Category Archives: News

The 1st Annual CORNSTOCK: Cornhole for a Cause! grosses $11,000 to benefit Youth Services with the help of individuals and business support

Despite an unusually hot spring day last Saturday, Youth Services’ new fundraiser, CORNSTOCK: Cornhole for a Cause! was successfully launched the afternoon of May 21 at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro. Presented by Chroma Technology, the inaugural event which celebrated Youth Services’ 50 years building community, grossed $11,000 to support its 20 programs in Windham County and in neighboring New Hampshire towns.

Teams of four or more, totaling 125 individuals with names like “The Hole Denominators”,“Creamed Corn”, “Lieutenant Frank Drebin” and the “Senior Holymolycornholies” raised donations on-line and off, from more than 100 acquaintances near and far.

Frances Quesnel (R) was
top individual fundraiser.

Retreat Farm’s Farmhouse Square sported the flying corn bags (sewn and weighed to specs by volunteers Judy and Chip Siler) every hour between noon and 6 pm, in a grassy field lined with 24 cornhole boards built by the Windham Regional Career Center students taught by instructor John DiMatteo) from materials donated by W.W. Building Supply. The boards were snappily dressed in purple and white vinyl covers contributed by Elite Vinyl Images, designed by Lotus Graphics and installed by Brattleboro Union High School volunteers.

Youth Services’ Executive Director, Russell Bradbury-Carlin categorized CORNSTOCK ‘22 as a strong start for what he hopes will be an increasingly successful fundraiser for his organization and a signature event for the community.

Over 125 players braved hot weather to come out and play cornhole for a cause!

“I want to thank our volunteers, our cornhole players, our corporate sponsors, the musicians and food trucks and our in-kind and prize donors,” he said. “We couldn’t have pulled this off without each and every one of them.  Also, Retreat Farm is a great venue for CORNSTOCK and their events coordinator, Jenny Crowell, met our every request,” stated Bradbury-Carlin.

Unlike a traditional tournament, prizes went to the top fundraisers rather than top scorers. Raising over $1000 to benefit Youth Services, Frances Quesnel from the Swiss Precision team “Oh Shuck It! Bag Busters” team received the top individual fundraiser prize, a “designer” hand-crafted red oak and alder cornhole set that resembled fine furniture, donated by Guilford woodworker and retired educator, Dwayne Johnson. 

Area musicians showcased their talents throughout the day at CORNSTOCK starting off with the 7-person ensemble Putney Jazz, followed by a Capella performers, Shoulder Narrows, and concluding with the seasoned musical duo, Steve Carmichael & Bill Conley.

The team who raised the most collectively was the “Cornish Game Chicks” team, who will receive a donated pontoon boat ride with refreshments on the Connecticut River as their reward. The business that sent the largest number of employees was tied between Chroma Technology and Swiss Precision Turning.  The Corny Cyclists team and teams from Chroma both received recognition for their team uniforms.

The Corny Cyclists won a trophy
for their team uniform.

Youth Services Corporate Sponsors for 2022 include Pacesetters Brattleboro Subaru, The Richards Group and Headwater Precision, Presenters: Chroma, NorthStar, GS Precision. Sustainers: Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors; Brattleboro Savings & Loan; C&S Wholesale Grocers; DMI Paving; Law Office of Crispe & Crispe; Edward Jones Investment; H & R Block; New Chapter; 802 Credit Union; Silver Forest of Vermont, Inc; Swiss Precision Turning; Vermont Country Deli and VSECU. Patron Sponsors are Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC; Market 32 Golub Foundation; Stevens & Associates; and Trust Co. of Vermont.  Associate Sponsors are: Cota & Cota, Inc; ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care; Phillips, Shriver, Dunn & Carroll; Shoe Tree and WW Building Supply. Media Sponsor is the Brattleboro Reformer.

For more information on Youth Services or to sign up to help organize next year’s CORNSTOCK, email; or call (802) 257-0361 x147.

Youth Services’ Summer Camps Listing 2022 Available for Viewing/Download

Youth Services has once again created a downloadable spreadsheet of all camps in Windham County as a service to area families.

