On June 12, students, parents, school staff, local service providers, and community members gathered at the WPY Coalition Showcase and Awards Ceremony to celebrate the amazing work done this year by the WPY Trailblazers to address youth mental health and wellness and substance misuse prevention.
A highlight of the evening was an activity designed to engage attendees in the Trailblazers' Community Mapping Project. The Trailblazers created a map pinpointing the tobacco retailers in Waltham and their proximity to schools, parks, and playgrounds. Attendees had the opportunity to share their observations, concerns, and ideas for making Waltham a healthier place for youth.
Enter the Digital World of Your Tween/Teen
January 9, 2019 - Parents, students, school staff, and community members attended a talk given by Dr. Jill Walsh that outlined the landscape of tween digital media use. We learned about the ways and extent to which digital technology impacts our children, and gained insights on navigating this world with them. This event was open to the public, and co-sponsored by WPY and the PTO’s of the Kennedy and McDevitt Middle Schools.
4th Annual Adult Team Trivia Night
November 8, 2018 - We had a full house and a great time at this year's Adult Team Trivia night. Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, and over 200 participants for helping us to meet our fundraising goal for this event! Congrats to the Rotary Club’s “Civic Calvary” for their first place win, and to the Waltham Recreation Department’s “Let’s Get Quizzical” team for winning the Best Team Spirit award.
Waltham Community Comes Together to Address Anxiety
November 1, 2018 - Over 100 students, parents, school staff, and community members attended WPY’s free screening of ANGST, a film about anxiety, truth & hope. The film was followed by an informative panel discussion with educators, students, and adolescent health professionals from Boston Children’s and Newton-Wellesley Hospitals. Click here and Angstmovie.com/resources for information and tips on managing anxiety.
2018 WPY Annual Meeting
October 10, 2018 - We had a great turnout for our Annual Meeting, welcoming our long-time supporters as well as many new faces! Our Executive Director, Kaytie Dowcett, led her presentation with an announcement that WPY has secured five more years of Drug Free Community funding! Other highlights included a presentation of the work being done to address mental health and substance abuse, our transportation study - Waltham Rides Together!, and our growing high school internship program. Please see our Current Initiatives tab to learn more! (Pictured at left) - Kaytie Dowcett with guest speaker, Stevenson Youyoute, who shared his experience in our Summer Internship program.
Shoppers Cafe 5K to Benefit WPY
September 16, 2018 - Shoppers Cafe hosted their 5K, with proceeds to benefit WPY! A big thank you to Marathon Sports, Shoppers Cafe, event donors, and the many runners, walkers, and volunteers. Congratulations to the winners in each age group! Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club Running Club (pictured above) for supporting us!
Boston Globe Reports on WPY’s collaboration with Meadowscaping for Biodiversity
August 3, 2018. This summer, six students in WPY’s summer internship program worked for the Youth Environmental Entrepreneurship Program (YEEP), run by the non-profit Meadowscaping for Biodiversity. YEEP gives high school students the opportunity to help the environment while earning money and gaining valuable work skills. YEEP students established a business selling plants and gardening services, with a focus on native plant species that attract bees, butterflies and moths to build local biodiversity. The goal of the WPY summer internship program is to provide a diverse group of Waltham youth with meaningful development opportunities. To read the full Boston Globe article click here.
Congratulations to Brandeis University for receiving the 2018 Good Neighbor Award
WPY also recognized the nearly 20 employers across various industries who committed to hosting Waltham High School interns this summer. If you're interested in learning more or hosting an intern in 2019, please email Kaytie Dowcett firstname.lastname@example.org.
WPY's Annual Linking Education & Business Breakfast
April 11, 2018 - Nearly 200 local business and community leaders gathered to learn about how hands-on learning opportunities and internships can provide youth with access to a pathway in STEM careers, while also helping to ensure a skilled workforce. Many thanks to Dr. Melodie Knowlton for delivering an inspirational keynote address. Dr. Knowlton is the Head of the Thomas M. Menino Vertex Learning Lab, a 3,000 sq. ft. classroom and laboratory space at Vertex’s corporate headquarters in Boston.
