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|Taylor with her mom and dad.|
ASCL STUDENT LEADS LIFE OF SERVICE
Intelligent, driven, and compassionate are just a few words that describe Taylor, a remarkable student in The Home’s Academic Support for College and Life (ASCL) program.
Taylor is a young woman who is dedicated to making our world a better place, “To me, service is the act of helping others through projects and ideas in order to build a stronger bond within a community.”
The Home partners with Bridgewater State University (BSU) on the ASCL program to support young adults as they transfer from state systems of care into higher education. It includes clinical, social, academic, and daily living supports as these youth take the plunge into campus life.
Many students spend their summers relaxing but in addition to her ASCL requirement to enroll in a summer course, Taylor used the time as an opportunity to grow her passion for helping others. She enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program. The EMT program lasted through the summer and extended through the fall semester. Not only did Taylor complete the program and become a licensed EMT (in December 2015), but she did so all while earning a 4.0 GPA! A great accomplishment indeed; however she never thought her EMT skills would be put to use anytime soon.
Another reason ASCL is so important to young adults transitioning from state care is that prior to the program the young adults had nowhere to go when BSU’s dorms closed for winter break. To meet this challenge of avoiding homelessness for those three weeks The Home funds a service trip for the students. The trip provides accommodations and an experience of a lifetime in helping the people of another community meet their needs. This year’s trip was to Cape Verde. Taylor and the ASCL group spent the three week service trip volunteering at an orphanage and elderly center. They also went on several day trips learning about the rich history of the Cape Verde Islands. Reflecting on the trip Taylor said, “We were able to experience the poverty and hardship of those who live there, while trying to bring hope and service to improve their communities.”
After a memorable Cape Verde experience, Taylor was enjoying her f light back to the states when she heard a call over the airplane intercom that a passenger was in distress. Immediately, Taylors’ EMT instincts went into auto-pilot. A language barrier was the first hurdle Taylor had to overcome, but she found another passenger to translate as she went through a check-list of questions about the ailing passengers’ symptoms and medical history. Taylor kept the passenger calm and helped her steady her breathing until the plane landed and airport medical staff took over.
Talk about a hero!
Taylor is now back on campus and pursing her double major for criminal justice and psychology that she plans to use in her future in law enforcement. In addition to her studies, Taylor applied and subsequently landed a part-time job working as an EMT. ASCL is helping her to maintain a good balance between school and work.
On another note, just last month, Taylor was named the first place winner of the MLK Hope World Foundation scholarship competition which included a $1,500 prize. Through her essay expressing the value of service, highlighting her Cape Verde experience, Taylor got the recognition that she truly deserves. She truly is unstoppable!
From the President
Thanks to all of you we had an outstanding holiday season with record high numbers of gifts and support for the children and families we serve. For example, we fulfilled the wishes of all of our children and families and raised over $73,000 in gift cards. The impact on our kids of knowing there are people like you, friends who care about them, is bigger than you know. Your support also allows us to be innovative in our programming and create services that help kids no one else is serving.
The Home prides itself on being aleader on all fronts of child welfare, from our society’s littlest ones to the young adults who are aging out of statecare. We recently were able to share our progressive work on Early Childhood Mental Health to a national audience, at the 2016 National Council for Behavioral Health Conference.
We are working diligently to create programs internally like our Preschool Outreach Program (POP) and externally train caregivers and educators in mental health care services for issues that affect our youngest kids. Often our youngest children experience trauma and toxic stress that lead to acute mental and behavioral health issues and barriers to learning. Early intervention can help spare a child from these problems.
As of last summer, The Home had trained close to 2,000 individuals in a variety of early childhood mental health and trauma-related interventions. We look forward to addressing the mental health needs of our youngest kids throughout all of our programs and continue to share our knowledge to help young children throughout the Commonwealth and the nation.
Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Ph.D.
JUMPING THROUGH FEBRUARY VACATION
Kids at Southeast Campus had a relaxing and fun-filled February vacation week. The highlight of the break was a trip to the popular Sky Zone Trampoline Park, which the kids proposed during a brainstorming session for the week’s activities. They were thrilled about the opportunity to travel off campus, and spent the day jumping around the many trampolines and played games like dodge ball with other kids from the community. A possible return to Sky Zone is in the works for the upcoming April vacation due to the great success of the trip — according to Justin, one of the counselors who accompanied students, the most frequent questions asked that day were “Can we stay longer?” and “When can we come back?”
