Boston Celtic RJ Hunter Inspires Doc Wayne Youth

16 May

This past March, a group of middle and high school students from Doc Wayne were invited to participate in a fun-filled afternoon at Sky Zone-Danvers hosted by Boston Celtics guard, RJ Hunter. Hunter was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics and has been playing with the team since July when he signed his contract. On March 8th, the Doc Wayne youth arrived at Sky Zone where RJ Hunter and the Celtics staff arranged a special evening designed just for them.

The evening consisted of students participating in structured and unstructured games on the trampolines. After that, the Doc Wayne youth then had a chance to talk with and learn froBAB_4773.JPGm RJ over a pizza party. Rebekah Roulier, Doc Wayne’s Associate Director, reflected on the evening by expressing, “The evening was full of the joy and happiness of just being a kid and many youth were encouraged and inspired by conversations with RJ. For our Doc Wayne youth, these moments are invaluable.”


Our Clinical Director, Jonathan Baum also reflected on the event by stating, “It was a once in a lifetime experience for a group of kids that would likely never get this type of opportunity. Not only was it a fun event, but RJ Hunter is clearly a good person. He was great with the kids and was genuinely interested in them. He was not doing this for the publicity, but out of kindness. RJ is a great role model and doing this for the kids will definitely have a lasting impact.”

One of Doc Wayne’s Executive Director’s favorite moments from the event was an impact RJ had on a specific individual. David Cohen described this individual as “aBAB_4823 young boy who struggles daily and initially, at Sky Zone, was not participating…..until he had a chance to speak with RJ.  The young boy expressed how RJ made him realize how great being an athlete really was and to always be humble. Even though he was originally hesitant towards participating, after speaking with RJ, his feelings immediately changed and he felt that his time with RJ changed his life.”

The Doc Wayne team cannot express enough, how grateful we are for everything RJ and the Boston Celtics staff did for our youth. It was an incredible evening and something our youth will not forget. Doc Wayne’s staff and youth had an amazing time throughout the day and truly appreciate all that the Celtics have done. Doc Wayne will always be a supporter of RJ and the rest of the Boston Celtics!

For more information on Doc Wayne please contact us at info@docwayne.org or follow us on twitter @DocWayneDtG.

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Doc Wayne Levels the Playing Field

5 May

After a long year of preparation the big day finally arrived! On April 1, 2016 Doc Wayne hosted our inaugural conference, Leveling the Playing Field. The goal of the conference was for leaders from sports, mental health, and social justice to join together and learn about the work of like-minded individuals and nonprofits, exchange ideas, and explore ways to work together to strengthen the communities we serve.

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The conference took place at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge and over one hundred and fifty attendants came out to work together and join the conversation on how we can all become game changers. Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey started the day off as our keynote speaker, with a heartening speech about her belief in the power of sports and her strong support of Doc Wayne’s efforts to assist youth. In her opening speech, the Attorney General emphasized, “I believe in the power of sports to overcome violence, build skills, and bring people together.”

The day then continued on with food, fun, and our photo booth! Two panel discussion sessions were held throughout the day with numerous guest speakers weighing in on topics that included: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Violence, and Mental Illness through Innovation and Game Changing Innovations.

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The first panel was moderated by WBUR’s Deborah Becker and included representatives from Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Boston Public Health Commission, New England Community Services, Inc., and Fallon Community Health Plan. The panelists discussed innovative ways we can break the cycle of poverty, violence, and mental illness.

Doc Wayne’s very own Rebekah Roulier joined the second panel discussion with various other game changing innovators. Fred Mann, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation moderated the panel, while guest speakers discussed ways to positively impact youth and reach the goals of the organizations they represent. The representatives on the panel included: Matt Meyersohn from Sports Partnerships at U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Rebekah Roulier from Doc Wayne Youth Services, Marquis Taylor from Coaching4Change, Nikki Valila from My Life My Choice and the Co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, Ethan Zohn represented his organization. The discussion emphasized what we can achieve even with the barriers in our way.

The goals of the conference, were for the participants to exchange ideas, and explore ways to work together to strengthen the communities they serve. Leveling the Playing Field

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Members of Doc Wayne’s team

achieved just that. Doc Wayne’s Executive Director, David Cohen’s dream is to see practitioners, local leaders and philanthropists working together to create a continuum of care for our youth (read more). We could not have been happier with how the day went and we have great appreciation for everyone who was in attendance and helped make this event happen. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and determination of the Doc Wayne team and our event sponsors. We cannot wait until next year’s Leveling the Playing Field conference. #BeAGameChanger2016! 

