Photography Apprentices Online Photo Gallery

Our amazing photography apprentices created some amazing work under the tutelage of Jocelyn Vassos. The apprentices are: Gen Naylor, Rosemary Rahn, Alyssa Mack, Paige Scott, Yazuri Bourdon, Eva Letteron, and Zoe Becker. Here are just a few examples of their amazing work-


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May 25, 2017

Media Contact: Maeve Dillon, Development Associate


Great Barrington, MA – Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP), the dynamic youth empowerment nonprofit organization serving young people in southern Berkshire County, is pleased to announce a special event to honor former Board President Barbara Manring for her outstanding leadership and dedication to youth. The event will take place on Sunday, June 11th from 5:30p – 7:30 pm at the home of Abby Schroeder in Great Barrington, MA.

Throughout her life, Barbara Manring has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for young people. Born on Martha’s Vineyard, she grew up in New Bedford, MA, Cranston, RI and Portland, ME. She studied sociology and education at the University of Maine, and received her M.A. in Linguistics and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from George Mason University. She also studied French at the French Language Institute of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

For many years, she taught English as a Second Language to students of all ages, at middle schools, alternative and regular high schools, community colleges, and senior residences. For the British Council, she taught English to pre-university and university students in Colombo, Sri Lanka bound for study in the U.K., as well as to Government of Sri Lanka personnel. She developed, organized and led the USDA’s first program of daily English language classes for Saudi Arabian women, and taught English language skills, ESL teaching methods and American culture in an intensive summer program for Korean high school teachers of English. Most recently, she was a personal trainer for clients of a wide range of ages and physical conditions at Berkshire South Regional Community Center.

“My experience as an ESL teacher and working with young people from all over the world inspired me to seek out opportunities to work for the benefit of young people,” Barbara said recently. “I had appreciated and respected the talents and courage of my students, but was also cognizant of the many challenges they faced as teens. As I became familiar with RSYP and its mission, I knew that the organization was one I could believe in and embrace. RSYP empowers young people to take the initiative to create their own activities and projects, those that have meaning to them. They are given the time, the space and the support to develop their ideas and bring them to fruition. This all resonated with me!”

At RSYP, Barbara served as a board member and president, is active member of the Development Committee, and continues to be an enthusiastic ambassador for the organization. In addition to her work with RSYP, she also served as president and board member for the Great Barrington Rotary Club and was a board member and Vice President at Construct, Inc. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Berkshire South Regional Community Center, where she is a member of the Fund Development Committee.

“Barbara has seen Railroad Street through many challenging times,” says RSYP Executive Director Ananda Timpane. “Her extraordinary leadership and outstanding dedication makes her a role model, not only for the young people whose lives she touched, but for the entire community.”

Tickets to the event are $90 each and include elegant hors d’oeuvres prepared by Brian Alberg, Executive Chef of the Red Lion Inn and Vice President of Culinary Development at Main Street Hospitality Group.

The event is generously hosted by Abby Schroeder at her home in Great Barrington, where guests will have the opportunity to explore three centuries of history through the world-class Schroeder Collection of Antique Toys. Over the years, Abby and her husband Aaron amassed one of the world’s largest collections of antique American and foreign cast iron and tin mechanical and still banks and toys, which have been exhibited in museums across the country. This is a rare chance to view the collection.

For tickets to the event, contact Maeve Dillon, RSYP’s Development Associate, at 413-528-2475 or via email at email hidden; JavaScript is required. All proceeds support RSYP’s youth development programs and activities.

About Railroad Street Youth Project:

At RSYP, youth take the lead. They explore their full potential and become equipped to meet the challenging transition to adulthood. RSYP’s professional staff matches youth-generated ideas with community resources, empowering youth to create and oversee a wide range of innovative, life-changing projects. Unmatched in mission and scope, RSYP excels in helping youth find their voice and realize the benefits of their commitment to themselves and their community. RSYP serves 14-25 year old residents of Southern Berkshire County and the surrounding area through mentoring and apprenticeship programs, a sexual health education initiative, an all-youth board that funds innovative, youth-inspired projects and trips, job training and career counseling, and a drop-in center offering referrals, mediation, and advocacy services. Railroad Street Youth Project’s drop-in center is located at 60 Bridge St., Great Barrington, MA.

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Nonprofit To Unveil Courage Wall In Great Barrington

WAMC NEWS MAY 23, 2017

By JD Allen

A southern Berkshire County nonprofit will unveil a wall Saturday in Great Barrington dedicated to young people.

The Railroad Street Youth Project says it takes a lot of courage to be a young person today, facing uncertainty from economic, environmental and political factors.

To celebrate that courage, the organization is unveiling a Courage Wall at its annual daylong block party in Great Barrington.

It was imagined by Berkshires resident Barbara Bonner, author of “Inspiring Courage,” which was published last month.

The wall can be seen in the alleyway between Railroad Street and the Triplex Cinema.

Listen to the news clip here:

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