Happy Autumn! The days are shorter, mornings are brisker, and the leaves are doing their magnificent color-changing thing. There is one more inevitable change each year at this time: the kids head back to school. As I drive to work each morning, I see kids of all shapes, sizes and ages standing along side the road at the end of driveways, emerging from cars parked roadside, huddled in groups of two or three or standing alone: all waiting for the bus. Some are just starting their school-years journey, some anxious and excited, are starting that final, giddy senior year of high school. And all along the way, there will be adults – teachers, parents, bus drivers, mentors, coaches, neighbors and relatives – to support them along the way. Navigating childhood and adolescence is not easy, even with all the support that family, school and friends can provide.
Here I am with two young women who headed off to college this fall. Both students received a $500 scholarship from Community Alliance of Human Services. We’re excited to be able to support them in their post-high school education. Each year we offer scholarships to a graduate of each of the four Sullivan County high schools who is pursuing post-secondary education in human services. The top photo is of me and Riley Denney, a 2014 Sunapee High School graduate. In the bottom photo I am with Nicole Gardner, Newport High School Class of 2014. We wish them both the best of luck! They are bright, talented young women and will no doubt excel in whatever they put their minds to.
Not every young person is as sure about their path as Nicole and Riley. Some stumble.
For those young people who may not have the support they need, or have stumbled along the way, Community Alliance offers a program that can provide the firm guidance and support to get their life back on track. Our Court Diversion Program for youth offers first offenders a second chance. Court Diversion is an early-intervention program that offers youth a chance to take responsibility for their offense, participate in community service and a program of restitution designed in collaboration with our Diversion Committee and Family Services Director. Diversion is not for everyone, but if referred to the program and successful at completing it, it offers a chance for youth to get their life back on track and be confident, capable and contributing members of society.
You can learn more about the Diversion Program for Youth (and adults) under the Family Services section of this website, or by calling Alecia Farquhar at 863-7708, ext. 2. Alecia can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All best, and enjoy the season!