“Our Summer Camp Listing gives parents and grandparents a listing of all the options in one convenient location,” notes Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services’ Executive Director. “We’ve been doing this for years as a service to local families.”

Dates, age range, cost and scholarship availability are listed as well as contact information.  Past camps who provide information for this listing include Bonnyvale Nature Explorers; River Gallery School; Boys and Girls Club; Brattleboro School of Dance; Brattleboro Outing Club/Tennis; Miss Martha’s Creative Nature Based Program, Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Dept.; New England Center for Circus Arts; Saint Michael PreSchool Summer Camp; Vermont Wilderness School; Global Cow Spanish Guests; Meeting Waters YMCA; River Gallery School of Art; New England Youth Theatre and more!

Youth Services’ Summer Resource Calendar is available now on-line. The directory is sponsored by Youth Services Pacesetters: The Richards Group, Brattleboro Subaru, and Headwater Precision. For more information, call Youth Services at (802) 257-0361 or visit, where you can access or download the listing.

Affordable Housing Leader Bill Morlock joins Youth Services Board

William Morlock III, retired Executive Director of the Springfield (Vermont) Housing Authority, recently joined 11 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors. Through twenty programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development, counseling and case management, the nonprofit agency, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, helps Windham County thrive.

Morlock served at the helm of the Springfield Housing Authority for three decades. In addition to the Ellis Bloc and Huber Buildings, the Housing Authority under Morlock’s leadership, renovated the Woolson Block, a three-story historic former mill building. With a $8.7 million investment, the block was transformed into a multi-use facility combining affordable apartments, service-enriched apartments for homeless and at-risk youth ages 18-24 and more than 5,000 square feet of commercial spaces.

Also in Springfield, earlier in his career, Morlock was the Nursing Home Administrator for two homes in the 80’s and before that, a middle school science teacher in Enfield, CT. Now retired, Morlock serves on the Springfield On the Move board and was past President and Vice President of Brattleboro Community Land Trust, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) and Housing Vermont.

Morlock is already familiar with many aspects of Youth Services, having served on its finance committee for several years. He was recognized by HCRS in recent years for his collaboration on a youth-in transition program in the Woolson Block development in Springfield for young adults between 18-24, to give them wrap around services for two years with housing, similar to a program at Youth Services. He looks forward to helping the organization prepare for new challenges ahead as he helps with its mission of being a catalyst for change.

“Bill has been an amazing asset for Springfield’s downtown and community,” stated Youth Services board president, Cathy Coonan.  “We are so very fortunate to be able to tap his creativity and compassion now for Youth Services, through his board service.”  “Bill, a committed housing advocate understands youth homelessness and some of the complex interventions that we employed to house clients so that we can together start addressing other challenges that they’re facing.”

Bill Morlock lives with his wife Chris Hart in Brattleboro.

 To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a person for services, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Journalist Annaliese Griffin joins Youth Services Board

Annaliese Griffin

Annaliese Griffin, a journalist for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Marshall Project, Quartz and New York Magazine recently joined 11 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors.  Through twenty programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development and therapeutic case management, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County thrive.

Griffin has served on the Brattleboro Community Justice Center board since 2019 and as a volunteer there since 2016.  She has been a member of several of the center’s re-entry Circles of Support and Accountability, in which a team of trained community volunteers meet with individuals recently released from prison. The group helps with challenges such as finding a place to live and work, healing relationships and building new ones.

Mel Motel of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center recalled that when Griffin served as a member of the Town of Brattleboro’s Community Safety Review Committee in 2020, the journalist brought insights from the committee to her board membership, restorative justice volunteering, and the Center’s Neighborhood Restorative Justice Committee, which has explored ways to bring restorative justice to local neighborhoods and groups.

Instrumental in the decision of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center to merge with Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs, Griffin said she is excited to see the merger benefit Windham County communities by bringing all existing restorative justice services under one roof in order to serve people better. “I also expect that the two organizations working together will develop more creative community-based restorative programs, Griffin stated.

