FSW’s Junior Board Funds Peer Group and Trip to Broadway for Emotionally Disturbed Young Women

02/15/2013

Westchester Young Professionals Announce Success of a Grant Distributed Through Group’s Youth Enrichment Fund

Port Chester, NY – Family Services of Westchester’s (FSW) Junior Board today announced the success of a grant the group awarded to fund a Teen Women’s Peer Group to serve the youth in FSW’s Respite Program. The grant allowed eight young women suffering from Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) to meet biweekly this past fall with FSW program coordinators and discuss teen issues, reproductive health and substance abuse prevention. The program culminated with a trip to Broadway to see “Bring it On: The Musical,” a show with positive messages about race relations, trust and self-acceptance.

The grant was made possible by the Junior Board of FSW’s Youth Enrichment Fund, which provides targeted, supplemental funding to FSW’s youth programs. The Fund has awarded nearly $8,000 in grants to FSW programs since the Junior Board’s inception January 2011. To date, the Junior Board has raised more than $40,000 to benefit the children and youth in FSW programs through fundraising initiatives.

The Junior Board’s grant was an enrichment opportunity to supplement the comprehensive services of FSW’s Respite Program. The program’s mission is to support families with children struggling with the challenges of Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) by providing a break from the continuous tasks and pressures of caring for them, while also providing the children with therapeutic activities designed to build self-esteem and develop social skills. Respite offers after-school programs and a summer camp for children ages 5-17 who are living in the community and receiving intensive case management services.

The Junior Board’s grant was designed to be educational while also cultivating the young women’s socialization skills and the development of healthy peer relationships. The young women were able to discuss topics of importance to them and listen to guest speakers, including a medical doctor who spoke about reproductive health. A culminating trip to see “Bring it On” served as an incentive to attend the peer group sessions while also providing exposure to a new world that was otherwise beyond their reach. For these youth, a trip to Broadway was more than a field trip, it was an invaluable opportunity to feel a part of society and experience the magic of Broadway with newfound friends.

“We have been so touched by the powerful feedback we received from FSW’s Respite program coordinators, the teen women, and their caregivers about this grant,” stated Leslie Chang, Chair of the Junior Board. “The multidimensional aspect of this grant appealed to us as it not only provided a trip to Broadway, but it also offered these emotionally troubled youth opportunities for education and meaningful dialogue with mentors and peers.”

“We are so grateful to the Junior Board for their unwavering dedication to bringing new ideas and resources to FSW,” stated Susan Wayne, President and CEO of FSW. “It’s an inspiration to see Westchester’s emerging leaders make so much impact on our organization through their service, fundraising and enrichment initiatives.”

A full list of grants awarded by the Junior Board to date can be found here.

About the Junior Board of Family Services of Westchester

The Junior Board of Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is comprised of volunteers who support the Board of Directors and promote the mission of FSW through educational, fundraising and service initiatives. As a group of motivated, community minded, and philanthropic young professionals, the Junior Board helps to raise FSW’s visibility as well as identify and connect resources to the organization. FSW was founded in 1954 and runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs for all ages, including Head Start, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Adult and Youth Residences and AmeriCorps. Visit www.fsw.org for more information.