Are you interested in supporting a culture of mental health and wellness, free from substance misuse, and advocating for a safe, just environment where young people can thrive? If so, please join us! Students, parents, school staff, service providers, and community members are all welcome! Save the date for our next Coalition meetings of the 2021-2022 school year on Wednesday, November 3rd, from 2 - 4 pm, and Wednesday, December 1st, from 2 - 4 pm. Meetings are virtual on Zoom. To get involved in the Coalition or to receive Zoom invitations, email Ivy@walthampartnershipforyouth.org.
2022 Partnership Appreciation Celebration
May 25th, 2022: We are so grateful that we were able to join the Waltham community at our 2022 Partner Appreciation Celebration. We were so lucky to have gorgeous weather, inspirational guest speakers, and impressive music from students. There was an abundance of great food, drink, and networking, and we even had an impromptu dance circle! Student speaker Neha Edison delivered powerful remarks about her desire to be an educator based on her experiences as an immigrant and English learner; she also highlighted the importance of young people in leadership roles. Keynote speaker Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite of Bentley University shared his wisdom about the evolving responsibility of businesses to support communities, the planet, and their people. We also enjoyed remarks from Paul Joyce of Equity Partner, AstraZeneca, and from Bria Milbery of Community Impact Award winner, the Bentley BSCLE.
Thank you to our event sponsors! Please see our attached sponsor poster.
WPY's 5th-Annual Ready? Set? Job! Event
We kicked off the summer internship application season with Ready? Set? Job! on Saturday, February 26th and it was amazing! About 37 new and returning WPY students attended the event on Zoom. Young people participated in eight outstanding workshops including topics such as making networking less awkward, the basics of interviewing, and setting boundaries in the workplace . Students also met with employer partners in a few rounds of speed networking, and heard from returning summer internship participants about their summer experience in a panel that was expertly moderated by one of our returning students. Special thanks to Kaytie participating as a volunteer and Shanesha for hosting a workshop. Shout out to the whole CET team. We did it! Our internship program application will open soon! In the meantime, students can check out the growing list of summer internship opportunities here, and sign up here to work on cover letters and resumes with our fabulous Bentley Career Success Institute interns. For more information, contact Career Exploration and Training Program Coordinator, Medjine Lucien at email@example.com.
Tools For Stress: Self-Care for the Holidays and Beyond
December 7, 2021
The 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) report showed that 39% of high school students and 25% of middle school students experienced overwhelming stress in the last year. The WPY Coalition strives to provide tools for students and the community around self-care and mental wellness, like this event held on December 7th. Attendees rotated through three different breakout rooms: “It’s Ok If the Holidays Aren’t So Joyful”, led by Pam Garramone; “Self-Care and Safety Planning”, led by REACH Beyond Domestic Violence and Peers Against ViolencE (PAVE); and “Feeling Good, Living Better”, led by Kendall Gillians of the Waltham Boys and Girls Club and Sofia Noel, Waltham High School Alumni '20 (pictured above). The WPY Coalition is proud to host events that support the mental health and wellness of Waltham youth and the community.
WPY Trivia for a Cause Gathers Community-Wide Support
Nov. 4, 2021
Our 2021 virtual Team Trivia event was a huge success! Participants, event sponsors, and other donors raised over $12,300 for youth served through WPY programs. Trivia host, Jeremy Lewis, led a down-to-the wire matchup between the Rockin’ Rotarians (Waltham Rotary Club) and STEAM-y Teachers (Waltham High School Teachers), who tied for first place in the Trivia competition. Boston Children’s Hospital at Waltham won Best Team Spirit, with their unwavering enthusiasm all evening. Big shout out to team Rosehorse and the Renegades (led by Bob Marcou), who took home the Team Fundraising Competition prize after raising almost $1,500 for WPY.
WPY Annual Meeting 2021
October 13, 2021
WPY is on the move! Last spring we completed a three year strategic plan, with the help of pro bono consulting from Community Action Partners (CAP). Now we are putting that plan into action! After placing over 100 teens in internships in summer 2021, we are set to take our Career Exploration and Training Program to new heights. Wraparound Waltham, a collaborative led by WPY to support and welcome students and families who are new to the country, rallied throughout COVID and is building out an exciting new model. Watch the Annual Meeting recording here, and share in our vision for a city that creates a community of belonging for all Waltham youth.
