The Charlestown Coalition News: 

Issue 69

May 2022


Acknowledgement of Recent Community Violence

Last month, our Trauma Response Team supported individuals impacted by the recent community violence in Charlestown. Youth and families were directed to local supports to address symptoms of trauma. Additionally, our trauma team continues to coordinate with Charlestown and Boston providers to advocate for additional resources and increase safety in the community. We will continue to work with anyone effected by community violence and direct them to necessary supports. 

If you or someone you know is in need of support during this time, please contact our Trauma Response Team either through our hotline at (617) 643-0449 or email Phenice Zawatsky here.

Mental Wellness Fair Highlight

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This month was Mental Health Awareness Month. We collaborated with Charlestown providers to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and stress the importance of our communities mental health, while also sharing resources and enhancing community connections.


This month we want to share a special thank you to all the providers who participated in the Mental Health Awareness Fair: Charlestown Boys and Girls Club, Christ Church, the Kennedy Center, NEWHealth Charlestown, Charlestown MGH, National Alliance for Mental Health, Caregiver Homes, The International Trauma Center, Robert Macy, Courtney Gray, Boston Public Health Commission and Children of Alcoholics and Substance Abuse, Turn It Around, Baby Boyle Bouquets, the Charlestown Mother's Association, the Charlestown Library, and the Boston Public Health Commission. We appreciate your ongoing support and partnership.

We want to extend our thanks to Yvonne Castaneda as well, for sharing her journey and her book with us. You can order a copy today on Amazon!


Spring Event at Harvard-Kent

Phenice and some of our TURN IT AROUND youth joined in on a Spring Event at the Harvard-Kent this month to promote wellness and help students with fun activities.


Race & Equity Dialogues: Two Years 


Two years ago, George Floyd was murdered, sparking many feelings in our youth and across the world. Since May of 2020, The Coalition, in partnership with then-Councilor Lydia Edwards, held monthly race and equity circles to share and listen to one another, with many different community members and people who work in the community. This space is valuable in that it encourages our community members to come together and share their truths. We are so grateful for everyone’s vulnerability and story.

Thank you to Senator Edwards and Councilor Coletta for their unwavering dedication and support to creating these spaces.

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Join us on Tuesday, June 21st at 5:30pm for our monthly Race & Equity Discussion. This series explores important topics about the impact of race, policing in urban settings, and equity. It is open to all members of the Charlestown community and the general public. Please note meetings are once again in person!


This forum is being co-sponsored by the Charlestown Coalition, Turn It Around Youth Program, Councilor Gigi Coletta and her team.

Family Support Circle: Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART)


Over the fall of 2021, Charlestown Coalition staff member and Family Support Circle Clinical Social Worker, Phenice Zawatsky, was awarded the Watt Scholarship from the Benson and Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Mass General Brigham. The Watt Scholarship covered the full tuition for Phenice to work towards becoming a BHI SMART-Certified Healthcare Practitioner. Phenice began her training in October 2021 and facilitated her first 8-week Stress Management and Resiliency Training group at the Charlestown Adult Learning Center (See Photo). There, she taught students and interns wellness techniques including mediation, mindfulness and breathing exercises to illicit the relaxation response. Additionally, she helped students and interns build awareness about the stress response, identify negative and adaptive thinking, while also recognizing the benefits of self-care and wellness. Once certified, Phenice will be able to offer SMART groups to Charlestown children, youth, families, and residents to support the community's mental health and increase access to care for so many. 

(Pictured: Jacob Day, Dieusait Benoit, Amber Whitney, Phenice Zawatsky, Josh Day and Michael Cuevas)

Family Support Circle Task Force Resource Flyer

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RSVP for TURN IT AROUND 10-Year Celebration

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The Coalition is excited to announce a Tenth Anniversary Celebration of TURN IT AROUND, taking place this June. The event will not only showcase the amazing talents of the group we currently have, but it will also celebrate the alumni who have all contributed to the growth of the program.

TURN IT AROUND relies on the philanthropic support of individuals, organizations, and local businesses to keep the program going.

The link for ticket purchase and general donation is here.

Community Partner Highlight:

Trauma Response Team

Thank you to our Charlestown Coalition Trauma Response team, who attended and helped coordinate our Mental Health Awareness Event. Trauma team members shared information about the work they do in the community and how people can access their support. Stay tuned for additional MEET THE TRAUMA TEAM events throughout the year. Our next meet and greet with the Trauma Team will be on June 11th between Noon and 3:00 P.M. at the Bunker Hill Block party.  

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Upcoming Coalition Meetings

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Trauma Response Team

June 7th at 5:30 PM

Meetings are held at Charlestown Adult Education. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

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Charlestown Family Support Task Force 

June 7th at 12 PM

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.


Job Posting: Director of Development with the Transformational Prison Project

The Transformational Prison Project, a project of Tides Center, (TPP) is excited to welcome candidates for the organization’s first-ever Director of Development. We are looking for an ambitious fundraiser with an entrepreneurial spirit who is looking to build a development program for a rapidly-growing organization.


TPP is a Massachusetts-based Restorative Justice organization with a mission to provide spaces where those who have been harmed and those who have done the harming can come together and engage in dialogue.

Visit for more information.

Job Posting: Project Manager with Mass General Hospital Office of Equity and Community Health

In November 2020, the MGH Office of Equity and Community Health unveiled the Hospital’s Structural Equity Plan. The goal of the plan is to address structural and overt racism within and outside the organization. These efforts are now in complete alignment with Mass General Brigham’s (MGB) United Against Racism (UAR) efforts, referenced locally as the Equity Inclusion Plan. The Project Manager will play a critical role in supporting ongoing coordination and management of several programs and activities within the Office of Equity and Community Health.

See posting here.

Where Are They Now?


Guess Who? It's Zaire!

Find out what she has been up to and how TURN IT AROUND has impacted her life!

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Youth of the Month

TURN IT AROUND’S Youth of the Month for May is Aida Caraballo! Aida has been such a superstar ⭐️ for the past few months. On top of being a wonderful role model for our younger members, she’s at every TIA meeting, every single event we do, and also volunteers to help out anytime we need it. Aida will also be graduating from Charlestown High School in a couple of weeks. She received three job offers for this summer through SuccessLink and accepted a position as a ZooTeen at Franklin Park Zoo!

In addition, we have bestowed upon Aida the prestigious honor of representing all of the 2022 TURN IT AROUND graduates and the Charlestown Coalition at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Community Health Improvement graduation ceremony. There are so many big things happening for Aida right now, and we are so so proud of her! We can’t wait to see what’s next on her journey!!

-Mswati Hanks,

Youth Program Coordinator

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Voices of Recovery

Read the whole interview here

This month we interviewed Melissa Maragioglio, North Suffolk Mental Health Association Recovery Coach, mom, and advocate, on her road to recovery.

To learn more about our programs, our staff, community partners, resources, upcoming events, TURN IT AROUND, program impact, and more, click below:

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