A Reflection from a Healing Homes Teammate

My name is Kyle, and I’ve been working with 18 Degrees for just over nine years now in the Healing Homes Comprehensive Foster Care program. We started in Hadley and later made a smooth transition into West Springfield, closer to the families we work with. I came into this field hoping to be a voice [...]


18 Degrees is pleased to have been awarded a second $20,000 grant from the Mass Mentoring Partnership to support youth in the Pittsfield Community Connection Program (PCC). This matching grant is further supported by generous grant funding we received in 2022 from Berkshire United Way. 18 Degrees is honored to partner with our local and state [...]


The 18 Degrees Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Stephanie Steed, MEd, will assume the position of President and CEO on January 1, 2023. Steed, a longtime employee of the agency and current Vice President of Programs, assumes the position following the departure of Sarah Cook, who is leaving Western Massachusetts to spend [...]

Staff Spotlight, November 2022: Alison Mengel

By Stephanie Steed, Vice President of Programs Alison is a reflection of how empathy blended with clinical expertise results in a commitment to do what’s best. Through negotiation and problem-solving, she has helped children and families navigate the child welfare system on their paths to permanency. Alison knows the value of enriching activities and positive [...]

18 Degrees Launches Leadership Cohort

Submitted by Sarah Cook, President and CEO We strive to make 18 Degrees an organization where we regularly welcome fresh ideas and new perspectives, introduce new skills, and provide learning opportunities to expand our knowledge. In this vein, we are thrilled to launch our first agency-wide leadership cohort this fall for a rigorous nine-month exploration of [...]

Standout Summer for Kids 4 Harmony

Kids 4 Harmony is back in action for the school year. Earlier this month, Pittsfield’s Beginning Ensemble students got to choose their instruments at Morningside, while the Advanced String Ensemble and Elayne P. Bernstein Ensemble got back to work at Pittsfield High School. And new for K4H this year, we got a head start with [...]

YouthLaunch 3-year Impact Report

Download our 3-Year Program Report The YouthLaunch program was a three-year pilot that focused on early engagement for families with children zero to ten years old. Using a holistic approach with the EMPath Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) model, we further integrated a focus on parent and child interactions, as well as early and preliteracy skills [...]

Staff Spotlight, August 2022: Beth Gilbert

By: Ginger Cruz-Rosario, Team Lead for Pittsfield Community Connection   Beth joined Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC) at the height of the pandemic. She did not let the challenges of social distancing stop her from engaging youth and working to provide the interpersonal connections they so desperately needed in this time of isolation. In the spring of [...]

Staff Spotlight, July 2022: Courtney Clark

By: Sean Elligers, Artistic Director If you’ve followed Kids 4 Harmony and seen or heard the many students’ achievements, you’ve likely seen or heard of Courtney Clark as well - once the program’s Lead Teaching Artist and eventually the Artistic Director. Since 2011, alongside Alicia Stevenson (the previous Artistic Director), Courtney has been the unstoppable [...]

Celebrating Pride Month

Submitted by Emma Lenski, M.S., LGBTQIA Services Coordinator Family Resource Center at 18 Degrees As Pride Month comes to a close, I wanted to make a statement about its ongoing significance. LGBTQ rights in this country have a long history, with the well-known Stonewall Riots being a catalyst for future change. Of course, we know [...]

Staff Spotlight, June 2022: Emily Stein

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency Healing Homes, 18 Degrees’ foster care program, provides children a welcoming home to heal in a culture of love, acceptance, and consistency. As a social worker for Healing Homes, Emily approaches each case by learning all she can to establish that vital relationship of trust with a child and [...]

Staff Spotlight, May 2022: Andrea Bateman

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency At a recent monthly Comprehensive Foster Care meeting, the DCF Regional Placement Coordinator began by asking the large group, “What is Andrea Bateman doing that has workers and kids asking for her BY NAME?” Andrea was equally surprised and amused by this story. However, this accolade came as no [...]

Staff Spotlight, March 2022: Nancy Gomez

By: Sarah Kelley, Director of Community Support Programs Let’s hear it for Nancy!  Nancy Gomez is an EMPath Peer Specialist, a position she’s held since 2019 – shortly after she completed the program.  The Economic Mobility Pathways model (EMPath) is an evidence-based model to help coach families to move out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency.  In her [...]

What’s Happening at Kids 4 Harmony – March 2022

    What's Happening at Kids 4 Harmony From special collaborations to where you can catch the next performance and everything in between, this issue is overflowing with all the exciting things happening at Kids 4 Harmony.  Eleanor Rigby       The Kids 4 Harmony string quartet and the vocal trio from Darrow demonstrated what [...]

Staff Spotlight, February 2022: Aaron Piziali

By: Danielle DeBerry, Program Director, Greenfield Family Networks Aaron Piziali is an Education Coordinator with Greenfield Family Networks. He returned to this position at 18 Degrees in 2017, and since that time, it is clear that Family Networks has been fortunate to have him back. His passion to serve the youth and families within the [...]