For more information on Doc Wayne please email us at info@docwayne.org or follow us on twitter @DocWayneDtG.

 

My Experience of the Power of Kids: Bella Vidaña

22 Apr

In February, I began as a Non-Profit Management Intern for Doc Wayne and was more than pleased to know I would be learning about the behind-the-scenes operations that go on into a non-profit organization, considering it is my dream to one day create my own non-profit organization. I also appreciated Doc Wayne’s impactful work providing sport-based group therapy to at-risk youth and valued the fact that I could contribute to the positive influence Doc Wayne was having on the children and families in our Boston community. Well, at least I thought I knew and appreciated the impact of the organization. ©AD.7679.0141

A few weeks into my internship, my supervisor Rebekah Roulier, asked if I would be interested in helping facilitate their newest Global Life Empowerment (GLE) endeavor, a program in partnership with UNICEF Kid Power, a four-week program where the philosophy and mission is to “Get Active. Save Lives.” Through being active, learning about global issues, and earning Kid Power Points, the youth at Doc Wayne would unlock therapeutic food packets for severely malnourished African children. I was instantly attracted to the concept of Kid Power, especially since I realized the work we would be doing here at Doc Wayne with our kids through this program would be helping kids globally, specifically in Africa. So, I said yes.

It was not until my first GLE session at the Tierney Learning Center in South Boston that I actually understood and saw the powerful impact Doc Wayne had upon their youth participants. Like I said before, I thought I knew. But until I put myself in front of those kids, interacted with them, and learned to appreciate them and all they had to offer the world, and me, I finally “really” knew.

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Doc Wayne Associate Director Rebekah Roulier with Kid Power Participant

In the hours that led up to my first GLE session, my nervousness stemmed from the worry that the kids would not connect with me. Considering I have worked with a number of populations in past experiences, including kids, I am not sure why I was feeling this worry. I think it was because I wanted to be the best leader I could be for them. I wanted to be someone they could trust, rely on, and feel comfortable being around. I wanted to be someone they could look up to. That worry went away once I stepped into the building, saw the kids laughing and running around, and realized that this wasn’t about me. It was about them. And then I was okay. I felt content in my ability, and my co-facilitator’s ability (Aymée, a Clinical Game Changer). I was confidant that we would be for them exactly what they needed; adults who believed in them. From that point on, every Thursday for the next four weeks, it worked.

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Doc Wayne Clinical Game Changer Aymee Suarez with Kid Power Participant

I have found a specific gratitude towards the GLE program, given that it brought me to the most precious piece of Doc Wayne, the kids. The Global Life Empowerment program “further assists participants in embedding the do the good® curriculum in their lives.” It seeks to empower youth by providing them with service opportunities in order to give back to their community and develop compassion, love and responsibility. Having been involved in many service trips myself, both domestically and internationally; I understand the supremacy of helping and sharing my love with others through service. There is something to be said in the way people, whether young or old, so freely give of themselves solely for the purpose of making others smile. I believe that is the mindset GLE has brought to its youth and I am proud I could both witness and be apart of this “giving” mindset.

Do the good,

Bella

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

Doc Wayne Youth Ready for Winter Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation

22 Jan

The snow is falling, the temperatures are dropping and the anticipation of winter is over! Winter has arrived. Lucky enough for the team here at Doc Wayne we know our kids will be extra warm this winter thanks to the Highland Street Foundation.

The Highland Street Foundation is committed to addressing the needs and concerns of children and families in Massachusetts and California. The Foundation directs their efforts to providing access and opportunities in the areas of education, housing, mentorship, health care, environment and the arts.  The Highland Street Foundation has contributed more than $165 million to non-profit organizations since its establishment in 1989.

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Doc Wayne kids showing off their new coats

Our mission at Doc Wayne is to fuse sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at-risk youth and our goal is to help young people find their positive path and become responsible contributing members of society. Our relationship with the Highland Street Foundation, who shares similar goals and values as Doc Wayne began in July 2015, when the organization was selected to receive a Community Impact Consultant.

Recently Doc Wayne received a call from the Highland Street Foundation offering to donate winter coats to our youth. We are extremely appreciative of this generous donation. With 85 brand new jackets and smiles, Doc Wayne youth are ready for whatever winter has in store!

To learn more about The Highland Street Foundation visit: http://www.highlandstreet.org

For more information about Doc Wayne please contact us at info@docwayne.org and follow us @DocWayneDtG

 

Mentoring through the eyes of Doc Wayne

15 Jan

Post Written By: Deirdre Roberts, Marketing & Communications Intern

The month of January marks National Mentoring Month (NMM) across the country, giving people the opportunity to celebrate mentors and the passionate work that they do. NMM was established in 2002 by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

The goals of National Mentoring Month are to raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms, recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people, and promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring.