The Home is able to provide extracurricular activities like this day trip because of the support from friends like YOU!
a little help from our friends
The Home had its most successful Big Wishes Gift Drive yet this past holiday season. Thousands of gifts were delivered to children and families who wouldn’t have had experienced the joy of the holidays without generosity from donors like you!
Corporations with their organizationwide efforts make a huge impact on our annual gift drive with gifts, gift cards, volunteering, and being community drop off locations. A BIG thanks goes out to all of our corporate partners for all of their efforts!
Our Corporate Partners include:
THE HOME'S NATIONAL REACH
In March, we shared our innovative work in early childhood mental health at the National Council For Behavioral Health Conference in Las Vegas. The annual conference brings together all levels of behavioral health professionals to learn about new science and best practices for both clinical work and business. The Home was represented by Lesli Suggs, Vice President of Program Operations; Matthew Small, Senior Director of Community Services; Paul Creelan, Program Director of our Preschool Outreach Program; and Natalie Sheehan-Dias, Program Director of our Community Service Agency and Safe at Home Boston. The team hosted an exhibit on the importance of supporting the mental health of young children through trauma informed care at home, in school, and in the community.
“We are very honored to have the opportunity to share our work with others around the country who want to better understand how to serve young children. To be recognized as an expert in early childhood trauma treatment by The Council is an acknowledgement for which we are very proud. Disseminating good practices helps us achieve our mission; improving the lives of children not only in the Commonwealth but around the country,” said Suggs.
POETRY BUILDS CONFIDENCE AT LONGVIEW FARM
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary."
Daniel*, a student at Longview Farm (LVF), could be found repeating this line of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” for the two weeks preceding his big opportunity to read poetry to The Home’s Board and Executive Management Team. Four other students joined him at the presentation in February to recite poetry and play music. Isaac*, an 11th grader at LVF, performed a poem he wrote himself. Dressed in a black suit and red tie, Isaac* rhythmically spoke of his childhood full of guns, violence, drugs, and a neglectful mother. He captivated the audience. “As heartwrenching as this young man’s story was I felt hopeful about his future. He has come so far and took so much pride in his performance,” said Meredith Bryan, Vice President of Development and Communications at The Home.
Lucas*, a 9th grader, recited “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. He was confident as he described the intersections between his own life and the poem, you would’ve never known his nerves made him almost skip the day all together! The two other students Christopher* and Malik* did a beautiful interactive musical performance that ended with a roar of applause from the crowd. All five young men left that day with proud smiles and a sense of accomplishment.
*Names and photos of our clients have been changed to protect their identity and privacy
Big Wishes Gift Drive had its most successful year yet!
Because of your support:
∙ 93% of families’ wishes were pledged
∙ 94% of children’s wishes were pledged
∙ $73,613 was donated in gift cards
∙ 498 hours were volunteered at our Toy Room
From the classroom to the finish line
Scott McEwen, Southeast Campus’ Carpentry teacher, is running the Boston Marathon to support The Home and teach his students about goal setting and following through on their commitments. “The kids are getting to see someone close to themset a goal, make a plan, and achieve it. I hope following through on my commitment and reaching my goal will resonate with them,” McEwen explained.
McEwen needs help reaching his fundraising goal of $7,500! Help him succeed by donating at http://bit.ly/20q7pu3
Mark Your Calendars
April 18: Boston Marathon
We have five runners in the 120th Boston Marathon who are fundraising to support The Home. Join us in cheering these dedicatedfriends on Patriots Day along the 26.2 mileroute. Learn more about our runners at www.thehome.org/events
May 25: Voices & Visions
Seaport World Trade Center, Boston MA
August 25: Falmouth Road Race
We have bib numbers available for the biggest race of the summer! The 7-mile race follows some of the most beautiful scenery on Cape Cod. If interested in running for The Home fill out an application at: www.thehome.org/falmouth2016
The Home is the largest provider of behavioral health services in the Boston school system with clinicians on site in 42 locations at the elementary, middle and high school levels. We work with students, teachers and families to intervene at the onset of emotional, behavioral and learning problems and address systemic issues that affect student learning, such as bullying, alienation, trauma and violence.