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Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 18, 2013  by sarah

Happy December CYSA Members!

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank Youth Service Bureaus in Connecticut for another successful, productive, and dedicated year of service to Connecticut’s children, youth, and families! The roles which Youth Service Bureaus took on in both the triumphs and tragedies of our children, youth, and families this past year is something we all should be proud of!  I realize that we are not in this field of work for recognition or accolades, but I think it is important that we know that the work we do really does make a difference in over 145 of Connecticut’s communities. Despite limited budgets, staff, and time stretched to the limit, YSBs always seem able to rise above these barriers and get the job done.

As we approach 2014 (I cannot believe I am saying that!), it is my firm belief that YSBs will remain at the forefront of diversion, positive youth development, intervention and prevention program & service work. It is our “grass roots” philosophy which makes YSBs so unique to our respective communities. I know how easy it is to get caught up in focusing on our local community in terms of the work which we do, and it is true that each community in CT is unique in its own way, so often we are guided by local politics and expectations (I experience this myself), but I believe that it is equally as important that we see ourselves as part of something larger as well.

The past year plus that I have been president of CYSA I have come to learn how truly important our association is as the loud & proud voice of CT YSBs! The CYSA Board is made up of volunteers from YSBs all over Connecticut who freely give their time and share their expertise in service to all YSBs. This group of people whom I have worked with over the past year have amazed me, guided me, supported me, and often made me laugh (which is so important!) So thank you to all the CYSA Board members (both past and present) whom have elevated this association to greatness, and helped me navigate my way: Past Board members Joel Rosenberg, Mary Roche-Cronin, David Melillo, Alan Slobodien, Chris Montes, Bob Petrucelli, Cheryl Chandler, Mary Pont & Susan Radway, thank you for all the guidance and confidence in me as I aspire to fill some very big shoes! The current CYSA Board: Erica Bromley (my very reliable VP), Terri Drew (treasured treasurer), Michelle Piccerello (secretary extraordinaire), Mary Seidner, Lori Stanczyc, Tammy Trojanowski, Kelly Cronin, Cephus Nolen, Bob Marsh, John Saccu, Steve Driffen, Peter Schultheis, Crystal Morawitz & Trish Torruella; you all have been amazing, and always step up whenever needed despite your own crazy busy schedules, this is appreciated more than words can express.

I would also like to thank our wonderful consultant Sarah Bourdon, whose dedication and patience are admirable, Dr. Agnes Quinones from SDE who consistently advocates for YSBs and Dr. Barry Goff for helping YSBs navigate the world of RBA & data collection. And I would certainly be remiss if I did not offer my heartfelt thank you to our magnificent lobbyist, Jay Aronson, who is in the trenches of the State Capitol, consistently and diligently advocating on behalf of CYSA, and YSBs. He is truly a treasure!

Last, but certainly not least I would like to personally thank my staff and board members at the Montville YSB for their patience and support as my CYSA obligations often take me away from the office, I can leave knowing that everything will get done that needs to be done, and knowing this is the case is a gift which is priceless!

A happy, safe, & healthy holiday, and winter season to all of you! Please remember to share your success stories with all YSBs in CT. Email them to Sarah at

Warmest regards ~ Barbara top Top

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2013  by sarah

Hello fellow CYSA members!

 I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday season! As each year passes I find that appreciating the time we spend with those we love and care about is the one thing that I am truly “thankful” for every year! I know that many of us spend the weeks prior to the big Turkey Day planning and preparing our personal grocery lists and seating charts…but I also know that so many of us share the same devotion and investment for many of our community families in need. We shop, sort food, collect donations, deliver food to the homebound, and so much more!

 We all do this kind of work for a reason, which I believe is rooted in our very DNA….compassion, empathy, and yes, even sacrifice are required to do our jobs effectively and successfully…and I applaud each and every one of you and no doubt, your amazing staff because as we all know it is that team support that often gets us through the tough days, and the sweet taste of success is better shared! (Especially when we get all the data stuff figured out. Thank you all for your patience during this process!)

As we approach a new year I encourage you all to begin the conversation about the value of YSBs both locally and at the state level early. Hosting a legislative breakfast in your region/chapter is always a good idea and be sure to invite your local elected officials as well as your state reps & senators. CYSA is here to support you with letters, and perhaps even the presence of a CYSA officer at your breakfast can be arranged to show even more support. Just contact any one of us, and we will do our best to attend.  We will keep you posted through our advocacy team and the work we do with CYSA lobbyist Jay Aronson about any priority issues or concerns that you need to aware of as a YSB.

Be sure to visit the CYSA website regularly for updates and information. I also ask that you please be sure that your YSB information is listed correctly and that any website links that are broken or inactive be repaired at your earliest convenience. This website functions as a virtual office for CYSA, which is a direct benefit to all CYSA members! Thank you for all that you have done already and will continue to do to better serve the children, youth, and families in your community and the state of Connecticut!

