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Fall 2018
From Prison to a Promising Future - A RECENT GRADUATE’S STORY
When “D” arrived at the Youth Shelter of Westchester (YSOW) earlier this year, he was shaking with fear and anxiety. He remembers thinking, “I want to go home.” But home wasn’t an option for him; the Shelter was his only chance to leave Westchester County Jail in Valhalla following a probation violation.
“At the Shelter, you’re in training for the future.”
Starting that first day, D spent six months working hard to recover and improve, participating in all aspects of Youth Shelter rehabilitation, including counseling, education, and community service. He credits the Shelter staff with helping him grow, and says he appreciated talking with them about how to handle challenges the right way. “I’ve learned to communicate and socialize as part of a group. Instead of running away from problems, I try to resolve them as they come up.”

D graduated from the Youth Shelter in September and is being supported by our AfterCare team during his re-entry into the community. Our Vocational Coordinator is working with him to obtain transitional housing, and then we’ll support the goals he’s set for himself: earn a high school equivalency diploma and attend barber school.

Good luck, D… we’re here for you!
A Warm Welcome!
We’re so pleased to welcome four pillars of the community to our Board of Directors:

Jan Fisher , President of Jan Fisher LLC, Nonprofit Advisors, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Westchester County Youth Board, a member of the Westchester County Suicide Prevention Task Force and a Volunteer/College Coach with Yonkers Partners in Education.
Cora Greenberg , a social worker and educator, was the Executive Director of the Westchester Children’s Association, a child advocacy organization, from 1994 until 2018.
Jared R. Rice , a graduate of the New Rochelle public school system, is a partner in the law firm Rice & Rice, founded by his parents; a member of the Mount Vernon City Court public defense panel; and a former New Rochelle City Councilman.

Barbara Lerman , Esq. has practiced family law and commercial litigation in Westchester County for over 35 years. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Westchester Black Bar Association and sits on the Grievance Committee and the Committees on Character and Fitness for the Ninth Judicial District.
Also, we’re excited to announce that we’ve hired a full-time Director of Development who will help us raise funds so we can grow and serve more youth. Expect to hear more from us as Martha Jordan begins to expand our outreach and establish new partnerships. Onward and upward!
“I Have Something to Give”
There is so much to gain through helping others, but most notable for our young men is when they finally understand that while they need and are receiving assistance, they can also be of use and comfort to others. That’s why community service is a foundation of the Youth Shelter program.

This spring, we were so proud that former Shelter resident Shakil Henriques received the Youth Volunteer Award from Volunteer New York! at the Volunteer Spirit Awards Breakfast. Shakil, who was a YSOW resident for two years, was recognized for his service at the Wartburg Adult Community in Mt. Vernon. He says volunteering was one of his most memorable experiences from his time at the Shelter. In fact, he loved it so much, and did such a good job, that he’s now working at the Wartburg! He is also pursuing his college education and applying to become a firefighter. The sky’s the limit for this young man.

Thank you to our partners at the Wartburg, to Volunteer New York!, and to Christian French of RNN who sponsored this award.
A Night To Remember
It was wonderful to have such a tremendous turnout at our 40th anniversary gala , where we celebrated our impact over the last four decades and made strides towards our major expansion goals!

Our theme highlighted the many ways that the Youth Shelter helps at-risk youth FOCUS on the future, INSPIRES them to work hard, and empowers them to TRANSFORM their lives, and we hope to continue this work for another 40 years and reach many more young men… and women!

Special thanks to our Gala sponsors:
Danny Bernstein, Rob Brown, Paul Busby, Anthony Dupree, Ralph Fleurantin, Sheldon Mallah, Errol Pierre, The Wartburg
Top left: Robin Melén, Westchester Community Foundation; Dr. Belinda Miles, President, Westchester Community College; Youth Shelter Board Member Cora Greenberg Top right: Shelter residents with New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Bottom left: Executive Director Christian M. Philemon with a YSOW resident Bottom right: YSOW residents, staff and board
Gone Campin’
In August, Shelter residents took an overnight camping trip to the Adirondacks. Experiences like this, which remove the young men from their comfort zones (umm, is that a bear we hear?) and show them what the world has to offer beyond the environment they’re accustomed to, are a critical part of the rehabilitation process. THANK YOU to Backyard Sports for making it happen!
We love to take our young men to plays, museums, sporting events and the like. If you can provide an opportunity like this, please contact YSOW Director of Development Martha Jordan at (914) 668-0401, x104 or MJordan@ysow.org .
Our Vision
We want to live in a community where every deserving young man and woman who makes a mistake and ends up in the criminal justice system is given the opportunity to redeem themselves and contribute to society. Join us and help us achieve something a jail sentence never will:
  • Genuine holistic rehabilitation
  • Successful reentry into the community
  • Accountability and independence
With your support, we serve over 150 young men each year and:
  • Consistently achieve GED pass rates in the 90% range
  • Address needs holistically with medical, emotional, psychological and vocational services
  • Inspire generosity and curiosity through community service opportunities and cultural experiences
  • Strengthen families through parent and caregiver support groups
  • Ease transition from the shelter to home and community with thorough discharge and aftercare planning
  • Reduce the recidivism rate from the 84% national average to 29%
Give a gift online at www.ysow.org/donate
You Will Change a Life

When you make a donation to the Youth Shelter of Westchester, you are telling a young man that he is worth a second chance, and that you believe, as we do, that he can redeem himself and be a contributing member of society.

Give a gift and mail your check made payable to The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester to Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, 220 East Eighth St., Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
The Youth Shelter Program of Westchester
220 East Eighth St., Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
www.ysow.org • 914-668-4702