Screenagers Event Underscores Difficulty of Finding Right Balance of Technology in School and in Life
May 29, 2018 - Nearly 150 parents and students attended WPY's community viewing of Screenagers followed by a panel discussion. Liz Homan, Administrator of Education Technology Integration for Waltham Public Schools, eloquently captures her ruminations on the appropriate use of technology in her blog post entitled "The Role of Educators in Keeping Digital-Age Kids Safely Connected". Click here for the Screenagers Parent Guide to a well-balanced digital life.
February 6th Declared Tobacco Free Tuesday in Waltham!
On January 22, 2018 the Waltham City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring February 6th Tobacco Free Tuesday! The resolution was inspired by the work of the WYACC Traiblazers, our youth leadership group. Trailblazers have been working hard to educate their peers and others in the community on the harms of tobacco and nicotine, as well as the tactics used by tobacco companies to target youth. This work is especially important given the rise of vaping and e-cigarette use among Waltham teens.
On February 6th, Trailblazers are asking smokers to challenge themselves to be tobacco and nicotine free for 24 hours, and for all community members to commit to wearing orange to show their support. Students will be facilitating activities at Waltham High School that day to raise awareness.
Trailblazers Allissa Masse and Havo Akobirshoeva gave an outstanding presentation to the school committee on the topic (watch minutes 7:45 - 42:45) and will be presenting to City Council on Monday, February 5th at 8:00pm. We encourage you to attend and to wear orange to show your support!
WPY Receives $5,000 Grant from Waltham Education and Beyond Foundation!
Our WEBF grant will be used to support the development of our growing Youth Work Collaborative, which provides Waltham teens with career development opportunities and job placement support by coordinating efforts among employers, educators, and youth service providers. Waltham Partnership for Youth serves as the backbone organization, coordinating all aspects of the program, recruiting students and employers, facilitating job placement, and providing ongoing support and evaluation. Partners such as the Waltham Boys and Girls Club, Waltham Public Schools, and the Waltham Public Library will provide students with opportunities to learn vital career readiness skills throughout the school year so that students are ready for success in the workplace; the program will culminate each year with students being placed in paid summer internships. For more information, contact Kaytie at email@example.com
3rd Annual Adult Team Trivia Night
November 2, 2017 - We had a packed house and a great time at this year's Adult Team Trivia night. And thanks to our many sponsors and participants, we exceeded our fundraising goal! Congrats the The Waltham Family School team for their big win, and to the Park Lodge Hotel Group's team, The Bald and the Beautiful, for their well deserved Team Spirit Award.
2017 WPY Annual Meeting
October 11, 2017 - We had a great turnout for our 2017 Annual Meeting, including longtime supporters as well as new faces! If you missed this opportunity to learn about WPY's recent accomplishments and current priorities, check out our Prezi, linked here.
Commercial Driver’s License Scholarship
June, 2017 - Congratulations to Lambert Avila, WPY's first recipient of the Commercial Driver's License Scholarship! With support from the city's Community Development Block Grant program, WPY was able to award the scholarship to an eligible high school senior interested in pursuing a CDL. Our hope is that this scholarship program will help fill positions within the city that are left open due to a lack of CDL-credentialed candidates. Lambert will be completing his training with NETTTS (New England Tractor Trailer Training School) and hopes to apply for a position with the city once he has earned his CDL.
Waltham Youth and Community Coalition Showcase and Awards Ceremony
June 7, 2017 - The Waltham Youth and Community Coalition (WYACC) held its Showcase and Community Leadership Award Ceremony at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club. The event showcased the Coaliton’s substance abuse prevention work this year and culminated in the presentation of Community Leadership Awards to over 25 recipients. To learn more about WYACC or get involved, click here.