Griffin splits her time as a journalist between writing and editing for a number of national publications.  Recently she joined Youth Services’ Public Relations committee where she hopes to use her expertise with the written word.

“Annaliese’s background as a journalist will help us sharpen our media relations efforts and our ability to explain the purpose behind concepts such as restorative justice with the broader community, stated Youth Services board president, Cathy Coonan.  “We also appreciate her enthusiasm for our fundraising events and as we fine-tune our volunteer training we look forward to tapping her experience as a Brattleboro Community Justice Center volunteer,” Coonan predicted.

The most recent addition to the Youth Service’ board, Griffin grew up in Springfield, Vermont and moved to Brattleboro with her family five years ago.

Attorney Spencer Crispe Brings Legal Expertise and Passion for Supporting Young People to Youth Services Board

Attorney Spencer Crispe, a lifelong Vermont resident born in Brattleboro recently joined 9 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors. Through 10 programs ranging from program for homeless youth to a youth-led business, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County communities thrive.

Crispe is an owner and partner with his father, Lawrin Crispe, at Crispe & Crispe Law offices on Main Street in Brattleboro. He is the 4th generation in his family which has continuously practiced law in Brattleboro for well over 100 years, focusin on personal injury, torts, and worker’s compensation. Crispe brings to the practice an interest and expertise in civil rights, worker’s compensation and public interest law.

Dedicating a decade of his free time ensuring that Brattleboro had a skatepark for its youth and young-at-heart, Crispe, a devoted skateboarder, was a persistent champion for Brattleboro Area Skatepark is Coming from 2010-2020. Having been a social worker for at-risk youth through Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington from 2005-2007 as well as respite provider and First Call Crisis Responder for the Howard Center, he knows better than most the array of issues facing young people in Vermont and some of the solutions that work.

 “Spencer’s background in services delivery for youth, his insights into fundraising, his legal expertise and his deep commitment to Windham County will be a tremendous asset to the Youth Services board,” said Cathy Coonan, Youth Services’ board president. “As one of the newer and younger members of Youth Services’ board, Spencer brings valued expertise and perspectives that we’re looking forward to tapping in the coming months and years,” she said.

Crispe graduated from Vermont Law School in 2004 and from the University of Vermont in 2001. He has been a Planning Commission member in Wilmington, VT from 2009-2012 and was a Trails Committee member during much of that time. When he resided in Burlington, he was a youth center volunteer for over 10 years.

To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a youth for assistance, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Brattleboro Community Justice Center merges with Restorative Justice programs at Youth Services

The Brattleboro Community Justice Center and Restorative Justice Programs at Youth Services announced that they are joining forces, effectively shifting restorative justice practices in the greater Brattleboro area under one administrative umbrella and roof, a move long-considered by both organizations and heartily endorsed by other community partners, according to executive directors of both organizations.

“This merger will build on the strengths of each of our two entities, promote synergy and permit more resources to be devoted to community outreach for using restorative practices in area businesses and organizations,” explained Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services’ Executive Director and Mel Motel, Brattleboro Community Justice Center Executive Director, in a joint statement.

The Brattleboro Community Justice Center, with 3 staff and an AmeriCorps VISTA, engages with community members to repair harm caused by conflict and crime. The Center provides trainings in schools and neighborhoods; offers mediation around community conflicts; facilitates restorative interventions with individuals involved in the criminal legal system; and works with individuals returning to the community after incarceration.

Mel Motel, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center described the work of her organization as “building restorative communities where all people get what they need and “where we ourselves have the skills to respond to and transform harm within our own relationships and communities.” 

Youth Services, with a staff of 21 and an AmeriCorps VISTA, has a long and impactful history of serving young people and families living in all kinds of difficult circumstances in Windham County. Since its inception in 1972, nearly forty-nine years ago, Youth Services has been and continues to be a community innovator. As such, it was one of the first organizations in the state to embrace Court Diversion 40 years ago as a way to help youth repair the harm and address underlying conditions that lead to crimes. 