Waltham Community Comes Together at 2nd Mental Health Awareness Event to Help Break the Stigma
September 18, 2021 - We talked and we listened. We danced and we expressed ourselves through art projects. It was a truly incredible day on the Waltham Common as the community joined us to help break the stigma of mental health. Over 30 organizations were there with resource tables, and workshop presenters helped us take a more in depth look at topics such as suicide prevention and mindfulness. Big thank you to the many volunteers, resource table hosts, workshop presenters, and sponsors who made it all possible!
Building Equity and Justice for Waltham Youth: A Virtual Fundraiser
April 8, 2021 - We are so grateful to all of the speakers, sponsors, donors, and supporters who helped make our annual fundraiser a success. The sense of community and commitment to Waltham youth was incredible! Thank you to Keynote SpeakerClaudia Rinaldi, Joan W. Arnow ‘49 Professor of Education and Education Program Chair at Lasell University. Big shout out to Student Speaker, Jeffrey Serrano Sanchez, and to all of the other youth who shared their stories and inspiration. Congratulations again to WPY Community Impact Award winner, Nzinga Moore! To watch a replay of the event go to bit.ly/WPYEquityJustice.
Thank you to our 25 Equity and Justice sponsors! Please click on the sponsor image on the left for a larger image.
Park & Watch: Inside Out
April 13th, 2021. The WPY Coalition hosted its first Park & Watch event with a showing of the film Inside Out. Over 70 cars showed up for this COVID friendly event where families and friends watched the film safely from their own cars. Everyone had a great time while watching this film about validating the emotions that make us who we are! Thank you to all of the volunteers and attendees for helping us host a much needed in-person event!
We are grateful to the Mass Cultural Council for their generous funding in support of this Park & Watch event.
Combating Racism and Practicing Self-Care: Part II
March 16, 2021
March 16, 2021 - After an impactful Part 1 in November, over 70 community members joined us once again in March to continue the conversation around racism and discrimination in our schools and community. Panelists Ajai Scott, Chris Bijoux, and Herlyne Das (WHS alum, pictured) discussed specific action steps to take when faced with racism and injustice. Attendees then split into interactive and engaging breakout sessions on topics such as How to Create Safe Spaces for Conversations on Racism. The replay of Part 1 is available here, and a recording of the panel discussion from Part 2 will be available soon! This event was co-sponsored by the WPY Coalition and Waltham Black Future Fund.
Ready? Set? Job! Draws 80 Students on a Winter Saturday
Over 80 students spent a winter Saturday with us on January 30 for our annual career conference. We were excited to try out a new virtual platform (Remo), that allowed students to network with professional volunteers and breakout into smaller sessions for tips on writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and networking skills, stress management, personal finance, and more! Also new this year, 2 sessions for students that were facilitated entirely in Spanish, and our first time using Ready? Set? Job! alumni to serve as student ambassadors for new participants. Thank you to all of the participants and volunteers!
WPY’s Team Trivia Fundraiser Zoomed in for Fun!
Over 20 teams participated in our virtual Team Trivia fundraiser on November 12, 2020. It was a welcome evening of laughs and joyous competition! Teams raised over $9,800 to benefit WPY, led by team “Pocket Full of Twizzlers” and runners up, “Irreverent Lutherans”. Congratulations to first place Team Trivia winners, “WPY Trailblazers (WPY Board members)”. This year’s coveted team spirit award went to “Penguin Squad”. Thank you to all of the participants, donors, and sponsors for making it a fun and successful event.
Building Hope and Resilience Through Community Partnerships: A Virtual Celebration Event
October 14, 2020 - Over 100 people joined us for a special morning to celebrate the amazing people and organizations that have truly had an impact on Waltham youth throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Though this event was virtual, the love and sense of community spirit was stronger than ever. Thank you to all who attended, and to our distinguished guests: Keynote Speaker, Secretary Acosta; Lauren Lele and Dr. Errol Norwitz, who represented Newton-Wellesley Hospital to receive this year’s Good Neighbor Award; and student speaker Yensi Escobar. To watch a recording of this heartwarming event, click here.