Here at Doc Wayne (http://www.docwayne.org/) our mission is to fuse sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at risk youth. Associate Director, Rebekah Roulier believes that, “in our work at Doc Wayne, we have the incredible opportunity to show a child we believe in them 100% and help them feel they belong to a team, are supported, and can utilize our staff’s guidance to find their positive path in life.” Rebekah has had numer10014731_10152201110303197_6835009214685178852_oous mentors on and off the field that helped her learn skills, but what was most impactful to her life were the mentors that taught her to focus on the broader more important goal of developing her leadership. Here you can see a mentor/mentee relationship of Rebekah’s that positively influenced her career.

Various members of the Doc Wayne team have reflected on the positive effects their mentors have had on their lives and what mentoring means to them.

Executive Director, David Cohen remembers his private school soccer coach who still acts a mentor to him today, “he instilled in me the importance of commitment, respect, confidence and the need to be involved with things I am passionate about.”

Megan Willette, Clinical Manager-Boston reflected on the mentors she had growing up, who gave her validation and guidance when she was at certain crossroads. And now as a mentor today Megan explains that, “I believe in mentoring because it has a profound impact on people in both the micro and macro worlds. Mentoring creates bonds and makes it possible to mold minds. At Doc Wayne we intentionally form this relationship on the micro level with every group…If there is a lot of trust in a relationship it is going to be a healthy one, which is the foundation of mentorship. At Doc Wayne we continue to build up, knowing that every mind matters.”

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Why do we believe in the importance of mentoring at Doc Wayne? That can be explained by Clinical Director, Jonathan Baum, “I believe in mentoring because positive relationships and attachments are the key to leading a happy and successful life. One person can make all the difference.”

How to get involved in National Mentoring Month? Visit National Mentoring Month and also join in on International Mentoring Day January 17, and if there is a mentor who positively influenced your life, whether it was a former coach or teacher, be sure to thank them on Thank Your Mentor Day, January 21.

For more information about Doc Wayne please contact us at info@docwayne.org and follow us @DocWayneDtG.

Doc Wayne Youth Help Kids Stay Warm This Winter

9 Nov

Doc Wayne (www.docwayne.org) Global Life Empowerment youth recently completed their fall project, helping youth in intensive foster care stay warm and feel cared for this upcoming holidaunnamedy season.

Supported by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s After-School and Out-of-School Time (ASOST-Q) Grant Program, Global Life Empowerment helps Doc Wayne participants stretch to a new level of competence and readiness in skills essential to their educational, clinical, vocational, and social functioning.

This year’s fall project involved making cozy no-sew fleece blankets. To start, youth and their coaches layered two blankets, and then cut squares in each corner. Youth then cut strips on all four sides and then tied the two fleece layers together. These six blankets will be donated to Communities For People’s Intensive Foster Ca
re Program
 (http://www.wefostercare.org/) to be wrapped up as holiday gifts. This program is not only rewarding and beneficial to our Doc Wayne youth, but also to our interns and staff involved.

The Global Life Empowerment team will return to South Boston this week to help youth plant bulbs to beautiful the South Boston community this upcoming spring.

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Thank you to our partner the Joseph M. Tierney Learning Center and the Global Life Empowerment team of staff and interns for their amazing work with our youth this fall season.

For more information about Doc Wayne please visit http://www.docwayne.org or follow us @DocWayneDtG.

Team Doc Wayne at Wayside 5k4Kids

27 Oct

Team Doc Wayne at Wayside 5k4Kids

Doc Wayne staff and supporters came together on a chilly Saturday morning at Walsh Middle School in Framingham to participate in Wayside Youth and Family Support Network’s 6th Annual 5k4Kids.

To show our team spirit, each team member sported matching “Do the Good” t-shirts, tie-dyed prior to the event. After a few minutes of stretching and warming up, the team lined up at the starting line and began the race. All in all, each of us jogged, sprinted, or walked over the finish line, ending the race with strong strides meeting our goals with smiles and high-fives along the way. Congratulations to our sister organization, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network for a successful event! Our Doc Wayne team had an incredible morning doing our part to empower children and families to achieve greater independence and emotional well-being. Thank you to all who assisted our team in our efforts on Saturday.

For more information please contact us at info@docwayne.org or follow us @DocWayneDtG.