Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston Youth Advisory Committee Meets

by Yvette Cain

The Holliston Youth Advisory Committee returned from its summer hiatus with many important items on its agenda.

Chair Darlene Vittori-Marsell

Chair Darlene Vittori-Marsell opened the meeting at 7:05 PM and recognized new board members Deb Coppins and Alison Quinanwere.  Vittori-Marsell asked Director Jackie Winer to introduce new staff Sarah White, Intern and MSW student at Simmons College, and Kristen Rancourt, Community Therapist and Court Diversion Coordinator.  Both newcomers began on July 1.

Intern Sarah White (top) and Kristen Rancourt, Community Therapist and Court Diversion Coordinator (bottom)

Winer distributed copies of the Director’s Report for September to all members, and reviewed several points of interest.  In HDAAC news (Holliston Drug and Alcohol Awareness Coalition), Melissa Stacy was voted new chair on August 29.  Stacy has a background in community organizing and project management.  She is currently a Grassroots Manager for the American Cancer Society.

Winer has tentatively planned an October Open House (date TBD) to provide an opportunity for the community to meet HYFS staff and ask questions, as well as to suggest ideas for enhancing community support.   She elicited suggestions for possible times and locations.  Some suggestions included remaining school Open Houses, Celebrate Holliston, and the Holliston Stroll. 

Running from September 10-26, is "Hidden in Plain Sight," at Natick Mall in the former Crabtree and Evelyn storefront.  The space has been designed as a walk-through youth bedroom that contains items that could signal risky activities.  Parents can learn how to spot warning signs and get tips for communicating with their teens.  It is a 21 years and older exhibit.  For specific hours and other details, see Hidden in Plain Sight

Both senior representatives, Brenden Haddad and Ainsley Maclachlan attended the meeting.  Members of the Committee were interested to know topics that both students, representing a larger teen population, might want to know more about.  Recent vaping health risks that have been in the news came to the forefront.  Chair Vittori-Marsell encouraged the reps to consider this topic as well as others and share their thoughts at future meetings for research and/or information opportunities.

Committee member Holly Fisher-Engel is making plans to leave the Committee, so a new member will be needed. Chair Vittori-Marsell suggested a change in future meeting dates to accommodate a potential replacement, and the Committee decided on the third Monday of the month.

The present Chair is also stepping down at the end of the FY, and asked that members consider the position.  She emphasized the importance of having one designated Chair that would interact with the HYFS Director on a regular basis.  No volunteer emerged prior to the meeting’s conclusion.

The Committee meets at 1750 Washington Street at 7:00 PM.  The next meeting will be October 21.