Berlin Youth Initiatives Earn High Praise

BERLIN – Town officials praised the efforts of Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services this week.

In a report to the Berlin Town Council, Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) Executive Director Steven Taylor outlined recent youth initiatives in Berlin. Town leaders thanked Taylor for all WYFCS had done in the community.

“Each year it is a pleasure for me to hear about all the work you all do,” Councilman Dean Burrell said. “I just want to wish you much success and continuance because your services are needed in this community.”

Taylor provided an update on initiatives WYFCS had in place in Berlin to benefit local children. They include SAGES, a program for adolescent girls, SABERS, a program for adolescent boys, and the Berlin Youth Club, which provides activities for children when they’re not in school.

“We do a variety of things with them that are going to help promote their self-esteem, give them experiences they might not experience otherwise, foster teambuilding and give them the confidence that they need to have a bright and promising future,” he said.

Kids in WYFCS programs visited local waterparks, took trips to the beach, and went kayaking, among numerous other activities. They also participated in programs in town, learning to cook healthy meals with Baked Dessert Café’s Robin Tomaselli and helping serve the community at a Giving Tuesday dinner.

“We’re developing lifelong memories and we’re teaching them in the process,” Taylor said. “They’re going to be stronger, more confident more productive citizens than they would have been without these programs.”

Taylor said investing in local youth would benefit the community in the future.

“If we want our businesses and our social atmosphere to be as strong as it can be we need to invest in our children,” he said. “That’s exactly what we do.”

Taylor said in addition to the support WYFCS received from the town, it was also backed by a variety of local businesses and private donors.

Councilman Thom Gulyas said he’d watched WYFCS grow and improve over many years.

“It’s amazing what you have done with the resources you have available,” Gulyas said.

Councilman Elroy Brittingham also praised the organization.

“I wonder what these kids would be doing if they were not in these programs,” he said.

Mayor Gee Williams said the WYFCS programs were teaching children to be empathetic.

“I think this is a perfect example that charity and volunteering is something that’s learned,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.