The Charlestown Coalition News: 

Issue 62

October 2021


Youth Substance Use Prevention Month

October is National Substance Use Disorder Prevention Month, and over the last decade the Charlestown Coalition has partnered with the local elementary and middle schools to host prevention assemblies and activities for students. Due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to do it this year, but the Turn it Around youth, knowing how challenging these last 20 months have been on young people, wanted to share their wisdom and mantras to keep students motivated during difficult times. Check out more on our instagram page at @turnitaroundctn

Little Free Library Opening


Elsie (October’s Youth of the Month) and Sammy officially opening

the Little Free “Teen” Library

The Little Free Library ribbon cutting ceremony was a success! With generous donations by the Friends of the Library and the Charlestown Mother’s Association (CMA), the first Little Free Library, exclusively geared towards teens and young adults, opened across the street from Charlestown High School in front of the community center. Turn It Around members were present and even helped “cut” (pull) the ribbon to officially open the library!

Trauma Response Team

Recently our trauma team was able to meet in person at Brewers Fork in Charlestown where we shared a meal, some laughs, and some time together. This was the first time most of our team has been able to get together since the pandemic started in 2020. The night felt like old times, and it was a great way for our team to recharge, reconnect and take time out to appreciate one another.  A big thank you to all those that came out! 

Meet the Trauma Team

The Charlestown Coalition’s Trauma Response Team was formed in July 2016 through a grant from the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH). The Trauma Response Team initially started as a group of residents who wanted to learn more about trauma, its impact on the community, and how they could best serve residents during traumatic situations. 


Over the past several years, the Trauma Response Team has served as an important part of the Charlestown Coalition by supporting the community and connecting people to treatment concerning issues around loss, community violence and substance use disorders. Our Trauma Response Team consists of dedicated and passionate people who are leaders in their community.  


George Dighton is one of the founding members of our trauma response team. He was hand-picked for the group because of his ability to make strong and trusting connections with youth in the community. George provides a calm presence when supporting those in crisis, and he is a natural leader in the community and our trauma response team. He lives and breathes Charlestown and has lived here for over 54 years.  He is a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and a mentor to those struggling with addiction. We want to thank George for everything he does in the community! 

To learn more about George go to our website at:

C-town Slam Tournament

mood acitivity.jpg

On October 2nd, Turn It Around partnered with All Roads Charlestown, RISE, and RSM, along with donations from the Charlestown Mother’s Association and others, to throw the Inaugural C-Town Slam 3-on-3 basketball tournament for 12 to 18 year old Charlestown youth. The tournament was a HUGE success bringing out over 100 kids to enjoy a day of community, friendship, and good competition!

Race & Equity Discussion

at the Charlestown Peace Park

Join us on Tuesday, November 16th, 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 we will be meeting this month on Zoom.


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

Highlighting Our Community Partnerships:

Weight Better You

We are so grateful for our community partners and could not do this work without them. This month we want to highlight our partnership with Sam Amado, trainer, and owner of the Weight Better You ( studio.

Not only does Sam keep our dream team in shape, (Shannon, Mswati and Phenice all attend his gym), but he also provides group fitness training to the Charlestown community. During the spring and summer months, Sam offers workout sessions at the monument.  Sam is also n advocate for those struggling with addiction. Last month he offered a free workout session to support the recovery community. 

This past month, Sam partnered with the Family Support Circle's wellness group and the Charlestown Adult Learning Center's interns by providing a gym session. All the interns attended the gym and learned about fitness, how to use the gym equipment and working out at home. The interns are excited and motivated to continue their fitness journey. Sam has been a great partner and is dedicated to helping the community access group fitness training to live a healthier lifestyle. To learn more about Sam Amado and Weight Better you go to:

If you would like to reach out to Sam directly, feel free to email him

If you've partnered with us, we'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email with details of how we've worked together along with any photos (if you have them), and we will share on our social media platforms. Let's show the community what great collaborations we've had with amazing organizations like yours!

Upcoming Coalition Meetings


Steering Committee Meeting

December 28th

from 12 PM -1:30 PM

Meetings are held virtually until further notice.

Contact Sarah Coughlin for more information.

CC pam-Final 2021.png

Trauma Response Team

December 7th at 5:30 PM

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

Untitled design _8_.png

Charlestown Family Support Task Force 

December 7th at 12 PM

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

Where Are They Now?

Turn It Around Alumni

Guess Who? It's Mawuko in 2018!

Find out what he is up to now and how Turn It Around has impacted his life!

Read More

Turn It Around:

Youth of the Month

October’s Turn It Around Youth of the Month is Elsie Martinez. Not only that, Elsie has also been made one of TIA’s Peer Leaders! This is the highest level any TIA member can achieve. Elsie has blossomed into a vocal and conscientious leader. And, despite being only a sophomore, she has become one of the best representatives of Turn It Around that we’ve ever had. Congrats Elsie!!

-Mswati Hanks,

Youth Program Coordinator

Read More

Voices of Recovery

Chris Brennan is sharing his journey in recovery this month.

Read Full Interview

To learn more about our programs, our staff, community partners, resources, upcoming events, Turn It Around, program impact, and more, click below:

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  YouTube  Web  LinkedIn
LinkedIn Share This Email