Waterford Youth Assistance
tel 248.618.7383
fax 248.618.7392
5640 Williams Lake Road Suite 201 Waterford, MI 48329
Waterford Prevention Leader — Prevention through Community Involvement

get the dirt on WYA — The Latest News and Happenings
There is always something happening at WYA. WYA is fortunate to have an abundance of volunteers and community organizations coordinating fundraising events, conducting educational seminars and youth activities.

WYA Family and Youth Education Committee Hosts Taking Back Power: Children Need Parents Wednesday April 11, 2018
Most children have friends. What they need are parents. Speaker Bernie Les, Ph.D., Director of Insight Psychological Services, uses humor and practical ideas to explore the power struggle most parents have in the complex parent-child relationship. Often parents unwittingly give their power away. Participants will learn how they remain calm, implement good parenting plans and nurture healthy relationships. 
The FREE program is Wednesday April 11, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. located at the Waterford Parks and Recreation Center (CAI) 5640 Williams Lake Road, Room 205. Please RSVP for the FREE program at 248.618.7383 or waterfordya@msn.com.

Effective Strategies for Dealing with Defiant Teens 
Our Family and Youth Education committee is hosted Effective Strategies for Dealing with Defiant Teens. Just about everything these days come with instruction manuals and warning labels, except children! Chandler E. Fleming, L.M.S.W., has worked with teens and parents for over 25 years. He will taught us the whys and hows to guide teens, restore control in the home and create a happier relationship with your teen! Topics included behavior modification, consequences, picking battles and communication. 

Share with Waterford Youth Assistance (WYA) the AMAZING Waterford students you witness make a difference in the community. Volunteerism displays itself through many behaviors. WYA enjoys giving accolades to the students leading fundraising efforts for causes like the Flint water crisis, incurable diseases and people/animal shelters. WYA applauds students crafting blankets, initiating self-esteem programs and caring about environmental concerns. Tell us about these students impacting our world by raking the elderly neighbor’s yard, tutoring an ESL student or mentoring peers. 

Waterford resident (may attend a school outside of the Waterford School District boundaries) — contact WYA office about school of choice students 
School age youth — kindergarten through grade 12 
No monetary compensation or court ordered community service is eligible
Please identify individual accomplishments if part of a group effort

NOMINATION FORMS AND DEADLINE — Friday, March 16, 2018 to WYA office 
Email: waterfordya@msn.com 
Fax: 248.618.7392 
Mail: 5640 Williams Lake Road, Suite 201 Waterford, MI 48329
Call: 248.618.7383

EVENT — Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at Kettering High School at 7:00 p.m.
School staff and WYA committee members honor the Youth Recognition nominees in front of family, friends, nominators and local dignitaries. All attendees are invited to an afterglow. Although it is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged for nominees to attend the program.
Please contact WYA if you have questions about eligibility or volunteerism activities. The judgment of the Youth Recognition Committee is final. Thank you.

Waterford Youth Assistance is offering Love and Logic Parenting Classes starting Thursday, February 21, 2018.
Nickie Antoon, Early Childhood Specialist for Stepanski, will present a four week parenting class using the Love and Logic curriculum.

The Love and Logic parenting approach to raising kids teaches parents how to provide loving support while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible. The program is specifically designed for parents of children birth to 6 years of age and gives parents ideas for common problems such as bedtime battles, whining/arguing, misbehavior in public, power struggles, and more. While these classes are presented with young children in mind, the principles and techniques of Love and Logic are for children of all ages. The Love and Logic techniques will last for a lifetime and “up the odds” of the teenage years being happier ones! The benefit of learning Love and Logic early is that it gives parents plenty of time to practice” while the price tag of their children’s mistakes are affordable”.

Classes are Wednesday evenings (2/21, 2/28, 3/7 & 3/14) in the Stepanski gym from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Both the class and childcare are free. Contact WYA (248.618.7383) or Nicki Antoon at Stepanski (248.666.8675) or if you would like to attend these classes.