We would like to give a big shout out to the sponsors who stayed by our side after our original Breakfast event in April was cancelled. Click on the sponsor image to see a larger image.
Summer Internship Season a Virtual Success!
On August 13th, we wrapped up our fourth summer internship season! This year’s program looked a little different as most internships were virtual due to COVID-19, but we still placed over 50 students in internships, thanks to the tremendous support of our 2020 employer partners. Hear about the impact directly from students here!
Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) developed an innovative virtual learning experience for 20 of our interns. In addition to paying students to take an online biology class for credit at MassBay Community College, NWH held their own weekly virtual Career Sessions giving students wide exposure to careers in the healthcare industry. Thank you to all of our employer partners for your support and creativity in developing meaningful internship positions this summer.
Brandeis’ Waltham Group Went All Out to Support WPY
On September 3rd, Waltham Group, a Brandeis University volunteer organization, hosted a virtual talent showcase to benefit WPY! The Showcase featured performances from Brandeis students as well as from members of the Waltham community. We are incredibly grateful to Waltham Group for their time, creativity, and support. Learn more about the amazing Waltham Group here.
WPY Trailblazers Lead Black Lives Black Lungs Zoom Workshop for Teens
On May 7, 2020, the WPY Trailblazers led an impactful Zoom workshop where teen leaders brought to light the tactics that the big tobacco industry has used to target black communities. Bravo to the WPY Trailblazers for addressing this important issue!
WPY Coalition VIRTUAL Showcase and Awards Ceremony
Over 50 students, parents, school staff and community members joined us on June 3rd for a special virtual event to celebrate the amazing work done last year by the WPY Trailblazers and other Coalition members to address youth mental health and substance misuse prevention. Congratulations to the 2020 graduating Trailblazers!
Mental Health Event Series:
WPY Went Virtual with Screenagers Next Chapter - April 16, 2020 - Over 40 students, parents, educators and community members joined us VIRTUALLY for an interactive community screening of the film Screenagers Next Chapter: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience, followed by a panel discussion. Special guest, Kurt Faustin (pictured left) joined us for the discussion and led us in a stressLESS activity.
Mental Health in Communities of Color - February 10, 2020 - People of color struggle with their mental health just as much as other populations, but are less likely to see help. 40 people joined WPY for a conversation to address the stigma of mental health in communities of color. Over 17 organizations showcased their resources and five incredible panelists joined us for a powerful discussion on the importance of mental wellness in communities of color.
Celebrating YOU During the Holidays - December 9, 2019 - WPY partnered with Families for Depression Awareness to host this event at Kennedy Middle School to reduce stress and improve self-care during the holidays. Attendees had a chance to hear from Rebekah Gibbons, LICSW, as well as a panel of young people sharing their own mental health struggles and self care strategies.
WPY Hosts 2nd Angst Film Screening - November 14, 2019 - Over 70 students, parents, educators, service providers and community members joined us for our 2nd screening of the film Angst, back by popular demand! The film was followed by a panel discussion with educators, students, a clinician from Boston Children’s Hospital, and a parent who is also a private practice clinician. Find some great resources and tips to manage anxiety at Angst Movie Resources Anxiety is real. Let’s keep talking!
2019 WPY Annual Meeting
October 8, 2019 - Despite rain and construction, we welcomed long-time supporters as well as some new faces at our Annual Meeting. Kaytie Dowcett announced that WPY has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to be spread over four years to lead Wraparound Waltham, a collaborative that will work to address disparities in high school graduation and dropout rates among Waltham students. Other highlights included updates on our growing Summer Internship Program and an overview of the work being done by the WPY Coalition to address youth mental health and substance misuse. (Pictured - Student speaker, Ajoy Tripura, along with his supervisor at RTN, Niki Charalambous. Ajoy shared his experience in our 2019 Summer Internship program).