With time, Youth Services was asked by the State’s Attorney Office to apply this successful approach to adults in the community.  More recently, adults also benefit from its pre-trial services and a program to reinstate driver’s licenses under specific circumstances. 

Expansion in the last decade also occurred in Restorative Justice programs for youth, according to Sally Struble, Director of Restorative Justice Programs at Youth Services. Added in the last decade is a Youth Substance Awareness Safety Program and BARJ, which seeks to reduce and eliminate further involvement in the juvenile justice system and improve school attendance. Struble confirmed that all programs in each organization will continue after the merger, which will officially take place in July.

Brattleboro Community Justice Center and Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs have long collaborated. Now they’ll be under one roof.

Mel Motel is expected to remain with the merged entity as a co-director of Restorative Justice Programs, shedding the executive director role while increasing her community outreach for restorative practices, something she said she is thrilled to be able to focus her energies on.

Struble explained that the two organizations have a long history of collaborating, striving to develop a seamless experience for the community that uses their restorative justice services. Now the public will be able to find all Restorative Justice programs under one roof at 32 Walnut Street in Brattleboro. 

A life-long social worker, Susan Stember Buhlmann, joins Youth Services board of directors

Susan Stember Buhlmann, a life-long social worker, recently joined 13 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors.  Through nineteen programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development and therapeutic case management, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County thrive.

After graduating from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work, Buhlmann worked at The Brattleboro Retreat where she established a solid foundation in psychiatric care. From there she moved to Australia, working for the Family Court of Australia in addition to organizing and running a community-wide program for divorced families. While in Australia she began her own family of two children, now adults.

Susan Buhlmann, board member
Susan Buhlmann joins the Youth Services board

Returning to the United States, she worked in a variety of mental health settings including as the Regional Care Coordinator of the New Jersey Children’s Behavioral Health System and later was coordinator and supervisor of the Middlesex County NJ Children’s Mobile Response. In 2009, Buhlmann returned to the Retreat as a clinician in their Partial Hospital Programs and later as the psychiatric hospital’s Clinical Outreach Representative, promoting and representing The Retreat throughout New England and beyond. She presently works part-time for Bayada Hospice.

With years of experience working with adolescents and families in the mental health field, Buhlmann brings crucial insights and community connections to the Youth Services board, according to Cathy Coonan, board president. She says they are fortunate to have her vast experience when they are developing strategic plans for the future of the organization and trying to prevent staff burnout.

 “Susan’s deep understanding of the effects of trauma on mental health will be a tremendous asset to the board, none of whom have Buhlmann’s clinical background. We also appreciate her enthusiasm for our fundraising events and look forward to tapping her organizational skills,” Coonan added.

The most recent addition to Youth Service’ board resides in Brattleboro with her husband Willy Buhlmann, owner of Swiss Precision Turning Inc, a long-time corporate sponsor of Youth Services.  A “regular” at Youth Services’ Annual Golf Tournament with her husband, Buhlmann is no stranger to Youth Services, having served for many years on the Advisory Council of the organization’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program and as a committee member of its Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. She now is a member of the Annual Golf Tournament committee organizing a tourney and Helicopter Golf Ball Drop for July 28.

To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a person for services, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Youth Services Hires Rachael Trill as Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator

Youth Services has hired Rachael Trill as Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator for the organization.  These pre-trial programs were first started in 2015 after the passage of Act 195 by the Vermont legislature to address a judicial system overwhelmed by many cases best addressed outside of the courtroom.  

“They are voluntary programs designed to screen for the presence of substance abuse or mental health issues to inform the criminal justice system about whether alternative paths at rehabilitation may be more effective than the traditional criminal justice system,” Struble explained. Tamarack is a diversion program specifically focused on access to substance abuse and mental health treatment. Pre-trial monitoring supports individuals in meeting their conditions of pre-trial release, and accessing community supports.

 As Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator, Rachael Trill meets with individuals who choose to participate, and conducts a risk assessment and needs screening. She then shares an interpretive score of the results with the prosecutor’s office and provides the individual with information about resources to help address areas of concern.  

