Collaboration Council Newsletter
October 2018
Advancing Youth Development Participants
Community of Practice

This October, the Youth Development Community of Practice (CoP) offered 7 training opportunities to more than100 youth development practitioners in Montgomery County! October kicked off with the Advancing Youth Development (AYD) training, which is a 4 day, 30-hour training on the foundational principles of the CoP. A total of 22 participants engaged in the training and received certificates of completion to include in their professional portfolios.  Also this month, the CoP is conducting the official pilot of the online learning and engagement platform Youth Development Now (YDNow). There are 18 participants from Montgomery County organizations including: Community Bridges, Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), 480 Club, Casa Montgomery, that are engaging with the platform! Stay tuned for more information about the launch later this year.  For more information on upcoming November workshops in the CoP click here
Bridges to the Future team members. From left to right: Kayona Bowman, Jessica Gibson, Robyn Horsey & Debra Cady
Collaborative Corner:
Montgomery County Federation of Families 

This month we are honored to highlight our collaborative partner, The Montgomery County Federation of Families.
The Montgomery County Federation of Families works with local Montgomery County families to provide accurate assessments, evidence-based interventions, culturally and linguistically competent services, and a variety of other resources to help their children become self-respecting, independent, hopeful and productive adults. 
In 2016, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services was awarded the SAMHSA's Children's Mental Health Initiative grant to expand Montgomery County's System of Care for youth and young adults ages 16-21 with behavioral health challenges. The Collaboration Council, as a neutral convener, provides management of the grant with oversight from the county and contracts with the Federation of Families to provide care coordination and peer support services. In true agency collaboration and with community support, Bridges to the Future Initiative was launched.    Click here to watch a special message highlighting our partnership. 
MVSC Coalition Meeting
Many Voices for Smart Choices 

We are pleased to announce that we hosted this year's first Many Voices for Smart Choices (MVSC) coalition meeting on October 17, 2018. The meeting was aimed at bringing together different community stakeholders to learn about the different substance abuse prevention efforts happening in Montgomery County.

The mission for this year's MVSC coalition meetings is to identify and strengthen prevention efforts to reduce underage drinking and non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) by high school-aged youth in Montgomery County.
Our EBB programs are kicking off the season of giving and in particular_ our Argyle Middle School Youth Advisory Committee is leading the charge to give to those in need by hosting a Coat and Toiletries Drive_ designed to support our county_s homeless population this winter. Attached are students from the Argyle EBB Youth Advisory Committee working on their signs for their coat_toiletries drive for the homeless. Students are raising awareness for the homeless population and plan to make packages to donate. For more information on how to support the Drive_ please contact Argyle Middle School Recreation Specialist Opal Burgess at
EBB Youth Advisory Committee
Excel Beyond the Bell

Excel Beyond the Bell (EBB) is an afterschool enrichment initiative that has grown out of a collaborative partnership with the Collaboration Council, the Montgomery County Recreation Department and Montgomery County Public Schools and various private out-of-school time providers who develop program activities to target middle school youth. The Excel Beyond the Bell MS Initiative was piloted in2 middle schools in 2008, in order to increase the accessibility of quality afterschool activities, to prevent risky behaviors and negative decision-making due to lack of engagement in the critical hours between when school ends and most parents get home from work.  

Today, we are proudly serving as many as 1,200 youth in our programs on any given Monday through Thursday at 8 Middle schools across the County. Additionally, we will see EBB expand to a total of 6 elementary schools in January 2019. To date, we have awarded program contract awards to 11 Out-Of-School Time (OOST/afterschool) providers to expand the number of youth affected by their mission to bring quality enrichment to the youth of Montgomery County. Our real aim is to provide an opportunity for youth to develop a sense of belonging and membership in our programs. It's our vision that this will allow us to develop relationships strong enough with youth, through their interests and respect for their voice and choice, to support their social emotional development. 
  for even more information about the program.
Congrats to our Deputy Director 

Earlier this month, our Deputy Director, Elijah Wheeler was honored with a Governor's Citation award for his work towards pursuing equity on behalf of children and families in Montgomery County.  We want to congratulate him for the work he has and continues to do! Pictured from left to right are Delmonica Hawkins; Metro Regional Director DJS, Frank Duncan; Assistant Regional Director DJS, Elijah Wheeler and Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services, Sam Abed.
Bridges to the Future Team
Bridges to the Future 

The System of Care (SOC) expansion grant, Bridges to the Future, initiative began serving youth and young adults in January 2018 and has served approximately 30 transitioning youth and their families through youth friendly care coordination and peer support services.  Four Bridges staff became the first certified trainers in the nation in the new CCAR Training and Trainer of the Trainer at the Recovery Coach Academy for Young Adults to bring quality recovery-based supports to the county.  Bridges to the Future participated in the Montgomery County Transitioning Youth Resource Fair held at Montgomery College on October 13 and made connections to over 80 people at the event and exchanged community resources.  Through the SOC, the Federation of Families, who provides Bridges to the Future direct services, was able to secure a new, larger office space.  This space has increased the capacity of Bridges to provide things like homework help and job searching; basic living skills such as sewing and cooking healthy meals; personal care like yoga and mindfulness; learning how to mix music and other positive youth socialization activities. This month the Mo County AllStars, the local Youth MOVE chapter, who plays an integral part of the System of Care, is hosting a Halloween Event for youth and young adults between the ages of 16-21 with mental health challenges. It will be held on October 27, 2018 at the Federation of Families' new location.  To learn more about Bridges services or events, call 301-879-5200.
Maryland Mentor 

We are happy to announce that our partners at Maryland Mentor have released "Upholding the Covenant: The State of Mentoring in Maryland 2018". Upholding the Covenant is  one of the most comprehensive efforts to map the work of Maryland mentoring program providers. The report gathers program leaders' thoughts, feelings, and passions about their work as well as challenges and frustrations, and ultimately where the larger field of mentoring stakeholders can increase support to these efforts and fill the gaps identified. Check it out: #utc2018 @MarylandMENTOR
 National Drug Take Back Day

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. People all over Montgomery County and America actively participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an annual event in which all are encouraged to safely dispose of any outdated and unused prescriptions. 

Find the locally licensed site nearest you, and participate on October 27, 2018. Visit for more information.