Did you get the latest dirt on WYA?
Check out what we've been up to in the latest newsletter get the dirt on WYA. Join our mailing list at waterfordya@msn.com or 248.618.7383. Get in the loop on upcoming Family and Youth Education and MOMS for moms events. Gather your list of AMAZING Waterford students to nominate for the WYA Youth Recognition awards. Nomination forms will be available in February. Don’t forget WYA will be educating fifth graders about shoplifting in February too.

That's a Wrap! MOMS for moms Dine & Discover Series — Dinner and a Little Help Raising Your Middle Schooler!
The MOMS for moms Dine & Discover Series was fantastic. The finale was a generous donation of TED TALK time from Ted Braude, the boy whisperer. We asked it and he addressed itTED TALKs are a no-nonsense group dialog on young boys developing into men they were born to become! TED TALKS are conversational as well as highly engaging and interactive. Participants get input and direction that they can use immediately and put into practice easily with their student or child. 

Guest speaker, Ted Braude, the “boy whisperer” and founder of The BoysWork Project, is a License Master Social Worker and an expert on boys. An author, therapist, mentor, martial artist, and musician, he brings boys into young manhood helping them develop into the men they were born to become.  

MOMS for moms is a revived WYA program to strengthen youth and families through community involvement. If you are seeking an open forum to discuss motherhood, MOMS for moms is the avenue. MOMS for moms is partnering with The Well to have monthly discussions about real mom topics. Let us know if you have any topics that you would like to discuss. Stay tuned for fresh topics.

Bullying: What Parents Need to Know on November 16, 2017 
Waterford Youth Assistance and Pontiac Youth Assistance partnered to present Bullying: What Parents Need to Know on Thursday, November 16, 2017. Presenter, Julie McDaniel , Ph.D., educated the audience on the ever changing states of bullying, anti-bullying laws and policies, and what works in bullying prevention. She provided resources for protecting your child from bullying effects and ways to proceed if your child is being bullied or if you suspect your child is engaged in bullying behavior.

Looking for Bucket of Love Volunteers​
Unique to WYA, Bucket of Love is an intergenerational mentoring program bringing together seniors/retirees with elementary students. They meet weekly during the school year on a one-to-one basis, giving their time, talents and love. They engage in activities such as crafts, games, puzzles and lots of conversation. The Bucket of Love program seeks volunteers for all elementary schools. Contact WYA at 248.618.7383 or waterfordya@msn.com for details on how to become a Bucket volunteer.

ANGST: Breaking the Stigma around Anxiety Recap
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological complaints in the world. The Waterford Coalition for Youth, Waterford Youth Assistance and McLaren Oakland Hospital presented ANGST: Breaking the Stigma around Anxiety on Thursday, October 12. Participants learned that anxiety is a fear or nervousness of what might happen...the what ifs. All humans experience it. It only becomes a problem when it stops us from functioning. Escape is not a coping mechanism. Try exposure therapy like facing it. Reboot your brain like breathing, holding ice cubes, tapping your hands or create a calm environment. Don't give the negative emotions power. Try to talk to someone. Remember if you are the friend - Listen. Validate. Empathize. Remind them they are safe. Be a good friend and listen.

Waterford Photovoice Project
Waterford Youth Assistance, Waterford Coalition for Youth and the Oakland County Health Division are partnering to make Waterford youth voices heard! We are looking for Waterford students (ages 12-18) who have access to a phone with picture capability. Students will meet weekly to express their perspective about the growing problem surrounding substance abuse through photography. Photos and stories are presented to the community in order to raise awareness about selected topics. It’s a fun, creative way for youth to have a voice and create community awareness!

Waterford Photovoice Project will meet on Thursdays starting September 28 through November 9 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at 5150 Civic Center Drive. To register for the FREE Photovoice Project, contact Waterford Youth Assistance, Stacy Williams at 248.618.7383 or waterfordya@msn.com by Monday, September 18. 

