Viado Promoted to Co-Director of Youth Services’ Restorative Justice Programs

Brattleboro, VT–Cassandra “Kaci” Viado plays a key role in Youth Services’ mission to build resilience and be a catalyst for change as the new Co-Director of the agency’s Restorative Justice Programs.

Promoted from her position as the Restorative Panel and Pre-Charge Programs Coordinator for the last 18 months, Viado is well-versed in working with volunteers, participants, harmed parties, and facilitating restorative justice panels. In that capacity, Viado attended one-on-one meetings for over 100 cases annually, collaborated with local law enforcement, Probation and Parole, and the States Attorney’s Office.

In her new role, Viado manages five restorative justice-based programs for youth and adults in Windham County: Pretrial Services, Court Diversion, Driving with License Suspended, a diversion-based program for substance use and/or mental health needs called Tamarack and the Youth Substance Awareness Safety Program, which emphasizes healthy choices over punishment.

802 Credit Union Vice President Ethan Grimes Joins Youth Services Board

Ethan Grimes, the Vice President of mortgage lending at 802 Credit Union, recently joined 12 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors. With twenty programs ranging from court diversion, to trauma-informed after-school groups, counseling, mediation and case management to name but a few, Youth Services has built community throughout Windham County for over 50 years.

Since 2009, Grimes has worked in mortgages at River Valley Credit Union, now 802 Credit Union. Starting as a mortgage processor, he eventually became a mortgage originator and finally Vice President of the credit union’s mortgage department in 2016.

Grimes has deep roots in Windham County, having grown up and attended public school in Newfane, VT and graduating fourth in his class from Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend.  Grimes attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, where he majored in Economics, with a minor in both Business Administration and Communications. He came home each summer to work with his father Marty Grimes with Southern Vermont Telephone and recalls even doing some wiring on occasion at Youth Services during those visits. After graduation, Grimes moved to Orlando, FL where he obtained his mortgage broker license and worked as a mortgage broker there for four years during which time he married his college sweetheart.

Youth Services Hires Sullivan as Balanced & Restorative Justice Coordinator

Jacqueline (Jackie) Sullivan joined Youth Services as its Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Coordinator this past spring. The BARJ program is a supportive case management and restorative justice program for youth on probation, youth at a higher risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system, and youth ages 10 and up with low school attendance—at risk for truancy.

According to Youth Services’ Youth Programs Director, Megan Grove, the agency’s BARJ program recognizes that many young people entering the criminal justice system have underlying factors that lead to the criminal misconduct.

New Director of Youth Programs Hired at Youth Services

Brattleboro, VT — Megan Grove is the new Director of Youth Programs at Youth Services which has offices in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, Vermont. This position provides department oversight regarding an array of programs that relate to supporting youth and young adults in Windham County beyond Youth Services’ clinical and restorative justice offerings.

Grove supervises staff responsible for services related to therapeutic case management; youth experiencing homelessness, couch surfing, in shelter housing, or transitional living; and youth transitioning from foster care. In addition, Grove’s team implements life skills and health education and a youth-led business.

Grove will also maintain ongoing communications with community partners and collaborative partnerships with local schools, Department of Children & Families, and other community entities to accomplish the goals of Youth Services programs.

Ana Saavedra Elected President of Youth Services Board During 50th Anniversary

Ana Saavedra, financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments, recently assumed the role of President of the Youth Services Board of Directors, taking the reins from Cathy Coonan whose two-year term ended in July.  Saavedra has been on the agency’s Board of Directors for the past 15 years in a number of leadership positions.

During her tenure on the Youth Services board, Saavedra has held the position of Vice President and has served on the Executive and Gala committees. She has chaired the Development, Endowment and Planned Giving committees for a decade or more.

Is Youth Services’ Helicopter Golf Ball Drop Raffle a Perfect Father’s Day Gift?