Warm regards ~ Barbara top Top

41st Annual Conference

Wednesday, October 9, 2013  by sarah

Hello CYSA Members!

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you whom attended CYSA’s Annual conference on Friday October 4th, celebrating 41 years of service to the children, youth, and families in Connecticut! It was a true honor to have LT. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police Public Relations Division as our honored guest and recipient of the CYSA Advocate for Youth Award. I would like to thank Waterbury YSB Director Kelly Cronin for connecting with LT. Vance and securing his attendance at the conference. I also think that the change in the conference venue was quite lovely and suited our needs adequately. Somehow it felt as if we were all more connected in this space.

I also would like to take the time to recognize all of our CYSA Award recipients: Rik Huggard (Newington YSB), Youth Services Employee of the Year; “Bigger Than You Think” (Middletown YSB), Program Award; Elizabeth Morgan (Haddam-Killingworth YFS), Special Recognition Award; Kylie Federici (Rocky Hill YSB) & Christopher J. Cofrancesco (East Haven YSB), Youth Leadership Awards; Mary Seidner, Board Member of the Year Award; Pat Maneggia(Bloomfield YSB), Laura T. Brown Career Achievement Award. My sincerest congratulations to all of you, and a heartfelt thank you from CYSA for your commitment to the mission of CYSA and the shared vision of all Connecticut YSBs.

As we embark toward another year of providing Connecticut’s children, youth, and families with access to quality diversion, prevention, intervention, and positive youth development programs and services, I have every confidence that Youth Service Bureaus, both large and small, will make a lasting and positive impact in the communities in which they serve. Thank you on behalf of the CYSA Board for your continued commitment and passion.


With the warmest sincerity ~ Barbara top Top

Happy Autumn

Monday, September 23, 2013  by sarah

Happy Autumn CYSA Member YSBs!

As we begin the fall season I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the amazing work that you have accomplished this past year. It is my sincere hope that each of you know that you have the support and respect of CYSA. According to Connecticut  General Statute 10-19m youth service bureaus are charged with being the coordinating community agency for prevention, intervention, and diversion services and programs…and well, I will say what from what I have seen, heard, and practiced we have met the charge with both diligence and success!

I also realize that everyone of us keep very busy schedules, and time away from the office is really difficult to arrange, but I ask you to please be sure to allow some time in your hectic schedules to join CYSA as we celebrate our 41st Anniversary on Friday October 4th, 2013. Registration information is available on the CYSA web site: . This years’ conference promises to be one of our best yet. My hat is off to the CYSA Professional Development Committee for organizing what promises to be a spectacular day at the Crown Plaza in Cromwell.  Securing Lieutenant J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police as both an honoree, and guest speaker is especially exciting.

In my 17 years in the YSB world I have yet to miss an annual conference; I look forward to this event every year. It allows all of us to give ourselves recognition for the important work we do as individual YSB directors, and as a collective of people who care about their communities deeply and passionately. This event also allows us to recognize our staff and other individuals and groups that are committed to the mission of YSBs statewide. So please be sure to register ASAP. I look forward to seeing all of you on Friday October 4th, and again thank you for all that you have given to the youth and families in Connecticut’s communities!

Warmest regards ~ Barbara

CYSA Board President top Top

It's Back to School Time!

Friday, August 23, 2013  by sarah

Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a quick moment to wish all of you luck, patience, and strength as the kids in all of our communities head back to school over the next week or so. It is a bittersweet time for so many, coupled with the realization that summer is about to come to a close (but not officially until September 22!) Many tears are shed on the first day of school for different reasons. Children who are letting go of their parents and parents who are letting go of children for the first time is often one of the most emotional moments in our lives.  Then later as they grow older we live for the words “back to school’, then the crying starts all over again when they go off to college! What a cycle!

For my YSB this is a very busy time of year as we prepare to re-open the After School Program in our community, and begin our 186 day journey with some of the most amazing kids on the planet! Don’t get me wrong there are always challenges but it feels really good to provide our kids and families with a safe, drug/alcohol free,  violence free , prosocial & positive place to be after school every day.  I know that so many YSBs in Connecticut provide this service and so much more to their youth and families and I applaud us for remaining the cornerstone of community trust in over 135 of Connecticut’s communities! So take a moment to recognize the good work we all do each and every day!

Every day I pass by my co-worker Kim’s desk and she has a quote taped to her computer which makes me smile every time I read it & I realize that all “teachable moments” do not happen in the classroom… So I will leave you with the below quote, along with my wishes for a safe, healthy, and successful school year in each of your communities!

When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”….They told me I did not understand the assignment, and I told them they did not understand life!

Fondest regards ~ Barbara

 CYSA Board President top Top

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