By DYS Commissioner Edward Dolan
The dedication and efforts of DYS staff are critically important to the mission of impacting the lives of youth in our care. We recently recognized our employee’s work by honoring more than 100 DYS clinicians, caseworkers, district managers and resource specialists from throughout the state at DYS’ 4th Annual Community Services Training.
The full-day training offered extensive information sessions, multi-media presentations, and staff and client panels showcasing positive youth outcomes. The event also featured guest speaker, Ed Gerety - a trainer who specializes in youth leadership and personal development. Gerety animatedly engaged the audience in his keynote address and explored how to motivate young people who need guidance in controlling the trajectory of their lives. Gerety’s presentation resonated with many staff as he described that in “living life with gratitude, responsibility, kindness and passion- we can all make a difference to better the lives of others.”
DYS Commissioner, Edward Dolan and DYS Assistant Commissioner of Operations, Peter Forbes present Roxbury District Office caseworker, Anthony Pitts, with an award in recognition of 25 years of service at DYS’ 4th Annual Casework Conference.
Undoubtedly, one of the most inspiring elements of the day was listening to a panel of DYS youth and colleagues describe the experiences had in various DYS-sponsored programs created to support positive youth development.
With broad smiles, several youth expressed pride in their accomplishments and gratitude for the DYS programs and for the staff who went above and beyond to help guide and encourage them. Each of the five state-wide regions on the panel revealed that collaborating with local agencies to create programs focused on pro-social, positive development, and skill-attainment activities had important benefits for the lives of DYS-involved youth.
The teens, in person and on video, shared how they acquired new skills and meaningful experiences such as gaining employment as an auto body repair supervisor and personal fitness trainer, and overcame obstacles to achieve important milestones such as graduating high school.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration works to help the DYS staff make significant contributions to helping DYS-committed youth achieve positive outcomes,” said Assistant Commissioner of Operations, Peter Forbes. “This year’s training demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment and creativity on the part of both staff and youth.”
DYS-sponsored programs highlighted at the 4th Annual Community Service Training included:
- Central Region – Bridging the Opportunity Gap, Becker Community College Gaming Program: Teaching youth the science of video game design
- Metro Region – Sole Train: A running club teaching youth how to reach goals through a series of well-paced steps (this collaboration was recently in the news)
- Northeastern Region – Educational Pathways and Achievements: An education initiative which increased the numbers of youth graduating from high school or receiving their GED
- Southeast Region – Southeast District Office Basketball Tournament: Fostering teamwork and supporting physical health through friendly competition among youth and staff
- Western Region – Bridging the Opportunity Gap, Taconic Vocational Program: Guiding youth through various vocational trainings such as culinary arts and automotive repair
The future of our youth is better-served when we strengthen the mechanisms necessary to bolster the innovative services that reinforce the mission of DYS. We look forward to continue celebrating and supporting the innovative and effective efforts of our workforce.
One of several poster presentations; Central Region employees showcased their program’s work at DYS’ 4th Annual Casework Conference.