WYA Honored 93 AMAZING Students at the Youth Recognition Awards Clap-Out Event on Wednesday, July 22nd.
Everyone at Waterford Youth Assistance (WYA) was very disappointed that we were unable to recognize our honorees at our annual Youth Recognition Night Awards ceremony due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. However, the committee created the 2020 Youth Recognition Awards Clap-Out Event. The Youth Recognition Awards is an event that WYA enjoys hosting. For over 60 years, Youth Recognition committee has honored students that were nominated for their selfless acts to improve the lives of others. Students were recognized for personal achievements, simple acts of kindness in the classroom and school, and charitable work in Michigan, other states, and countries. Youth are selected for this honor for their active involvement in making Waterford a better place and for helping others. Typically, nominations are received from schools, community organizations, civic leaders and members of the faith community. The Youth Recognition committee is excited to announce that, in addition to the Clap-out event, WYA is working to commemorate the event with an awards video, with highlights from the event and additional information we were unable to present. This video will be available to view on two local TV stations (Channel 20 and WTV10), as well as our website and social media pages.
Big Thank you goes to, Oakland County Treasurer, Andy Meisner, Waterford Township Supervisor, Gary Wall, Waterford Township Clerk, Kim Markee, WSD Superintendent, Scott Lindberg, WSD School Board Trustee, John Paul Torres, and Waterford Police Department Liaison, Andy Tarajos for coming out and supporting our event.
Thank you to our sponsors, Joe Fagan, State Farm, Birmingham Bloomfield Credit Union, Farm Bureau, the Milner Agency, Green Apple Family Restaurant, The Art Experience, PlayAll Media, Buffalo Wild Wings, Oakland Mediation Center, Russ’ Party Store, Waterford Parks and Recreation Department, and Media Network of Waterford.
Community Bottle and Can Drive
WOW! Thank you to everyone that participated in the community bottle and can drive. Waterford Township Supervisor, Gary Wall and Phil Karmo, owner of Russ's Party Store on Elizabeth Lake organized this amazing event. You the Waterford community donated a total of $6,500 in returnable cans and bottles. An additional $3,500 was donated by Phil Karmo and his business partner Joe Frase and Dave George for a total of $10,000. As a result, a GENEROUS donation of $2000.00 was received by WYA!
Waterford Youth Assistance (WYA) is pleased to announce the tenth year of 100% participation from all 9 Waterford elementary schools during the annual WYA Shoplifting Prevention Program.
Howard Piotrovski, Assistant Director of Public Safety at Great Lakes Crossing and WYA police liaison Officer Andy Tarajos of the Waterford Police Department, spoke to 553 fifth grade students in the Waterford School District. Using a customize Youth Assistance video, Shoplifting the Crime, the Community, and the Consequences, Piotrovski and Officer Tarajos presents a convincing crime prevention message about shoplifting to the students which encourages them to resist peer pressure, especially as they enter middle school. Students receive informational brochures to take home to their parents. This program has been offered to the Waterford School District free of charge for over 16 years from WYA as a result of generous donations and grants from the community.
WYA’s Family and Youth Education committee hosted Co-Parenting and Communication workshop facilitated by Megan Dennis of Oakland Mediation Center on Thursday, February 13, 2020. Parents who attended learned the importance of listening to understand the other person and skills for active listening. Parents were able to give real life examples of co-parenting challenges and learn ways to improve their communication skills. Thank you Megan Dennis for volunteering your time to education parents.
Did you know Oakland Mediation Center offers mediation on adoptions, divorce, parenting time, probate, special education, truancy, victim/offender, employment, civil, landlord/tenant, and small claim? Highly trained and experience domestic mediators will help you discuss your concerns, explore several options and find acceptable solutions to issues. Oakland Mediation Center provides these services to communities at a low or no cost.