Youth Services’ Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, a hallmark of Youth Services’ Annual Golf Tournament, is a game of chance with incredible odds, according to Cathy Coonan, Chair of the Youth Services’ Board of Directors. Coonan described the $100 balls as a perfect gift for a Dad on Father’s Day, as no assembly is required and a $3000 cash pot putting a smile on anyone’s face.

Balls numbered 1-100 are purchased, Coonan said, loaded into a bucket and transported by helicopter over the 9th fairway at Brattleboro Country Club where they are dropped from a 20 feet height. The owner of the numbered ball which lands closest to the pin collects $3000 cash.

New Year’s Resolution: Volunteer with Youth Services’ Court Diversion

Youth Services is seeking volunteers to serve on its Court Diversion panels in the New Year.  Court Diversion is a voluntary, confidential alternative to court proceedings for certain juveniles and adult cases referred to Court Diversion on an individual basis by the State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to Sally Struble, Youth Services’ Director of Restorative Justice Programs, its underlying intent is to repair harm that is caused by the crime and to address underlying conditions that led to the offense. Youth Services relies on community volunteers to represent community values to hold the person who offended accountable for his or her conduct.

Youth Services Last Call for Dancers to Perform in Signature Fundraiser April 2

 Are you interested in joining the 2020 cast of Can Windham County Dance? Have you ever imagined yourself dancing in the spotlight? Would you enjoy performing in front of a live audience? Are you looking for a way to positively influence the lives of young people and families in Windham County? If you answered yes to the above questions, Youth Services wants you!

Youth Services is organizing Can Windham County Dance?, its third annual gala with a goal of $20,000 raised to strengthen the safety net for area young people and families. This spring, Can Windham County Dance? gala will take place on Saturday, April 25 at the Hilltop Montessori campus in Brattleboro. Four dancing numbers are confirmed but the organization is looking for 2-3 more.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – Broadband, A Tale of Five Cities

Brattleboro Selectboard oct 1 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard learned the tales of five nearby municipal broadband projects and expressed varying levels of support for something local, along with many questions. Some answers will come at their next meeting.

The Work Today program is being delayed until spring 2020, the parking garage will get a new elevator cab, the DPW will get their generator, and the Town hopes to get some volunteers for committees.

Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – October 1, 2019

An unusually-short agenda awaits the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next regular meeting. Short agendas sometimes imply absent board members.

They will get an update on the Work Today program at Youth Services and hear results of staff research into a potential new utility, municipal broadband. There are just two other items – buying a generator and announcing committee vacancies. You can extend this meeting by bringing up other items not on this tiny agenda during Public Participation.

Brattleboro Selectboard – Agenda & Notes July 9, 2019

Brattleboro’s new “Work Today” program for day labor will be explained and partially funded at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Youth Services is taking the lead on this attempt to employ members of the community that have trouble finding steady work.

The board will take up the question of whether to create a Sustainability Officer position within town government, enact a rental housing inspection program, the town pool needs more repairs, tax rates will be set, goals will be reviewed, the library will get grants to help with local history, we’ll buy another pick-up truck, goals will be reviewed, committee members will be appointed, and more.

You can bring up other matters not on the agenda during public participation.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – Day Work Program Coming, Landlords Facing Inspections

Brattleboro Selectboard June 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard took up a full agenda, though with only three members present, they themselves were not quite full.

The big discussion of the evening centered on landlords and a new rental housing inspection system soon to take effect, but the exciting news came during public participation when it was announced that a day work program, legal and with dignity, will soon be getting started.

Local “Celebrity” Dancers Featured at Youth Services Gala and Dance Show April 28

Here’s your chance to witness local “celebrities” showcasing their dance skills while supporting a great cause! On Saturday, April 28, Youth Services will be holding its Annual Gala & Silent Auction at SIT’s International Center from 5 to 10 p.m. New to the much anticipated event is a twist on televisions’ hit reality show, Dancing with the Stars. Presented by SIT, all-inclusive tickets for Can Windham County Dance? are $85 per person ($55 of which is tax deductible) at