Friday, May 8, 2009

Community Contributors Recognized

At its May Steering Committee Meeting, Youth Connect members signed letters of recognition, thanking four individuals (and their organizations) for outstanding service to the youth of our community. Among those recognized:

Mark Gensheimer, for his work in getting fathers engaged in discussions about underage drinking;

Miriam Rader, an active leader at the Sewickley Community Center, for that agency's work with teens in afterschool programs;

Kelly Rottmund, the teen librarian at Sewickley Public Library, for the care and concern she exhibits in her work with local students;

the Reverend Dana Jones, senior pastor of The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, and associate pastor Scott Hoffman, for the support they and the church provide to area youth through the afterschool program and the new community youth worker position.

Heart-felt thanks and congratulations to our Community Contributors!

What We've Been Up To

The 2008-09 School Year was busy for us! We presented a series of workshops and discussions, all free and open to the public, beginning in October with "Teen Mental Health Services in the Community--Behavioral Indicators of Potential Mental Health Issues in Teenagers," presented by Brian Smithley of Staunton Clinic. At that same October event, Stacie Sebastian provided an overview of Teen Screen, a mental health screening tool used by Outreach Teen and Family Services.

In November, Sandy Cooper, a women's health nurse practitioner from Womancare Associates, led a discussion entitled: Having the Talk--What Kids Need to Hear from their Parents about Sex. Due to the overwhelming response, a follow up discussion with Ms. Cooper was held in February.

Dr. Christy Clapper, a Guidance Counselor for Quaker Valley School District, led a January workshop for parents on transitions. Dr. Clapper focused on child and brain development, and the organizational skills students need to develop for success in school.

March and April concentrated on the hot-button topic of underaged drinking. Two separate round-table discussions were chaired by local fathers, bringing a unique voice to the meetings. Mark Gensheimer, who participated in both discussions, has formed a new Dads Group to further explore ways fathers can interact positively with their own children and the youth of the community.