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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Smitty Pignatelli Honored as a Mentor of Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP)

BOSTON – Representative Smitty Pignatelli was one of twenty-five individuals and organizations honored by Mass Mentoring Partnership at their twenty-fifth anniversary gala which took place at the Moakley Courthouse on Tuesday night. Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) serves more than 250 mentoring and youth development program statewide supporting more than 33,000 youth in mentoring relationships.

The twenty-five individuals and groups who were honored last night were chosen based on their impact on MMP over the past quarter-century.  It’s through their commitment to the mission that MMP has been able to continue their work in strengthening communities through empowering positive youth / adult relationships. For their 25th anniversary they selected 25 mentors out of the thousands who have helped to recognize for their unique and important contributions.

“State Representative Smitty Pignatelli is the house champion of the mentoring line item and has been a critical voice for youth in the Berkshires and across the Commonwealth.  His leadership to sustain and grow investment in mentoring has been key to MMP’s efforts to close the mentoring gap across the state. Smitty has been a true champion for mentoring as well as a mentor to MMP in this work,”  said Marty Martinez, CEO Mass Mentoring Partnership.   “We thank Smitty for everything he has done, to help us achieve so much for the last 25 years.  Without him, we would not be the organization we are today.”

Representative Pignatelli has been a champion of youth development throughout his time in the State House. In addition to taking the lead on increasing funding for Mass Mentoring Partnership, which funds mentoring programs across the state, Representative Pignatelli has also been the lead sponsor of an earmark for the Berkshire Youth Development Project  for ten years. The Berkshire Youth Development Project is a coalition of youth-serving agencies throughout Berkshire County that was formed to advance a youth development approach on the regional level. Railroad Street Youth Project in Great Barrington receives funding through the Berkshire Youth Development Project and Mass Mentoring Partnership.

“Smitty truly believes in the value of relationships and the power of intergenerational relationships to lift up youth,” said Ananda Timpane, Executive Director of Railroad Street Youth Project. “He is the first to tell you about the mentors in his own life who have made it possible to achieve what he has, and he will proudly tell you about the opportunities that he has had to mentor . At Railroad Street, Smitty’s work and dedication to mentoring and young people has supported hundreds of youth to build meaningful relationships with caring adults in their lives. Because of Smitty, we at Railroad Street have a robust mentoring program, apprenticeship program, drop-in center, and amazing Youth Operational Board.”

Other individuals and groups who were honored on Tuesday night include The Boston Red Sox, Highland Street Foundation, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Bank of America, Ernst Young, Yawkey Foundation, Liberty Mutual, The Rodman Ride for Kids, and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.

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New Counselor Julia Gottlieb, C.M.H.C Available Every Wednesday.

Youth now have a dedicated counselor at the Drop-In Center every Wednesday. Julia Gottlieb, C.M.H.C is happy to serve and work with youth every Wednesday from 3-7.

“I love helping people and I love hearing people’s stories,” said Julia regarding her reason for becoming a youth counselor and, “Everything is confidential.”

Julia is happy to provide a non-judgemental space for youth every Wednesday from 3-7.

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