Trill is committed to working with the justice system to help people identify the underlying issues in their lives that cause self-destructive and/or criminal behavior, rather than focusing solely on punitive measures.

Trill’s academic interests lie in the intersection of social and legal issues, which led her to the Youth Services Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator position. “Rachael is passionate about connecting individuals to resources that support their goals,” said Struble. “We are impressed with her understanding of the structural barriers creating differential opportunities for various groups and individuals.”

“These programs are in alignment with Youth Services decades-long work in restorative justice, which focuses on repairing harm caused by crime and dealing with the risks and needs of the person who commits crimes,” stated Struble.

Trill’s employment background has been as a supervisor in a retail environment for the past 10 years, maintaining cohesive relationships and mitigating conflict among clientele, team members, management and corporate bodies through impartial, positive communication tactics at Walgreens, Loft, Carter’s, BeautiGoddess, Rue21 and DEB Shops.

 Trill has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Studies focused in Sociology from Northern Vermont University.  She observed Restorative Justice Panels at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center where she became a proponent of a responsibility-oriented approach to crime prevention and community building that she is now applying at Youth Services. 

“Rachael’s management skills, education, and interest in pursuing a career in social advocacy made her an ideal candidate for this position coordinating Tamarack and our pre-trial monitoring programs,” explained Struble. Trill replaces Adriana Hazelton who left the area.

 For more information on Youth Services Restorative Justice programs or to support these efforts with a donation, visit or call (802) 257-0361. The next volunteer training will begin in June.

Mack Mackin hired for Youth Services’ New Intake and Groups Coordinator role

Youth Services is pleased to announce that Mack Mackin has joined the Youth Development team as the new Youth and Young Adult Intake and Groups Coordinator. Youth Services’ Youth Development programs provide wrap services for youth and families in Windham County, with a focus on safe, successful transitions to adulthood. 

Mackin will be working out of both Youth Services’ Brattleboro and Bellows Falls offices where they will spend their time conducting intake screenings, providing brief and stabilization services for youth and families, and coordinating groups–including professional development and support groups for Youth Services’ host home program. 

Designed to ensure a coordinated entry into Youth Services, Mackin’s position supports youth and families seeking services by linking them to basic needs resources such as food, transportation, medical care, therapeutic supports, and emergency or respite housing. 

“Mack’s role as the intake coordinator allows us to be intentional about how we support youth and families while making sure that we are not ignoring the often crisis or near-crisis level resource needs that bring them in to seek services,” explained Christine Linn, Director of Youth Development programs.

According to Linn, youth development programs are driven by the core belief that youth and families fare best when they stay together until the youth is ready to intentionally transition to independent living. 

Using a relationship-based, therapeutic case management model, coordinator and case managers collaborate with youth and families to understand family conflict and increase communication skills using non-violent communication, access resources, navigate education, child welfare, or other state systems, and connect to their community in meaningful ways.

Youth Services staff use an intensive, therapeutic case-management model to focus on building awareness and life skills in core areas of housing, education, employment, increasing permanent connections, health and well-being. 

Linn sees Mackin’s role as key in the department. “We’ve designed Mack’s role to screen for eligibility and need while assuring that youth and families’ basic and acute needs are addressed. This gives us the time, as a department, to assure that youth are connected to services that are right for them,” explained Linn. “By enhancing our groups offerings, we’re also able to connect youth and families who are waiting for case management openings to groups that foster resilience and keep them connected to the department.”

“Mack is a great fit for this role,” said Linn. They are deeply invested in solving youth homelessness and clearly place youth and family voice in the center of service provision and care deeply about assuring that people seeking services get their needs met in a way that is individualized.”  

Mackin is no stranger to working with young people. Prior to joining Youth Services, Mackin was the Kids Club Program Coordinator at the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club where they connected with pre-teens and teens in its after-school program, developed programs and activities related to both services and professional development for staff. Mackin created a podcast that focused on harm reduction and mentoring. Mackin has served as a volunteer board member of Westgate Housing since 2019.