Betty Fortino Phoenix Rise Above Challenge Scholarship
Congratulations to Jessica! She was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Betty Fortino Phoenix Scholarship winner. Best of luck to you furthering your education. 

Looking for an Opportunity to be a WYA Volunteer?
Waterford Youth Assistance (WYA) is a non-profit whose mission is to strengthen youth and families and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse, and neglect through community involvement. WYA volunteer members:
Live or work within Oakland County.
Educate Waterford students and families through Shoplifting Prevention and Family and Youth Education programs. 
Mentor Waterford students and families through Bucket of Love, MOMS for moms and Mentors Plus programs.
Provide positive experiences for Waterford students and families through the Youth Recognition, Annual Meeting and Holiday Assistance events.
Financially support Waterford students and families through Youth Enrichment and Camp scholarships.
Share business expertise through Fundraising, Public Relations, Membership, Volunteer Recruitment and Executive committees.

WYA Honored 69 Waterford Students at the 30th Annual Youth Recognition Night
Waterford students are really AMAZING! WYA applauds Waterford parents/guardians and the Waterford School District for producing remarkable students. WYA honored 69 students at the 30th Annual Youth Recognition Night. The WSD students were nominated for their selfless acts to improve the lives of others. Students were commended for personal achievements, simple acts of kindness in the classroom and school, and charitable work in Michigan, other states and countries. Some students raised awareness; some students raised money; and some students even razed a roof. Thank you to all who participated in the event. Congratulations to Betty Fortino award winner, Lee Imus, for emulating former the Waterford Township clerk’s vision of community service. Check out Facebook for more pictures. 

Thanks to Everyone for Participating in the Watch Battery Replacement at Waterfall Jewelers 
Thank you for participating in the watch battery replacement program at Waterfall Jewelers. WYA is so thankful to everyone for the donations to support our programs. Please continue to shop Waterfall Jewelers located in the Waterfall Plaza at 5649 Dixie Highway Waterford, MI 48329. 

Got Caught – Now What?
The 2017 Waterford Youth Assistance Shoplifting Prevention program was presented to 650 fifth grade students at nine elementary schools. This was the seventh year that we had 100% participation by all of the elementary schools in the 17 plus years of presenting this program. The program presenter is Howard Piotrovsky, Assistant Director of Public Safety at Great Lakes Crossing. He presents a convincing crime prevention message about shoplifting to the students which encourage them to resist peer pressure, especially when they enter middle school. An informational brochure was also given to students to take home to their parents. This program is offered to the Waterford School District free of charge from Waterford Youth Assistance. We appreciate all the districts continued support of our mission. 

WYA 2017 Referral Statistics
Last year, WYA received 245 referrals for casework services. Middle school students, ages 12 – 14, continue to be the highest population of referrals. Waterford students are referred by the police, school and parents. WYA caseworkers provide confidential, short term, family centered counseling and referral services to youth and their families. Referral reasons include prevention, retail fraud, home and school incorrigibility, truancy and educational neglect, alcohol and drug related offenses, sexting, curfew and weapons violation and assault.

WYA President Grant Smith Speaks About Mentors Plus
Each year at the Oakland County Coordinating Council Annual Breakfast Meeting, the organization highlights one of Youth Assistance’s programs for all the volunteers and dignitaries in attendance. This year the spotlight was on the Mentors Plus program, a community based mentoring program.
Our very own WYA president, Grant Smith, participated in the program. Following a speech from a parent of two students who have benefitted from Mentors Plus, Grant talked about his five year match with his mentee, Andrew, and his brother Aaron, whom he also mentors. From the getting to know each other phase to earning each other’s trust and respect, Grant talked about the changes he has seen in his mentees and all the fun activities and events they have shared together. 
Waterford currently needs volunteers for its Mentors Plus Program. Students are waiting to be matched. You can make a difference! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our office! 

