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What's Happening at
The Guidance Center of Westchester

Tuesday
May232017

Our Own 2017 Wunderkind!

Congratulations to TGCW’s own Daniel Bonnet, director of the Center for College & Careers (CCC), for being awarded in 914INC. Magazine as a 2017 Wunderkind! At 29 years old, Daniel is being recognized as one of Westchester’s movers-and-shakers under age 30.

Daniel is the youngest member of TGCW’s senior management team, bringing high levels of energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism to his work. CCC provides academic support and tutoring; college exposure; assistance with financial aid and scholarship information; as well as job development and placement for youth ages 14-24 in Mount Vernon and New Rochelle. The Center for Colleges & Careers helps program participants obtain a high school or equivalency diploma and develop a meaningful, attainable plan for the future.

Daniel spearheaded a partnership with the Food Bank for Westchester to ensure the participants are provided with healthy snacks and light meals. This program expanded to provide free healthy food to participants in other TGCW programs. Also, the CCC has an “attire for hire” closet where young people are given free professional clothing for interviews or jobs.

Among his other achievements, he is a co-creator for Mothers on the Move to Support and Raise our Children (MOMSROC), serves as a board member for employment, training, and post-secondary education for My Brother’s Keeper, a Latino/Hispanic liaison in the City of New Rochelle, and a member of NAACP, the New Rochelle Branch. Daniel was also featured on the nationally broadcasted Steve Harvey Show as an outstanding mentor and received the MilliAward earlier this year for millennial professionals from Westchester and Fairfield counties who are “on their way to changing the world.”

 “I was born in New Rochelle; I still live here,” Daniel explains. “I’m passionate about giving back to the community and its youth.”

Daniel will receive the 2017 Wunderkind award on May 24th at six p.m. at the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club. For tickets to the event: http://bit.ly/1UwFe8C and to read the article in 914INC., check out: http://bit.ly/2qSec13.

Congratulations Daniel! We’re proud to have you lead the Center for College & Careers at TGCW!

Thursday
May042017

Put it in the books! 75th Gala a success

75 never looked so good! Many thanks to everyone who supported our 75th Anniversary Gala. From the fun to the fundraising to the celebrating, everything about the night showed how our Agency is thriving.

Special appreciation to our honorees: Taryn Tanzer (photo below), Gary Cohn, Richard Leroy and Gus Levy. Erica Hill acted as a fabulous emcee. The Legendary Chris Washington got everyone up dancing.

We'll post more details later, but suffice it to say that it was a record-breaking event!

Click here to see a pdf of the ejournal.

Our thanks to Altice for this wonderful video on our Agency.

Click on the photo below to see more images from the evening.

Tuesday
Apr112017

Erica Hill to Emcee May 2nd Gala!

We're so excited that award-winning journalist Erica Hill will emcee our 75th Anniversary Gala, taking place Tuesday, May 2nd at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.

“Ms. Hill has lead a constructive dialogue on the issues which TGCW addresses on a daily basis: mental illness, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness,” says Executive Director Amy Gelles. “We are delighted that she has agreed to donate her time and talents as we mark this significant milestone of 75 years and thriving.”

Ms. Hill currently hosts HLN’s daily news program, On the Story with Erica Hill, which airs daily from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. On the Story delves beyond the headlines into why stories matter and how they impact our daily lives. She also contributes as an anchor and correspondent to CNN.

Honorees for The Guidance Center of Westchester’s gala include: Taryn Tanzer, President, Patient Care Associates (Mamaroneck); Gus Levy, Lexington Properties (Mount Kisco); and Richard Leroy and Gary Cohn of Temple Shaaray Tefila (Bedford).

The evening will also pay tribute to Elizabeth (Betty) Provenzano, a long-time board member and passionate advocate of The Guidance Center of Westchester’s mission. Betty passed away in December 2016.

