January 2020
Monthly News and Updates
Full Circle Brotherhood Mentoring Program
Why Mentoring Matters
Each January, we celebrate “National Mentoring Month”. It is a time to examine available resources and sound the call around the importance of adults who can hold the role of being a positive influence and support in the lives of our youth. Imagine a society where young people feel encouraged and have their voices amplified in such a way that they are able to seize the promise that falls all too often outside of their grasp. Many of our conversations and programming decisions are based on what we perceive as the “deficits” of our youth. In all actuality, most of the “deficits” we identify are a direct result or correlation to youth having to deal with decisions that adults in their lives have made. These adults aren’t always their parents; they can be their teachers, counselors, coaches, etc. When we finally admit to this as adults, we then can start working to address the myriad of barriers that our youth face. This is where effective, quality mentoring comes into play. Youth that have at least one caring adult/mentor in their lives are shown statistically to have a greater chance of engaging and staying in school, as well as greater rates of graduation. Youth who have mentors are also many times more likely to engage in sports and extracurricular activities. These things lead to positive trajectories and outcomes for our youth. Effective mentoring relationships create collaboration between youth and adults that can alter not only our perceptions of young people, but assist them in creating a more equitable society for us all. This month, I urge you to consider either becoming a mentor or to support a local mentoring program. The Collaboration Council will continue in its role of ensuring access to training and technical assistance for mentoring organizations to assist them in ensuring they are providing effective, quality mentors and programming for our youth. Together, we can ensure that all youth have access to someone who will support their dreams and help them access opportunity and their intrinsic promise.  
Excel Beyond the Bell
In December 2019, the OST network at the Collaboration Council and Excel Beyond the Bell Collaborative ended the first session of EBB Elementary & Middle School Programs on a high note. We celebrated over 2400 elementary & middle school youth making connections through skill building, and social and emotional learning, and celebrating the youth led productions at the end of the first session.  Click Here  to watch a video produced by the  Jr. High School Cypher , a program provided by DrewStar Productions, LLC. a  contracted provider for EBB MS.  Jr. High School Cypher  featured original, youth-created hip hop rap songs and choreography by students from Neelsville MS, Forest Oak MS, Francis Scott Key MS, and Col. E. Brooke Lee MS. 
In 2020, we are kicking off the new year with Session 2 of EBB MS programs which commenced January 28, 2020 at all sites. With enrollment still underway, we already have 900+ MCPS middle school youth registered to participate in over 50 enriching afterschool activities. This spring, we are also looking forward to providers who will be incorporating a  Prevention  focus in their programs in collaboration with the Under 21 Substance Use Prevention mini-grants. These mini-grants are available from the Collaboration Council's Public Health program in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services. Stay tuned for more great things from our county’s Out of School Time programs supported by the Collaboration Council.
If your organization is interested in supporting or providing youth development out-of-school time program services to our county youth, please feel free to reach out to OST Program Manager, Shané Tate at  shane.tate@collaborationcouncil.org  for more information .

EBB Students from the Jr. High School Cypher program
Bridges to the Future
Bridges to the Future is hiring a Youth Peer Support person to provide direct support to youth involved in the wraparound process. The role of the Youth Peer Support partner is to develop a connection and understanding with the youth or young adult in their transitional years and help them achieve their personal goals as they work towards change and recovery.  For more information, please email  Rhorsey@mcfof.org .
Juvenile Justice Reform Listening Session
On January 22, Montgomery County Collaboration Council hosted a Juvenile Justice Reform listening session at the White Oak Community Recreation Center. The listening session was well attended by community members from both Montgomery and Prince George's counties. We are thankful for the diverse group of speakers that shared their thoughts and insights during the session.

Parent speaks at Juvenile Justice Reform Listening Session
Students & Facilitator from the Advancing Youth Development training.
Community of Practice: Advancing Youth Development
The 2020 CoP professional development program year began with a four day intensive Advancing Youth Development (AYD) training program. This training provided youth serving professionals with the foundational knowledge and skills of youth development practice. The AYD facilitators, Pardeice Powell- McGoy and Dennis Carter of the Youth Development Institute in New York City, worked in collaboration with Elaine Johnson, Director of the Youth Development Community of Practice, to update the AYD curriculum.
A total of 25 Montgomery County youth serving practitioners, including executive directors and senior staff, were among the first group to experience an updated AYD training program that included new content and interactive learning experiences. Participants worked in teams to present the information learned during the course of the training, and they were deeply impacted and eager to bring these new skills to their youth serving programs. After a review of participants' evaluations, 98% of participants rated the training as excellent! 

Be on the lookout for more professional development opportunities in February 2020.

MoCo ReConnect:
Focus on Our Partners
MoCo Reconnect is fortunate to be partnering with the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC) in our reengagement work. They have a proven track record at creating safe spaces to work alongside youth through a variety of services. Within MoCo Reconnect, MMYC provides Pre-GED and GED services to address the needs of out of school youth. GED classes focus on reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. They also provide workforce development and job readiness training, to include career exploration, job training, and certification/internship programs. MMYC also hosts workshops on résumé writing, interview preparation and workforce competencies. We look forward to the continued success of all our partners in creating positive outcomes for Montgomery County youth and young adults.

Our Catalyst of Change Youth Fellowship (CCYF) inaugural  c ohort has been meeting twice a month since October 2019, and each meeting has been designed to enhance youth leadership skills. The fellows are supported by youth leaders as they work to develop critical thinking skills. CCYF cultivates the important skill of working collaboratively to encourage solution based approaches to social change and racial disparities. CCYF will continue meeting twice a month until May 2020. 


Catalyst of Change Youth Fellowship
Opioid Use Prevention forum at Montgomery College, Germantown
Substance Use Prevention
In continued partnership with the County’s Overdose Intervention Team, the Collaboration Council will be hosting a series of educational forums about the opioid epidemic, one of the nation’s current public health concerns, and its impact on individuals, their families and community. Our goal is to increase education and awareness about the associated dangers and consequences of opioid misuse ,  so that we can begin to see a decrease in the number of Montgomery County residents misusing/overusing opioids and accidental overdoses. 

Beginning in April, these forums will provide attendees with detailed information about opioids/opiates, signs and symptoms of opioid misuse and abuse, the importance of Naloxone (Narcan) in reversing an opioid overdose, and will address compassion, fatigue and stigma associated with opioid use disorder. 

Our first forum will take place at Montgomery College in Takoma Park on April 2, 2020 We will target emerging health professionals in the college’s Health Science faculty. 

We look forward to you joining us at these events in hopes that you too can play an active role in educating your friends, loved ones and community about the effects of opioid misuse and overuse.
Members of the Local Care Team (LCT)
Children with Intensive Needs
Over the last two months, we have seen an increase in the number of mental health referrals to the LCT. Specifically, the last 60 days have brought us youth with an extensive history of trauma, who also lack access to resources and support s  that can help them address complex trauma issues. 

As we begin the new year, the LCT is committed to providing ongoing supports and services to all Montgomery County youth and families in need of mental health resources, especially to youth and families at the margins.