Blog/News

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 [...]

Staff Spotlight, January 2021: Gail Krumpholz

By: Gary Doughty, Director of Youth Connection Programs Gail has been a mentor since 2015 and continues mentoring a young man. Gail was hired by 18 Degrees in 2017 to become the Mentor Coordinator for Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC). Gail brings a unique perspective to the job, being a mentor herself, and knowing first hand [...]

A Message from Interim Executive Director, Stephanie Steed 

As I reflect on 2020, I am astonished at what we, as a population, were called on to do. There were many dark moments as we faced a worldwide pandemic, racial tensions, and social unrest. Many times the path forward was hard to see. Individually and collectively, our responses were a mixed bag showing our [...]

Volunteer Spotlight: Pamela Breslin

Meet Pamela Breslin, she joined 18 Degrees as a volunteer in 2018. Prior to Covid-19 you could find her in our West St office every Wednesday morning providing English language instruction. People, laughter, and energy filled the community room where she taught. The English Language Learners classes she facilitated brought in 10-12 families every week, primarily new immigrant women with their children. The children went [...]

Staff Spotlight, December 2020: Paula McDermott

By: John Cadiz, Director of Human Resources Quiet, shy, and humble, Paula sets the standard for our accountability compass point. She is the calm, collected backbone for the employee lifecycle of every staff person who arrives or departs from 18 Degrees. Paula’s amazing time management skills mask the monumental volume of detailed paperwork that passes [...]

Staff Spotlight, November 2020: Marylou Spaulding

By: Linda-Jeanne Mack, Director of Adoption Management Services In honor of National Adoption Month, our team would like to honor Marylou Spaulding, Administrative Coordinator, and the queen of our West Springfield Office. Marylou has always done a lot for us…fixed our computers, been our “Gatekeeper” for state administrative tasks, and listened to our frustrations when [...]

Staff Spotlight, October 2020: Jaclyn Carnevale

By: Sharon Collins Newton, Program Director, Parents as Teachers Jaclyn is the absolute epitome of our compass points! She is a very kind, gracious, thoughtful, self-reflective, and conscientious person. She is determined and sets a very high standard for herself. Jaclyn’s self-driven attitude and work ethic have been remarkable. Jaclyn pushes herself to achieve and [...]