Class of 2014 – Arch Bridge School Celebrates 11 High School Graduates

Graduates listen intently to Wellspring’s Director of Education, Ralph Scafariello, during the 2014 commencement as he congratulates them on their hard work and perseverance.

On June 24th, Wellspring honored 11 Arch Bridge School seniors as they embark on their new journeys to colleges, universities, and jobs near and far – even including a student exchange program in Japan. All of the 11 graduates have been accepted into colleges and universities where they plan to continue their education.

Unique and special at the annual Arch Bridge School (ABS) graduation ceremonies is that graduating students are invited to speak to the audience, sharing experiences, expressing appreciation, imparting lessons learned, and recognizing anyone special who has contributed to their progress during their time at Wellspring. Graduates also choose which teacher writes a speech in their honor and presents their diploma.

A central theme was clear throughout many speeches that the graduating seniors delivered: the students were profoundly grateful for their experience at the Arch Bridge School and for what they had gained as a result. Faced with many struggles, obstacles and challenges prior to attending ABS, several students believed they would not make it to their graduation day and called Wellspring a lifesaver.

One of the graduates shared, “This school, these staff, these teachers and these kids…This is home to me. It was at this school that I learned who I am. I am not kidding when I say you are a lifesaver. Honestly, without you, there is no way I would be where I am today.”

The students have done the difficult work, clinically and academically, created healthy lives and now see a bright new world and a shining future. “You took me by the hand and held it until I was ready to let go,” another graduate said in her speech.

Attendees at the commencement include all students, residents, their families, teachers, behavioral specialists, administrators including Wellspring’s co-founders, Richard and Phyllis Beauvais, and residential staff. At such an intimate and special celebration almost every employee is in attendance to hear the speeches and cheer on the graduates.

Breakdown of Graduates by Program:

Grade 12:
1 Beauvais House (Adolescent Residential)
1 Transitional Program (Adolescent Residential Alum)
2 Angelus House (Adult Residential Program)
7 Day School (includes 2 Alum of the Adolescent Residential Program)

Grade 8 Moving Up:
2 Day School
2 Shiloah House (Children’s Residential)

 

Graduates were Accepted to the Following Schools:
Belmont University
Fordham University
Iona College
Lynn University
Michigan University
New England College
New York University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Western Connecticut State University
Temple University
University of Connecticut
University of Illinois
University of Maryland
University of New Hampshire
University of Rhode Island
University of Vermont
Northwest, Norwalk, Tunxis and Westchester Community Colleges

Congratulations to our graduating class of 2014! In the words of Dr. Seuss, whom one of our graduates quoted in her commencement speech, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

New Women’s Group in Middlebury

New Women’s Group in Middlebury, CT

A Journey to Discovering Your True Self

TUESDAYS

Beginning October 7 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at
WELLSPRING COUNSELING SERVICES, 850 Straits Turnpike, Middlebury, CT

A 12-week series of group workshops designed to help guide women as they explore creativity, self awareness, and inner spirit. This group will work from the book The Artists Way by Julia Cameron and will examine a different theme each week. The series encourages personal growth, empowerment, and confidence among participants.

Facilitated by Renee Alberino, LMFT.

About Renee: Renee Alberino is a licensed marriage and family therapist, who enjoys working with groups, individuals, couples and families. She sees clients at Wellspring Counseling Service’s Middlebury office and is a certified Gestalt therapist.

Registration Information: Participants must pre-register and reservations will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis. The group is limited to 10 participants. The cost will be $250 for the 12-week series, which includes a copy of the book, supplies and refreshments.

To register, please contact Wellspring Counseling Services at 203-758-2296.

 

 

Culinary Program at Angelus House

Residents at Angelus House enjoy cooking with vegetables grown in our gardens.

The Culinary Program at Angelus House nurtures important life skills while encouraging transformation, self discovery and healing in our young adult residential program.

Angelus House kicked off the new year enjoying much needed kitchen upgrades for their robust Culinary Program. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the Angelus kitchen now has new cabinets, counter tops, microwave, pantry and two matching refrigerators. An inviting, functional space is important as the Culinary Program is an integral aspect of treatment at Angelus House, for the way in which it can provide the platform to nurture and heal.

“The Culinary Program is unique as it can often represent the Mother, either nurturing, critical, authority figure or all of the above,” said Joyce Rubinstein, Milieu Counselor and culinary coordinator at Angelus. “Often the feelings that emerge for residents while participating in the program are directly related to their familial relationships, especially with Mom. This gives us the perfect opportunity to incorporate this element into their treatment plans to help them learn how it fits right in to many aspects of the whole in treatment.”