“Mack is a wonderful addition to the Youth Development team and our community,” Linn exclaimed.  Mackin has a Master’s of Science in Management with a focus on mission-driven organizations from Marlboro Graduate School and an undergraduate degree from Marlboro College, a cross-study between psychology, sociology and radio journalism. 

For more information about Youth Services therapeutic case management program or volunteering as a temporary host home in Windham County, please contact Christine Linn at or visit online.

Youth Services’ Pilot of Day-labor Program in Brattleboro Deemed a Success

Work Today, a new program of Youth Services, concluded its 3-month pilot period in November and the organization’s executive director, Russell Bradbury-Carlin, said they plan to restart it in the spring, with a few new funders and venues needing temporary labor in the region. Serving as a new sort of temp agency, Work Today’s pilot program connected 10 individuals with daily work in Brattleboro.  

Betty Bashaw, Work Today participants paints interior walls in Brattleboro Municipal Center

The town provided initial funding and jobs through the end of October but after a winter hiatus, other employers needing temporary labor are sought if the program is to resume operations, according to Bradbury-Carlin.

 “Typically we had more than 20 people in line seeking day work and had to turn away half of them away as we only had funding for 10,” said Emilie Kornheiser, Youth Services’ Director of Workforce Development, describing the popularity of the low-barrier work program among individuals who, for a variety of reasons, are not able or interested in working a 40-hour week.

The goal in creating the day labor program, Kornheiser said, was to meet people’s needs with dignity while staying in compliance with laws and labor rights. That involved looking at issues around worker’s compensation, identification and payment.

“Many prospective workers lined up in our parking lot before dawn, to increase their odds of being chosen for the work available that day,” she recalled. “It was striking to see the extent that people would go to earn a day’s wages. I was impressed by the pride individuals took in completing their projects well,” said Kornheiser. “When people were ready and able to work, they were able to make a few dollars, and when they were not, they were able to come back the next day or the next week.”

Work Today participant Joseph Hedberg often started his trek at 2 a.m. from the motel where he stays in North Brattleboro, in order to increase the likelihood of garnering one of the limited positions, despite having several broken toes which makes walking painful. 

“I feel better about myself if I’m working, if I can buy myself a cup of coffee instead of relying on hand-outs,” Hedberg explained. Formerly a licensed plumber and maintenance person, he tackles some of the more complicated jobs at Work Today with obvious skill, taking pride in doing a job right.

Hedberg stated the days go quicker if he stays busy and he’s more likely to be able to maintain his sobriety, now going on two years. With AA groups now only available on-line, he also enjoys the camaraderie he finds in Work Today and the lack of a long-term commitment. “Here I have a choice to work or not, depending on how I’m feeling. No one is going to chew me out if I don’t show up,” explained Hedberg.

The workers, mostly adults, identifiable in town by their blue vests, received $15 per hour for doing seasonal tasks, custodial work, and simple municipal maintenance projects, in addition to sterilizing parking meters and crosswalk buttons, a new municipal task identified because of COVID 19. “This program fulfilled a real need, and the unemployment caused by the pandemic made it even more critical,” Kornheiser stated.

 A coordinator staffed by Youth Services set people up with their jobs, trouble-shooted with employers, provided lunch and counseling services in the afternoon and participants returned back to work afterwards. Participants were paid in cash at the end of the day.

“The number one goal was to get cash into people’s pockets,” said Kornheiser.  “It’s was as simple as that.”

The day labor program falls under the same structure of DemoGraphix, a mission-driven limited liability company established a year ago by Youth Services as an employment and mentor program, a youth-led screen printing business.

The town of Brattleboro, which provided much of the initial funding, considered it money well spent. “The results of the trial period are encouraging, said Peter Elwell, Brattleboro Town Manager. “We look forward to working together with the Youth Services team and community partners to refine and grow the program, not just to benefit the program participants but for the broader benefit of our entire community.”

If you anticipate having projects in the spring that need day-labor or wish to support the continuation of the program with a donation, contact or call (802) 257-0361. For more information about participating, visit