Holiday Carolling with WYA was a success! Residents at the Ostrum House, Regency of Waterford, and Drakewood Manor enjoyed listening to some classic holiday tunes. Thank you to the volunteers that came out to help support Waterford Youth Assistance and the Waterford Community. If you would like to learn more about other volunteer opportunities, please contact the WYA office at 248.618.7383 or at [email protected]
WYA gives a big THANK YOU to Canterbury-on-the-Lake Retirement Community, Waterford Parks and Recreation Department, Waterford Recreation Center (Golden Agers), Oakland Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic, Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce and Safety Technology International, St. Perpetua Church, Beth Lawson and the Volleyball Team, Kelli Phillips and her family, and Linda Mata and her family for reaching out and adopting over 13 families in need this holiday season! The generosity and kindness of those in our community is amazing. Thank you for your continued support in making the holidays brighter for so many Waterford families.
Bucket of Love program hosted their Annual Holiday Luncheon on Monday, December 16, 2019
Mentees and Mentors has a great time at the Bucket of Love Annual Holiday Luncheon filled with lots of holiday treats and activities. Thank you again to the Waterford Senior Center for hosting WYA, VFW Women’s Auxiliary and Buffalo Wild Wings for donating gifts and food. Big THANK YOU to the Bucket of Love Mentors who take time out of the week to spend an hour with each of their mentees and for putting together such a fantastic party!
WYA’s family and youth education committee hosted Responsible Social Media: Real World Consequences
On Thursday November 14, 2019 Oakland County Prosecutor, Jessica R. Cooper and Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Paul Walton presented on the dangers of online gaming, new laws effecting our youth with online interactions, and consequences of online harassment, threats and explicit photos. Thank you Jessica R. Cooper and Paul Walton for volunteering your time to educating parents and students on such an important topic
Bucket of Love program hosted their Fall Festival Party on Tuesday October 29, 2019
Bucket Mentors and Mentees enjoyed a fun-filled scavenger hunt, decorating pumpkins and participated in a variety of crafts and games. Thank you to all the Bucket of Love mentors for putting together some a fantastic holiday event. There is still time to volunteer just one hour a week mentoring an elementary student in Waterford. Contact the WYA office at 248.618.7383 or email at [email protected] for more information.
Waterford Youth Assistance Volunteer of the Year
Congratulation to Waterford Youth Assistance's 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Grant Smith. Grant is the President of the Waterford Youth Assistance Board of Directors. He also is the Mentors Plus Chairperson and won the Governor's Service Mentor of the Year Award. Thank you, Grant for your dedication to the Waterford Community.
Betty Fortino Phoenix Rise Above Challenge Scholarship
Congratulation to Devian for being selected as the recipient of the 8th Betty Fortino Phoenix Scholarship. Best of Luck to you furthering your education. Thanks, Teresa and Charlie for honoring such an amazing student.
WYA Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at Overtyme Grill and Tap Room. Thank you for everyone that came out and supported Waterford Youth Assistance. We look forward to another successful year.
WYA's Family and Youth Education committee hosted Is someone in your home struggling with ADHD or Technology Addiction?
On Monday October 21, 2019 facilitators, Carrie Odrobina and Carol Verville present information on the latest research addressing the natural, whole-child approach that overcome the symptoms of ADHD and identify the imbalances of the right and left hemispheres to understanding the signs of weaknesses that impact your child’s abilities. Carrie and Carol ended the night on discussing and offering reasonable and realistic “screen time” strategies to protect our child and their development. Thank you, Carrie Odrobina and Carol Verville for volunteering your time providing information to the Waterford parents on such an important topic. All parents attended were offered ½ off an assessment at the Brian Balance Center of North Oakland!
WYA Annual Meeting Luncheon-Wednesday October 23rd, 2019
Please join us for our Annual Meeting Luncheon on October 23, 2019 at Overtyme Grill and Tap Room. Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch promptly starting at 11:45 a.m. Cost of lunch is $25. RSVP to [email protected] or call WYA office at 248.618.7383.
