Collaboration Council Newsletter
December 2017
L-R: Kendra Grimmett, Debra Cady, Jessica Gibson.
Bridges to the Future 

Hello youth, young adults, family, friends and providers! 
Bridges to the Future is a new Montgomery County initiative to expand, enhance, and sustain its longstanding System of Care for children and youth with mental health challenges and their families. It is designed to meet the complex needs of youth and young adults transitioning into adulthood, ages 16-21. Through a collaborative community process, this initiative will help to develop a system of comprehensive, integrated services and supports to "bridge" the gap between children's mental health to adult mental health and related systems including education, training, vocational rehabilitation, employment, and housing. Another critical component of Bridges to the Future is the intensive care coordination model built on the foundation of wraparound principles adapted for transition-aged youth so youth can be connected to a wide range of services based on their strengths and needs. Bridges will engage youth, young adults and their families in a culturally competent, trauma-informed manner to promote successful transitions into adulthood and into the community. 

We are excited to welcome Kendra Grimmett to our team (pictured left). Kendra writes 
 " I was born and raised in, Montgomery County, MD and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I made it my mission to give back to my community by empowering youth. As a service provider with lived experience, I believe that everyone deserves a bright, successful and healthy life. I stand firmly by, "It takes a village to raise a child" and my position here will allow me to enhance the lives of youth in our community through collaborated efforts" 

For questions regarding Bridges to the Future, please email Kendra Grimmett, BA, the Bridges Intake and Outreach Coordinator or Jessica Gibson, MS, LAPC the Bridges Project Coordinator at or call the Collaboration Council at 301-610-0147.

Community of Practice 
November's CoP workshop schedule featured two fundamental topics in understanding youth development. The first was a 2-day workshop on Understanding Program Culture in Youth Programs which was well received by the learning community. Part 1 delved into Marvin Weisbord's six box model including: Purposes, Structure, Relationships, Rewards, Leadership, and Helpful Mechanisms with special emphasis on leadership with relationships. In the second session, youth practitioners returned to share observations and best practices from their programs. Our first Adolescent Development workshop generated a great deal of interest with 29 youth practitioners attending. Participants left with a new understanding about the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of adolescents and ways to increase awareness about social and behavioral development of adolescents. Register for more workshops on exciting topics coming up this winter  here !

Participatory Action Research

Participatory Action Research (PAR)  is an interactive process for planning, facilitating, and assessing programs and community initiatives based on a cycle of observations, inquiry forming, data collection, data analysis, and action.

After the experience of using PAR in the FY2016 Community Needs Assessment, the Collaboration Council chose to champion Participatory Action Research as an authentic way to engage with young people-one of the Council's core values. "Youth Engagement" is a best practice for reducing disconnection and improving outcomes for youth

Click here to view video
Pictured Left - Right: Gabe Albornoz, Lynn Sobolov, Deputy Director, April Kaplan, Executive Director and Andrew Friedson

Many thanks to our departing chair, Gabe Albornoz, for his 7 years of service on the Collaboration Council board. We also want to welcome our new board chair, Andrew Friedson and five new members joining us:
Mary Ellen Icaza, Carolyn Lowery, Monya Bunch-Battle, Alejandro Roberts, and Gislene Tasayco.


infoMONTGOMERY Resource Guides provide a one-stop-shop for resources in the County. Be sure to browse the  Resource Guide section of the website for categories of local services, telephone numbers for information and referral agencies and hotlines, featured resources and news items. Popular topics include Emergency and Community AssistanceHomelessness SupportImmigrants and Community NewcomersMental Health and Substance Abuse, and  Workforce Development. Please visit our  news feed for updates on all the topic areas.  You can subscribe to the feed and submit news items of interest for inclusion. Contact  Susan Guevara  Augusty for more details.

ACE Academy
See some of the highlights from Lights On Afterschool with ACE Academy. Click here to view video.

From all the staff at the Collaboration Council we wish you


and we look forward to updating you in 2018!.

The Collaboration Council is a 501 C-3 Non-Profit Organization.  If you would like to make a tax deductible donation please click here.