Blog/News

Staff Spotlight, November 2021: Rachel Slack

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency Rachel Slack joined the Adoption Management Systems program in July of 2021 and proved to be a perfect match since her arrival.  Creating a permanency plan requires her to work with many people and within multiple systems. Throughout the process, Rachel is responsive, cooperative, and keeps the well-being of [...]

Staff Spotlight, October 2021: Sharon Collins Newton

By: Gina Blake, Vice President for Programs Sharon started with Parents as Teachers (PAT) in 2012 and became the supervisor in 2017. Her passion for helping families, coupled with her supportive leadership style and deep understanding of this evidence-based program, has helped her continue to grow PAT to meet the needs of the families we [...]

Staff Spotlight, September 2021: Tyeesha Keele

By: Elise Weller, Director of Childcare Services Early Childhood programs are about providing foundations for our children, then growing, building, and supporting them as they develop.  We first met Tyeesha when she enrolled her daughter in our infant program at Redfield in 2016.  We saw this young woman was filled with compassion, dedication, and an [...]

2021-2022 Young Women’s Advisory Council Applications Available

Calling young women, ages 16-24 from Springfield, MA, interested in strategizing efforts to encourage a safe, healthy, and economically prosperous community with gender and racial equity.  Join us for the 2021-2022 Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC), where you will investigate barriers, explore solutions, and make recommendations for change in your community. Throughout the year, you [...]

Staff Spotlight, August 2021: Tony Anderton

By: Paula McDermott, Human Resources Administrator Tony Anderton is our go-to person for just about everything. Yes, he did come with the building! He became the Manager of Building and Grounds in October 1992 when the agency moved into the then-new building where we are today.  Tony’s knowledge of the buildings, programs, and history of [...]

Sarah Cook Named New President and CEO of 18 Degrees

Sarah E. Cook has been named the new President and CEO by the Board of Directors of 18 Degrees. Originally from Boston, Ms. Cook is a graduate of Princeton University and The London School of Economics. Her career has focused on providing opportunity to underserved populations in Boston and most recently in Austin, Texas, where her [...]

Staff Spotlight, July 2021: Sean Elligers

By: Courtney Clark, Artistic Director Just as Kids 4 Harmony is more than music lessons, Sean Elligers is more than a music teacher. Sean combines musicianship with his talents in videography and photography that strengthen our program of social change through music. He is a driving force of our Virtual Gala, providing concepts, content, and [...]

Staff Spotlight, June 2021: Trish Russo

By: Pamela Preston, Director of Child Care Operations As Director of Child Care Operations at 18 Degrees, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Trish Russo and the Youth Launch Program.  The Child Care Program at 18 Degrees offers care to families of children ages infant through 13 years old.  A crucial part [...]

Staff Spotlight, May 2021: Joe Pietras

By: Alison Mengel, Program Director of Healing Homes Joe brings great positive energy and a sense of humor to our team when it is needed most. Importantly, he keeps in mind that the primary relationship within the Case Manager/Child/Foster Parent triad is the Case Manager's relationship with the Foster Parent. It can be easy to [...]

Staff Spotlight, April 2021: Amy Guachione

By: Erin Sullivan, Vice President of Community and Donor Relations Amy Guachione, Volunteer and CASA Coordinator, started her journey with 18 Degrees as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Volunteer.  In that role, she fostered positive relationships with other volunteers, the judges, the attorneys, court personnel, and the Department of Children and Families.  She became [...]

Career Readiness Creates Access to the Job Market

By: Thom Fox, Business and Employment Director 18 Degrees’ new Business and Employment Unit of Pittsfield Community Connection has launched its first 16-week Career Readiness program, introducing young people to the world of work, money, and life, helping to build a positive experience for their future.  The Business and Employment Unit was established in October [...]

Coalition Address Youth Violence

By: Sharnice Jones, Coalition Director 18 Degrees is expanding our work with young people in Pittsfield Community Connection and West Main Connection programs.  Coalition is a grant-funded gun violence prevention program awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  Coalition works directly with young people affected by gun violence by delivering evidence-based prevention, intervention, treatment, [...]

Spring Brings New Opportunities to Light

A Message from Interim Executive Director Stephanie Steed Each spring brings with it the promise of more light and warmer days.  My optimism for healthy communities grows as businesses reopen and opportunities to visit with friends and family increase. While the cold winter days are often seen as a time of bundling up and slowing [...]

Staff Spotlight, March 2021: Nicole Rivera

By: Sarah Kelley, Director of Community Support Programs It is my great pleasure to spotlight Nicole Rivera this month. In her role as an EMPath Mobility Coach, she works with participants to strengthen their decision-making, persistence, and resilience over time so they can set their personal goals to approach the complex task of moving out [...]

Staff Spotlight, February 2021: Jay Howard

By: Leanne Yinger, Network Director Jay Howard- that name conjures up many adjectives: easy-going, informed, funny, diligent, and cooperative.  He has demonstrated these and others in his ten-year career with 18 Degrees as the Educational Coordinator for Family Networks in Berkshire County. When families are working with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), they are [...]