County Dance?” said Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Executive Director of Youth Services.  “We are currently recruiting individuals who are not only inspired by our mission to transform lives and inspire futures, but who also have the charisma, skill to perform on stage, and ability to raise funds for our cause.”

An easy-to-complete questionnaire is available below. The deadline for submission is approaching. For more information call (802) 257-0361, email: info@youthservicesinc.org

Info for Prospective Dancers

Frequently Asked Questions

Sign Up dancer form to download, fill out and submit

PRESENTED BY 

David Brown voted Board Emeritus at Youth Services

David Brown, Board Emeritus

David Brown, an award-winning realtor with Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country, was voted Board Emeritus at Youth Services’ October board meeting on which Brown “served with distinction” for over two decades.

Only three other board members have received the board emeritus status in Youth Services’ 46-year history: attorney Jesse Corum IV and insurance executive Ben Underhill, both now deceased, and Larry Cassidy, one of its founders who continues to be a key advisor.

Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Executive Director, said he has relied on Brown’s intimate knowledge of the organization and Windham Country communities since he arrived at the nonprofit in 2015.  “David has been extraordinarily devoted to the success of Youth Services.  He stops by our offices regularly and is always available to lend a supportive ear or to connect us to people who might be helpful with a new project or a particular issue we are facing.”

Few have worn as many hats at Youth Services as Brown, according to Bradbury-Carlin.  In addition to being a volunteer for 26 years and counting, Brown was a liaison to area businesses for the agency’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program and served as Interim Executive Director from 2011-2012.

Brown’s Youth Services affiliation started as a Court Diversion Board volunteer in 1992 and continues to this day, participating in monthly panels focused on repairing the harm caused by a community member. Diversion holds those who violated the law accountable in a manner that promotes responsibility to individuals, community and relationships and addresses underlying needs or issues that led to the offense.

“David is very much the diplomat on his panel,” attested Patrick Fleming, Youth Services’ Diversion Case Manager who describe Brown’s approach as one that is often able to defuse the individual’s reluctance to address an issue.

Marion Dowling, who is a Diversion panelist with Brown, said he knows how to share space with his fellow panelists. “David is truly the anchor of our panel. I have learned so much from his way of seeing the whole picture of the individual in front of him,” Dowling said.  “He has a remarkable way putting the client at ease, using a lovely sense of humor which allows the person freedom to share in an open, trusting manner,” explained Dowling.

In addition to countless volunteer hours, Brown has also shared his creative side with Youth Services, donating his own pastel paintings to the organization’s annual gala and silent auction that he co-chairs, and by asking other local artists to contribute their artwork.

“David is amazing to work with,” stated Liz Richards, who co-chaired the Jazz Jubilee and the Denim & Diamond- themed galas with Brown for 15 successful years. “We had a lot of fun pulling off annual galas & silent auctions at the Grafton Inn that had Youth Services supporters coming back year after year,” Richard recalled.

Brown was the organization’s board president from 2004-2006. Allyson Villars, executive director at that time, recalls Brown’s kindness of spirit, and his unbiased concern for staff and board members, clients and volunteers and his modeling of all the values Youth Services promulgates with youth living in difficult circumstances.

“He was always my go-to-guy, my first phone call, my port in any storm, and both my last meeting of the day and my first meeting in early mornings. David was my guide, my mentor, my confidante — a great boss,” Villars explained.  “When I think of the reasons for Youth Services’ success at that time, his ever-presence, wise counsel, and willingness to go above and beyond is always one of the things that comes to mind,” she recalled.

Supporting and mentoring new board members was a role Brown also relished, introducing each new board members to the staff and helping them find a way to use their expertise on a committee to benefit Youth Services. Rachel Selsky, the present board chair recalled Brown as her mentor during the Get on Board non-profit board management certificate program she was taking through Marlboro Graduate Center.

“David’s enthusiasm for Youth Services was infectious and I was truly impressed by his open heart and commitment to the organization. I am especially appreciate of all the wisdom and laughs we have shared.  “We are grateful to be able to honor David’s efforts on behalf of the young people of Windham County, with the title of board emeritus. David’s dedication to Youth Services has set a high bar for the rest of us,” said Selsky.

Mentors for adolescents and young adults are currently sought. To get involved as a volunteer or to donate to Youth Services, visit youthservicesinc.org or call (802) 257-0361.

Workforce Development is expanding with youth-led business launch

Emilie Kornheiser

Youth Services recently appointed Emilie Kornheiser to the position of Director of Workforce Development.  In this new role Kornheiser will oversee and expand existing programs for clients and community partners. She will begin this summer by launching a youth-led screen printing business that will incorporate mentoring and a work-skills training program.

“All Youth Services workforce initiatives are based in a mentoring model,” explained Kornheiser. “We partner employers, entrepreneurs and artists with young people to build trust first and skills second,” she stated. “This essential first step of supported connection will simplify the challenges of navigating complex class, trauma, and educational issues in our employment services,” Kornheiser predicted.

Emilie brings her experience starting a Brattleboro business, the Weathervane Gallery and Performing Arts Café, brokering international public private partnerships, and her background with disenfranchised young people to this position, supporting connection and commitment between communities and youth, explained Russell Bradbury-Carlin, executive director of Youth Services.  He was also impressed with Kornheiser’s state-wide successes in poverty prevention roles with Building Bright Futures and Promise Communities as well as her employment history in Brattleboro as a Reach Up case manager with Early Education Services, where she supported employment for parents of young children receiving state assistance.

“Emilie’s past roles requiring deep cross-class dialogue, motivational interviewing, strengths based/appreciative inquiry frameworks and an ability to continually translate between system and individuals, individuals and system, much as she will need to do in this position with Youth Services,” Bradbury-Carlin stated. “Already in her first weeks on the job she has done an excellent job reaching out across organizational boundaries to build collaborations and create a network of services for our clients that also meet the needs of Windham County communities,” he said.

Workforce Development at Youth Services in the coming months is expected to offer a spectrum of employment services with a low barrier to entry and serve young people from ages 12 to 24 in stipended and paid roles, according to Kornheiser. She explained that individuals will find support with short-term as well as long-term work, employment training, internships, and develop closer ties with their community.

Kornheiser was a graduate last year from the Vermont Leadership Institute at the Snelling Center for Government and attended the University of Vermont for a Master’s program in Community Development and Applied Economics. She is a candidate to represent Brattleboro District 1 in the Vermont House of Representatives. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and Developmental Psychology from Marlboro College.

 

For more information about Workforce Development at Youth Services, call (802) 257-0361 or visit youthservicesinc.org

Staff shares restorative justice experiences with researchers, policymakers and fellow practioners

Youth Services’ staff member Sarah Ballou, attended a conference on International Restorative Justice, “Global Unity and Healing: Building Communities with a Restorative Approach, held at the University of Vermont at the end of June. Organized by Vermont Law School, the conference brought together researchers, policy-makers and practitioner, like Ballou to share the difference a restorative approach makes and consider its potential to reveal and address the complex and relational nature of some of our greatest problems and challenges: environmental justice, addressing harm and conflict and building safe, healthy and inclusive communities.

Ben Underhill voted board emeritus at Youth Services

Ben Underhill, owner of Putnam Insurance of Brattleboro, was voted Board Emeritus by Youth Services’ board of directors at the June board meeting on which Underhill “served with distinction” for over three decades. Two other board members have received the board emeritus status in Youth Services’ 46-year history: the late attorney Jesse Corum IV and Larry Cassidy, who continues to be a key advisor. Continue reading Ben Underhill voted board emeritus at Youth Services