“Many of our residents are diagnosed with eating disorders and have adversarial relationships with food, the kitchen and nurturance,” Joyce said. “They benefit from the opportunity in the Culinary Program to gain confidence and strength, learning a new relationship with food.”

The Culinary Program teaches life skills such as:

  • Problem solving
  • Relationship building
  • How to nurture self and others
  • Flexibility
  • Accountability
  • Healthy relationship to cooking and eating
  • Caring for the environment
  • Organization

With over 100 cookbooks, endless recipe websites at their fingertips and guidance from Joyce and a nutritionist, the residents are the drivers of the program, planning and creating healthy, delicious meals from soup to nuts. Residents rotate cooking two meals a day, with lunch as the main feature, for everyone in the house throughout the week.

Angelus holds an open kitchen philosophy with food available at all times. This philosophy utilizes common sense guidelines, as residents are adults learning to think independently, make their own decisions and transition back to living independently in healthy ways.

Wellspring Honors Employees

 

Wellspring recently honored employees for milestones in their years of dedication, some marking as many as 25 years of employment with the organization. Pictured are (back left) Ann Watson, Sarah Vogt, Nicole Giannelli, Toni Earley, Dawn Adams and Mayda Capozzi, (front, left) Ron Crowcroft and Genevieve Weaving.

Wellspring, a multi-service mental health nonprofit, recently honored 15 employees for reaching significant milestones in their years of service, some marking as many as 25 years of employment with the organization.

Staff members gathered to celebrate the anniversaries and to recognize their years of dedication and commitment to Wellspring.

Employee loyalty is common at Wellspring as the majority of employees have been with the organization for several significant milestones, many spanning decades.

“Wellspring is fortunate to have a well-trained and professional staff that possess both the mind and heart for the work that is done here,” said HR Director Dee Hughes.

Since beginning in 1977 with fewer than 15 employees, Wellspring has grown to a staff of approximately 155, of which 70 percent have been with Wellspring for five years or more.

Ann Watson and Genevieve Weaving celebrated 25 years of service and Mayda Capozzi has reached 15 years of service.

Ronald Crowcroft, Toni Earley and Sarah Vogt celebrated 10 years of service.

Dawn Adams, Kellie Ahearn, Nicole Giannelli, Siobhan Kalnins, Cheryl Keyworth, Toni Mosakowski, Judy Mueller, Marjorie Pfeffer and Jessica Russo have given five years of service each.

At the end of 2014 Wellspring will honor nine additional employees for 10 years or more, including two more at 25 years.

This level of commitment runs across all departments and positions.

The longest standing service shows in the nursing department where seven of the current 11 staff members have reached significant milestones under the direction of Janet Samela-Sorrel, who is in her 28th year of service.

Wellspring is a non-profit multi-service mental health agency and educational center, licensed by the State of Connecticut and accredited by JCAHO.

The Arch Bridge School is accredited NEASC.

Wellspring’s website is www.wellspring.org.

Torrington Public Schools receive $15,000 Draper Foundation Fund grant

The Torrington Public Schools in partnership with Wellspring and The Arch Bridge School received a $15,000 from the Draper Foundation Fund administered through the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut to help provide much needed behavioral health supports for students in preschool and kindergarten classes in the Torrington School District.

Last year, approximately 120 children were referred to Special Education Services and only 60 were eligible. Many children who did not qualify, may have benefited from behavioral health supports outlined in this outreach.

The planning team will collaboratively select the teachers/classrooms that will participate in the initial Special Education Enhancement and Development Services (SEEDS) program projected to rollout in April, 2014. The Wellspring SEEDS program staff have effectively partnered with seven Connecticut school districts. The goal is to provide training and support to school staff and administration to allow them to meet the needs of students with serious emotional disturbances, while supporting their families in the educational process. Goals of the grant include: Preschools and Kindergarten classroom staff will be provided with recommendations for behavioral health services and customized strategic planning functions; Develop comprehensive curricula for management of behavior and special education classroom support; and Preschool and Special Education teachers will be trained in enhanced classroom techniques, utilizing a high-structured, high-nurturing approach.

The Torrington Public Schools (TPS) serve 4,500 students in pre-k-12 regardless of their educational needs, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. As a public school system, TPS must provide for all children living in the city of Torrington a quality education program based upon mandates of the state of Connecticut, at no cost to the students or their families. TPS includes a comprehensive high school with a blended learning environment including opportunity to earn credits on line, early college credit, and participate in activities and clubs that allow students to solve “real problems” and work with practicing professionals. Interscholastic sports, drama and music programs are also offered. The middle school focuses on developing the student as independent learner, as well as their leadership skills as they progress through the pre-adolescent stage of growth and development. The five elementary schools collaborate to provide continuity in educational program and services for all children from grades prek-5.

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