WYA Bucket of Love Meeting-Tuesday September 3, 2019
WYA's Bucket of Love program is gearing back up for the 2019-2020 school year. Please join us for the Annual Bucket of Love Kick off Meeting on Tuesday September 3rd from 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Waterford Parks and Recreation Center, Rm 109. Please RSVP no later than Friday August 30th.
WYA Family and Education Committee hosted groups for Waterford Students
WYA partnered with Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan-Waterford Location to run three separate 5 week interactive groups for students Waterford this past winter/spring. The two of the groups were focused on strengthening our middle school populations. Students learned to be empower in the areas of Self-Esteem, building meaningful relationships, bullying prevention, technology and communication, and other helpful social skills in the first social skill groups. The Empowerment Girls group offered learning opportunity for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls to develop skills in the areas of building a positive self-image, combating negative self-talk and negative core beliefs, healthy vs unhealthy relationships, linking thoughts and behaviors, and finding inner wisdom and improving decision making skills. A group of high school students attended a Stress Reduction Group that provided opportunity for those students to learn different ways to reduce stress in all aspects of the life.
WYA family and youth education committee focus is to plan and offer programs to help parents raise healthy children. Committee objectives are to determine family and youth education needs in Waterford that fill current gaps in services and match the YA mission of preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency and court involvement. The committee conducts workshops and classes to inform and educate Waterford youth. Topics vary from anger management, depression, sexting, fraud, parenting skills and alcohol/drug misuse. Youth and Family Education committee is seeking volunteers to develop the 2019/2020 program year curriculum. Please contact WYA office at 248.618.7383 or email at [email protected] if interested in volunteering a few hours a month.
WYA Bucket of Love Program held end of the year spring event at Hess-Hathaway Park
Bucket of Love Program ended the 2018/2019 at Hess-Hathaway on Friday May 10, 2019. Bucket mentors and mentees started their spring event with a delicious lunch under the park pavilion sponsored by Lucky Ducks Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Jersey Mikes. They spent their afternoon with Farmer John learning about all the animals, enjoyed a bumpy and laugh filled hayride and playing on the playground. Thank you to Waterford Parks and Recreation Department and Farmer John for allowing our matches to visit the park. Thank you to all the Bucket of Love Mentors who spent many hours with their students throughout the school year and planning all the group activities.If you’re interested in volunteer as a Bucket of Love mentor please contact the WYA office at 248.618.7383 or [email protected]
WYA Family and Youth Education committee hosted A Healthy Student Starts Here...
On Thursday May 9, 2019, Oakland County Public Health Educator, Mary McClain presented information on success with stress and the Healthy You eating healthy, physical activity and goal setting. Parents and teens learned about the My Plate system, ideas on how to exercise 150 minutes a week, and different ways to less stress using techniques like mediation, deep breathing, box breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Waterford’s Planet Fitness Trainer Rachel ended the workshop explaining the new Teen Summer Challenge that begins on May 15, 2019. Thank you, Mary McClain and Rachel for volunteering your time providing information to the Waterford parents and teens on such an important topic and opportunity!
WYA honored 75 students at the 32nd Annual Youth Recognition Night on May 1, 2019.
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. Thank you to all who participated in the event including our Youth Recognition Committee, WYA volunteers, and dignitaries. Thank you to Buffalo Wild Wings, George’s Corned Beef and Ham, Green Apple, Greek Jalapeno, Oakland Mediation Center, The Art Experience, and The Breakfast Optimist of Waterford for sponsoring our event! Congratulations to Aidan Stark, recipient of the Betty Fortino award.
WYA Family and Youth Education committee hosted CAREing 4 Kids Workshop promoting April being Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.
Care House of Oakland County speaker Miriana Milo presented information on Care House of Oakland County’s services and resources, what is child abuse, signs and symptoms, effects of CSA and how to report if child abuse is suspected. Thank you, Miriana Milo for volunteering your time providing information to the Waterford parents on such an important topic.
