Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Runaway Taskforce and More!

Don't Runaway Program Update
Rob Donnelly (Director of Volunteers) and Kristina England (Executive Director) are now fully engaged in the Don't Runaway Taskforce.  The Taskforce is taking a look at the current National Don't Runaway Program and making enhancements, including:
  • A new website for local programs and school clubs
  • Updated training documentation
  • Informational materials for distribution.

We look forward to helping out the National program and gaining an understanding of how we can establish Don't Runaway Programs in Massachusetts.

Find out more about the Don't Runaway Program at

Safety in Numbers Conference
On Friday June 12th, Rob Donnelly and Allyson Trull (Director of Outreach) attended the Safety in Numbers2: The Power of Prevention and Partnerships For At-Risk Youth Conference presented by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Youth Violence Prevention Program in Worcester. Rob and Ally attended workshops on:
  • Youth development approaches in working with at-risk youth,
  • Non-violent conflict resolution,
  • The use of community mobilization to address violence, and
  • Working with urban, at-risk youth.
They also participated in a panel discussion on collaboration between different youth programs and organizations in order to effect greater change and heard a lecture on the modern challenges of youth violence from the keynote speaker, James Alan Fox, Ph.D., professor of Law, Policy and Society at Northeastern University.  

The conference provided information that will help the group incorporate some new perspectives and approaches into their work with Worcester youth. It was also a great opportunity to network with other organizations in Worcester and meet like-minded people who are working for a better future for youth throughout the state of Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What We're Up To This Week

Ally Trull returned to street outreach this week with the outreach counselors.  

As we move into the second year of street outreach, we would like to try out other street outreach locations.  Right now we focus on Downtown and Main South.  Any suggestions on other places to try street outreach would be great.  We outreach to kids 21 years and under.  

What do we provide?
  • Immediate resources (e.g., food, clothes, sleeping bags)
  • Long term support (educational assistance, job search support, life-skills training, etc.)
  • Counselors who care and, at even turn, prove it

Other Activities
Currently, Rob Donnelly and Kristina England are working on updating both the basic volunteer training and street outreach training.  As the program makes plans for an Outreach Center, we will also need to look at developing training materials for Outreach Center counselors.

The next Volunteer Information Session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the Worcester Public Library.  Come check it out.  We have a great group of volunteers and, with an Outreach Center in the near future, we could really use a few more extra hands.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SUFK Worcester Welcomes Back Ally!

We are pleased to have Ally Trull, Director of Outreach, back with us after four months of studying aboard.  Ally is both a knowledgeable and dedicated street outreach counselor.  Her return to the street outreach program promises to strengthen an already wonderful group of counselors.

In other news, we are currently working on an agreement with a local organization for an Outreach Drop-in Center.  Our plan is to open a drop in center for a couple hours once a week to The center provide a place for kids to:
  • Pick up food, clothes, and other resources
  • Attend activities (e.g., films, workshops) 
  • Utilize our services (e.g., GED program information, resume building).
Congratulations to the following volunteers for receiving volunteer of the month:
  • Sue Kramer - Volunteer of the Month, April 2009
  • Mary Ann Stoica - Volunteer of the Month, May 2009
Upcoming Events
Ally Trull and Rob Donnelly will attend the MA Dept of Public Health Youth Violence Prevention Conference on June 12th in Worcester.  

Oz Diaz, Rob Donnelly, Sue Kramer, and Ally Trull will attend the Community Health Link Fair in mid-June.