- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Pittsfield — The Berkshire District Attorney's Youth Advisory Board got off to a great start on Monday, August 20, 2018, when members came together for their annual summer orientation. The Board met at Ramblewild, a tree-to-tree aerial park in Lanesborough. The half-day orientation brought together both returning and newly appointed members to spend time getting to know one another. After a brief organizational meeting to brainstorm goals and objectives and lay out the groundwork for their 2018 – 2019 agenda, students had access to the entire park for a team building adventure.
The mission of the Youth Advisory Board is to bring youth voices to the table on social issues impacting youth. Members use their talent and creative energy to participate in peer mentoring and presenting educational programs and activities which focus on positive behavior, health and wellness, and safety.
The Board’s plans for the school year include teaching their younger peers in elementary school a bullying and cyberbullying lesson as well as working on their year-long project of creating and hosting the STRIVE (Students Teaching Respect, Integrity, Values and Equality) Youth Leadership Conference. The conference, held in April each year, gives middle school students across Berkshire County the opportunity to come together and to discuss current social topics impacting today’s teens.
Other projects include an inter-generational chat and cheer get-together with residents at a local assisted living facility, the annual Make a Berkshire Senior Smile program, and participation in the annual MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Vigil of Remembrance in December, which honors the memory of those who have died in drunk driving accidents.
Members of the Youth Advisory Board are: Tyler Bouchard and Ayannah Sheerin, BART Charter Public School; Alison Felix and Laura Thomas, Drury High School; John Krol, Hoosac Valley High School; Ashley Barnes and William Consolati, Lee Middle & High School, Ali Hochfelder and Abigail Schilling, Lenox Memorial Middle & High School; Emma Marino and Vanessa Traversa, McCann Technical School; Hannah Chrzanowski and Angela Guachione, Miss Hall’s School; Gabriel Davis-Hollander and Mae Whaley, Monument Mt. Regional High School; Anna Dupont and Grayson Duval, Mt. Everett Regional School; Daniel Buell and Elizabeth Paglier, Mt. Greylock Regional High School; Hannah Berkel and Sarah McMahon, Pittsfield High School; Jaylin LaCasse and Joannda Loftus, Taconic High School; and Amanda Drager and Andrew Sondrini, Wahconah Regional High School.