Waltham Partnership for Youth Selected as a Commonwealth Corps Host Site!
April 21, 2017 - We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting 3 Commonwealth Corps members! The mission of the Commonwealth Corps is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in service to strengthen communities, address unmet community needs, and increase volunteerism. The Commonwealth Corps provides opportunities for skill building, leadership development and encourages and enhances a lifelong civic vocation for Corps members. Learn more about Commonwealth Corps here!
Beginning in August, 3 half-time Commonwealth Corps members will serve as Teen Weekend Program Innovators with WPY. Through their service, members will work with partners such as the Waltham Boys and Girls Club and the Waltham Recreation Department to deliver weekend programming for teens. Members will recruit 150 teens to participate in safe and structured weekend activities rooted in the principles of Positive Youth Development. In addition, they will leverage 25-30 community volunteers who will assist in weekly program delivery and facilitate one-time events or workshops.
Members will serve in a stipended half-time capacity from 8/15/17 to 6/30/18. Benefits include a focus on member training and development, as well as a bi-weekly stipend, a completion award, an inspiring network of fellow members, and other supports.
Interested in a paid year of service? We are recruiting! Check out our position description here.
WPY Wins Jones Partnership Grant to Support LACE (Language Access for Community Engagement) Program
April 21, 2017 - We are grateful to the Jones Partnership Fund for their generous grant of $2500 for the purchase of Interpretation Headsets, a key element in our developing LACE program. Language Access for Civic Engagement (LACE) will increase access to information and civic participation among our linguistically diverse community. By investing in interpretation technology and training local residents to become interpreters, we will create capacity within our community to ensure that public hearings, government meetings, and other important events can be interpreted in real time so that all residents are able to access important information, exchange ideas and concerns, and participate actively in our shared community.
Waltham Youth Selected to Receive Grant to Fight Big Tobacco
Jan. 10, 2017 - The Trailblazers, a group of the Waltham Youth and Community Coalition, was recently awarded a $2,000 mini-grant from The 84 Movement to research the usage of flavored tobacco products among their peers, raise awareness about flavored products, and reduce the influence of Big Tobacco in their neighborhood. Read more
Waltham Trailblazers Featured in CADCA Newsletter!: Coalitions in Action: Waltham Trailblazers
Nov. 7, 2016 - The Waltham Youth and Community Coalition, a project of the Waltham Partnership for Youth, is an entirely youth-focused coalition. Yet even within those parameters, the organization decided to form a subgroup of youth called the Waltham Trailblazers. Keep reading!
Mayoral Youth Summit
On Oct. 29, 2016, the first-annual Mayoral Youth Summit was held. One hundred and eighty Waltham High School students attended the event, entitled Amplify: Using Student Voice to Make a Stronger Waltham. Sponsored by the Mayor's Office, in partnership with WPY and the Waltham Public Schools, the event was developed by students for students as an opportunity to talk about important issues such as diversity, racial tension, substance abuse among youth, and preparing for life after high school. Many city and school leaders and over thirty community based organizations were there to support students and listen to their concerns and ideas. It was a powerful day and an important step toward a stronger, more inclusive community. Members of the student planning committee describe the event here.
WPY welcomes new Executive Director Kaytie Dowcett
July 13, 2016 - We’re excited to announce that rising Waltham educator Kaytie Dowcett has been hired as the new Executive Director of the Waltham Partnership for Youth (WPY). Congrats!
Mayor Jeannette McCarthy serves with Kaytie on the school committee. She hailed her hiring as an “excellent choice for the Partnership for Youth, the City of Waltham and most importantly our youth!” Read More
Team Trivia Fundraiser
On Nov. 3, 2016, WPY hosted its second-annual Team Trivia fundraiser! Over one hundred people showed up to support WPY and engage in some healthy competition. Congrats to the Kiwanis 'Buzzkills' for taking first place and to the Smartinis for winning Best Team Name. And many thanks to our generous sponsors.