The Gala raises money to support programs which focus on education, treatment, housing, and vocational services. Each year, more than 5,000 Westchester County residents take part in one or more of the Agency’s programs. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is the platinum sponsor and an additional 29 other companies and individuals are sponsors at various levels.

Tickets for the event are available online or email INFO@TheGuidanceCenter.org.

Friday
Mar312017

Donations for new music program

The Guidance Center of Westchester is looking for donations of musical instruments in working condition for our newly launched music program that offers people with mental illness new ways to express their creative energies. The new music courses are part of the agency’s mental health rehabilitation program, PROS.

PROS (Personalized Recovery-Oriented Services) helps more than 150 adults with serious mental illness achieve personal life goals through clinical treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation. Our PROS operates much like a small campus, where participants choose from a variety of courses offered throughout the day.

Participants take part in courses created to help them improve their life skills or coping strategies. PROS offers traditional courses in such areas as clinical counseling, vocational skills, goal setting, integrated health and wellness, and basic living skills, as well as more creative courses.

One of the popular music options, Music to our Ears, allows participants to discover music in a way to reduce anxiety while increasing focus. Counselors use music lessons as a medium for participants to express their creativity and gain confidence by discovering a new talent.

“Our new music programs are incredibly popular,” says Vito Tomanelli, LMSW, PROS recovery counselor. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of instruments and our participants can’t afford to buy them. That’s why we’re looking for donations."

We're looking for gently used guitars including bass, classical and string instruments and percussion instruments. We also need microphones, recording devices, PA systems, speakers, lighting equipment, video recording devices, and turntables.

If you can make a donation, please contact PROS@TheGuidanceCenter.org or 914-613-0700 x7062.

Check out this short video of one of our PROS participants playing on a donated piano.

Photo: Rita Deutsch, LCSW (right), a PROS senior recovery counselor, and her singing partner Anne Price performed a musical demonstration for PROS participants to launch the music program.

Friday
Mar242017

Foundations in Feelings Wins Award

Foundations in Feelings, an early childhood program of The Guidance Center of Westchester, is being recognized as Program of the Year by the Westchester Division of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Foundations in Feelings is an innovative approach for addressing the social-emotional development needs of very young children while ensuring that no child is expelled from a childcare program due to behavioral issues. By working with the childcare staff and family, the Foundations in Feelings team of specialists creates an individualized behavioral action plan that helps modify the child’s behavior in a positive way.

“We are so honored to be recognized for our work on behalf of Westchester’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. We hope to continue and expand our program to help even more young children thrive in the critical early years,” says Iva Jenkins, LCSW, director, early childhood behavioral health services.

On average, the Foundations in Feelings program works with more than 20 daycare centers, reaching more than 600 children and their families. In 2016, no child was expelled from a daycare center after receiving Foundations in Feelings intervention.

Foundations in Feelings was nominated for the award by several childcare centers who have benefitted from the program.

“Kindergarten readiness is more critical than ever before and (Foundations in Feelings) allows these children, who would otherwise be denied a preschool experience, an opportunity to learn and grow,” wrote Rhonda Heumann, director of Children’s Learning Center (YMCA) in White Plains.

“The social workers from the (Foundations in Feelings) program have helped a number of our children with serious behavior challenges function in the classrooms,” wrote Carol Robinson, MS Ed, “In addition, they have trained my staff in the Second Step curriculum and on how to handle challenging behaviors when they arise.” Ms. Robinson is the early education director at Grayson Learning Center in Yonkers. 

The awards ceremony takes place 5:30 PM on Thursday, March 30 at the Women’s Club of White Plains.

Foundations in Feelings was once only available to select childcare centers but is now available to any childcare in Westchester. To inquire about services, email EarlyChildhood@TheGuidanceCenter.org.  

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017, The Guidance Center of Westchester offers essential and lasting support to those challenged by mental illness, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness. We empower our participants to become active members of their community through education, treatment, housing and vocational services.