And we’re off! Tryouts were held in October to create our 2018-2019 Compass Academy Lycoming basketball team! Each week we have been preparing for our 7-game schedule through practices onsite at our new school building and at the Williamsport YMCA. But we aren’t just practicing for basketball – we are preparing for life! Included in these practices are leadership development exercises and honest conversations about the challenges our youth face daily. Each week, our team grows stronger. The individual strengths of our participants support the foundation of cohesive teamwork! We would love for our JusticeWorks squad to come out and cheer us on at one of our games, starting on 11/29 in Hazelton at Immanuel Christian! Wish us luck!
On October 26, the staff in Schuylkill County ran a Clothing Drive for the ‘Schuylkill County Make a Difference Day’! Over the last few weeks, JusticeWorks has been accepting donations, bringing in donations, and organizing clothes. JusticeWorks opened the office to the public today so that families could come in and shop for free clothing! In addition, staff provided homemade refreshments for all to enjoy! Students from Compass, Mt. Carmel, volunteered their time and assisted with keeping the clothing rooms organized. Many families and community members benefited from this event. Pictured: From top left, Nate Keys (Student from Compass Mt. Carmel), Kaylee Kerstetter (assisting a client), Laurie McGee, Patty Gilgore, Janet Ramos, Trista Renninger, Vince Troutman, Samantha Gerdeman, Kaitlyn Miller, Renee Warner, & Jesselyn Heaps.
On September 27, 2018, at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Pocono Manor, Pa., our Adams & Franklin County Program Director, Sean Lazarus, was awarded the President’s Award by the JDCAP organization (Juvenile Detention Centers and Alternative Programs).
This award was established by JDCAP President Chuck McLister in 2005. This award is selected, without nomination, by the President of the Association, in consultation with the Executive Director. The award is given to the member agency Administrator, or similarly ranking leader, who has exhibited model participation, exceptional leadership, and dedication to the JDCAP mission above and beyond what is expected of any active member. This association member will have volunteered their time, incurred personal sacrifice, all while maintaining their “day jobs” as department heads and senior managers of their organization.
Sean’s professionalism and passion for his work reflect the JusticeWorks mission of doing ‘whatever it takes’ to assist families in reaching, and sometimes exceeding their goals.
Sean is a member of JDCAP and has been a vocal participant on the legislative subcommittee.
Congratulations Sean! It is an award well-deserved.
JusticeWorks-Lycoming will now provide Behavioral Support Services in the South Williamsport School District. The Behavioral Support Program is an extension of services currently offered by JusticeWorks in the South Williamsport School District and will commence at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
Over the past three years, JWYC’s Alternative Education Program, Compass Academy-Lycoming has been in partnership with South Williamsport Area School District and have provided educational and academic support to students with various behavioral challenges. As a result of our collaboration, students have demonstrated significant academic and behavioral progress. Due to the success of the alternative education program, South Williamsport School District approached JusticeWorks with a need for behavioral support services within two of the district’s elementary schools.
In May, Regional Director, Jeffrey Ralph, Director of Program Development, Dipesh Chauhan, and Director, Ian Nutt met with Dr. Mark Stamm, Superintendent of the South Williamsport School District, to discuss the potential for JusticeWorks to expand current services offered by JWYC. After further discussion and additional meetings, Jeff, Dipesh, and Ian identified the needs of the district and created a Behavioral Support Services proposal that was ultimately approved by South Williamsport School District on 7/16/18!
Julie Waldman will join the JusticeWorks team as the Behavioral Analyst for the Behavioral Support Program. Julie will be engaging the youth and families through home visits, individual and group sessions, school meetings, and various forms of behavioral intervention at school.
JusticeWorks is very excited to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with the South Williamsport Area School District and look forward to another successful school year!
Pictured Above: Volunteers participating in the 2018 Little League World Series Grand Slam Parade included representatives from JusticeWorks YouthCare, The Loyalsock School District, Old Navy, PPL, and the YMCA.
JusticeWorks Lycoming Youth Recognized for Volunteer Efforts Supporting Cancer Survivors
JusticeWorks-Lycoming youth, Julio M. and Gabe M., represented JusticeWorks YouthCare at the 2018 Little League World Series Grand Slam Parade, benefitting the YMCA Program, LIVESTRONG.
The 3-hour parade took place in Williamsport, PA., and honored cancer survivors and their families on their journey to empowerment. During the parade, Julio and Gabe worked tirelessly coordinating with team members and interacting with participants in a supportive manner.
Among their many contributions, Julio and Gabe walked alongside the Barcelona, Spain float for over two miles through heavy traffic, guiding participants to maintain safety. They also assisted with event set-up and passing out candy. Despite its challenges, volunteers and participants commented on how much the boys seemed to enjoy the experience. Both boys exhibited patience, empathy, and team spirit from their accomplishments. They will each earn community service hours for their participation in this inspiring event.
Great work Julio and Gabe, way to knock it out of the park!
Email from Megan Coppock, caseworker in Chester County in praise of Rebecca Piorko-Shelly, Visit Coach with JWYC-Chester:
“I would like to take a moment to let you know just how amazing our Visit Coach, Rebecca Piorko-Shelly has been with our family since she joined our “Case” in August of 2016. She was an integral part of our family for approximately 15 months. In that time frame she has gone absolutely above and beyond what was required of her. Rebecca worked so hard to ensure our visits were successful. She educated herself on Bobby’s* diabetes, helped us plan special outings for Bobby, provided transportation for every single visit, no matter how inconvenient it was for her, just to make sure Bobby was never disappointed. Rebecca grew very fond of Bobby and our entire family (my husband, myself and our older 2 sons) and provided very effective “therapy”, communication skills, parenting tools and behavior techniques that contributed in our success. She was the liaison between us and Bobby’s Foster parents, and on many many occasions she would sacrifice her own time to ensure our visit took place. That’s how vested she was in our success. Any family that has the privilege of her as their Visit Coach is absolutely blessed as they are acquiring a hardworking, professional, compassionate and knowledgeable asset to their Team. Rebecca makes being in such a difficult, often traumatic situation very bearable. We would not have been able to endure half of the heartache we went through had it not been for her.
Justice Works is very lucky to have such an amazing person on their team because she embodies every aspect of success. Our family is a true success story and Rebecca was an integral part of that success! I wish her all the happiness she has allowed our family to have, one hundred fold.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith*
*actual names are not used
Thank you, Megan Coppock for sharing this positive feedback and for being such a good working partner. Thank you, Rebecca, for “going above and beyond” for your clients and their family. Your dedication and contribution to the JWYC mission are appreciated and achieve positive outcomes.