Betty Fortino Phoenix Rise Above Challenge Scholarship
Congratulations to Durant senior, Veronica Bills! Veronica was selected as the 2016 Betty Fortino scholarship recipient. The $1,000 scholarship is granted to one Waterford student who rose to overcome a life challenge while attending school and volunteering in the community. Applications will be available June 1, 2017.

WYA and the Breakfast Optimist Club of Waterford Hosted Ice Cream Social
WYA and the Breakfast Optimist Club of Waterford hosted an ice cream social on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at the Hess Hathaway Park. It was a great opportunity to eat ice cream with local organizations that support Waterford youth. 

Youth Enrichment Scholarships 
Waterford Youth Assistance offers Youth Enrichment scholarships to help a Waterford student attend an activity they might not be able to due to financial constraints. Applicants must meet the financial requirements with the W2, bridge card, disability or WSD free /reduced lunch program paperwork. 

Wired to Move: Successful Approaches to Teaching and Parenting Boys
WYA surveyed, you provided input and we listened! Our latest FREE parenting and educator program was geared toward parenting boys! Attendees learned how gender influences the developing brain and were taught ways to help their child be successful. 

Life is Busy. Distractions are Everywhere! 
If you didn't have the time...Life is busy. Distractions are everywhere! seminar was fantastic. Did you know that QUALITY time with your child is more important that QUANTITY? Making special (non-contingent) one-on-one time with your child improves delinquent behavior with the less likelihood of engaging in illegal behavior. Thanks to Dr. Daniel Klein, we created goals to enhance our parent/spouse/child relationships and will be working on them for the next 21 days! It creates a habit.

WYA's Family and Youth Education Committee Presented — Stress Management: Prevention Strategies & Stress Reduction
As part of a series of anxiety and stress seminars, Dr. Bernie Les addressed stress management, treatment and prevention. Attendees of this workshop received an in depth look at ways to manage stress that goes beyond what the popular literature tells us. Counting to ten, breathing, and controlling thoughts are only some of what works. We know so much more about the mind and where stress comes from, what it's made of and how to stop it. This presentation included information on concrete strategies to lower theses sources of stress, while changing some simple habits so that recurrence of stress is less likely. All this information is suited for both the first time attendee as well as those with a good foundational knowledge who wants to gain more knowledge.

Thank You WYA Supporters!
On behalf of the Waterford Youth Assistance office, thank you for your continuous support. Enjoy this holiday season with your family and friends. Remember that as volunteers and supporters of our nonprofit you are truly spreading good cheer throughout the year. Many of you have been so generous to WYA through your time, talents or monetary donation. WYA could not reach as many Waterford students and their families if we did not have your participation in our great cause. Thank you. 

Thanks for the Donations to the Waterford READS Book Drive 
Thank you for the book donations for the Waterford School District Waterford READS book drive. The Waterford READS initiative addresses one of the most critical needs to life-long success: reading at grade level by the end of the third grade. This unique community collaboration includes our schools, civic organizations, and business leaders throughout the community working together to ensure every child has access to books. Many children may not have books in their homes and arrive at school without the knowledge and experiences they need to achieve academic success. Our shared goal is to ensure that more families have the tools and resources they need to help our children become readers and learners. “Our goal is to ensure that every child has a book to call their own and to instill the love of reading so it becomes a life-long passion”, says Superintendent Keith Wunderlich. To learn more about Waterford READS visit www.wsdmi.org/reads.


Teresa Fortino, Charlie Fortino and Jessica Abare celebrate Jessica receiving the Betty Fortino Phoenix Scholarship at the WYA Annual Meeting.
Teresa Fortino celebrates Lee Imus with the Betty Fortino award at the 30th Annual Youth Recognition Night.
Bucket of Love chairperson and Executive Board member, Margie Greenfield, received the volunteer of the year award at the Annual Meeting. Thank you for all that you do for WYA.
Thank you Margie Greenfield, Grant Smith, Julie Brown and Ann LaBarge for your continued WYA executive committee leadership.
WYA office staff, Michele Liotino, and Oakland County caseworkers, Liz McGregor and Stacy Williams, serve the Waterford community.