April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month
More than just an awareness campaign, the pinwheels is the symbol of child abuse prevention. The pinwheels connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment or reminder of the happy, healthy, and carefree childhoods that all children deserve! Thank you Donelson Hills, Haviland Elementary, Houghton, Stepanski Early Childhood Center and Waterford Parks and Recreation Center for promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month by planting a pinwheel garden!
WYA Family and Youth Education committee hosted Mental Health: Your child is more than their diagnosis.
On March 14, 2019, co-speakers Martha Adair and Christina Polk of New Oakland Family Center presented information on what is mental illness, the different mental health diagnosis, and understanding the each of them and identify protective factors and where to seek help.Thank you Martha Adair and Christina Polk for volunteering your time providing information to the Waterford parents on such an important topic.
Shoplifting the Crime, the Community, and the Consequences! During the month of February 602 Fifth Graders learned the consequences of shoplifting.
Waterford is privileged to have Howard Piotrovsky, Assistant Director of Public Safety at Great Lakes Crossing, oversee this program in the schools since 2004. New this year, WYA police liaison Officer Andy Tarajos assist Howard along with our updated video called the “Shoplifting the Crime, the Community, and the Consequences. Howard and Officer Tarajos 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 was the ninth consecutive year that all Waterford elementary schools participated in the WYA shoplifting prevention program.
WYA Family and Youth Education committee hosted Substance Abuse & Use
On Thursday February 7, 2019, Lisa Kaplan community educator through Henry Ford Health System’s Maplegrove Center in West Bloomfield presented on signs and symptoms of substance use and intoxication, commonly abused drugs in teens today, and identified 40 developmental assets in which are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school and avoid risky behaviors. Lisa ended the evening with sharing over 50 tips for parents raising drug free kids including; give a clear message that no illegal drug use is allowed in your home and make the consequences clear ahead of time and reinforce often. Role play difficult situations. As, “What would you do if… Teach ways to deal with peer pressure and uncomfortable situations, not just substance use by teaching refusal skills like say “NO” clearly and firmly with good eye contact, walk away, avoid situations where people use, change the subject, use humor, have a better idea of doing something different, make an excuse, blame your parents, give a reason why you can’t use, and use flattery.
Oakland County's Mentor Plus Program
Have Time to Make a Positive Difference in a Young Person's Life? Consider Becoming a Mentor...
Mentor Plus Orientation will be held on Saturday February 9, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Conference Center, Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Bldg 41 West Waterford, MI 48328. A light snack will be provided. Please RSVP to Karyn Willis at [email protected] or 248.858.0041. For more information on Mentors Plus please visit our website: http://www.oakgov.com/courts/ya/Pages/mentors.aspx
WYA Family and Youth Education committee hosted Social Media Real World Consequences and the Psychological Effects
On Tuesday January 15, 2019, co--speakers Paul Walton, Chief Assistant Prosecutor of Oakland County and Julie McDaniel, Student Safety and Well Being Consultant at Oakland Schools presented information on defining bully and the laws of cyber-bullying, Michigan Laws on threats to others on social media, how social media impacts children’s mental health and strategies for keeping your child safe online. Thank you Paul Walton and Julie McDaniel for volunteering your time providing information to the Waterford parents and students on such an important topic.
WYA Holiday 2018 Assistance and Adopt a Family Program
WYA gives a big THANK YOU to Canterbury-on-the-Lake, Waterford Parks and Recreation Center (Golden Agers), Oakland Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic, St. Perpetua Church, VFW, Beth Lawson and the Volleyball Team, Kelli Phillips and her family, and Tod and Lisa Reber for reaching out and adopting over 10 families in need this holiday season! The generosity and kindness of those in our community is amazing. Thank you for your continued support in making the holidays brighter for so many Waterford families.