Besaw has been with the Coalition for the past five years, holding positions of deputy director and program director for The Family Place. She brings her diverse background in medical social work, community mental health, clinical social work with children and families, program development, and community organizing to NBCC's mission of community support and action in Northern Berkshire County.
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition sponsored a screening of “Faces: Five Voices from One Community – Addiction and Recovery in North Berkshire” by local videographer Joe Aidonidis at the theater in place of its usual monthly forum in the First Baptist Church.
Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community. More photos can be found here.
On Friday, for the October monthly forum, participants were asked to get up and out of the church for a very different reason: to engage members of the community who might not be aware of the Coalition's work or its meetings.
Besaw, speaking from her office in August as she prepared to interview candidates for these openings, said that while the sheer amount of simultaneous turnover at the Coalition was indeed challenging for someone leading in an "interim" capacity, each departure was unique.
"Independently, every person, it's understandable," she said. Hinds had a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to run for office. Tobin "has a dream," she said. Sweeney is leaving to lead the new teen center in the city, and Rodgers,
"That's a choice a community makes, whether we're going to fall apart or face the challenges head-on," Sen. Benjamin Downing said. "When we're at our best, it's not just the glass is half full. But we know if we work hard enough, we're going to find the water to make the glass overflow."
That is part of a strategy called "looking upstream," and in the Berkshires right now, the analogy is being used to describe a way to tackle the region's substance abuse problem.
In this case, said Wendy Pender, direction of prevention and wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, "upstream" is actually the children of today who we hope to prevent from becoming the addicts of tomorrow.
Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community.
These specially trained, paid workers fill a lot of different roles, from direct services like health screenings and home assessments to helping residents navigate systems of care and advocate for themselves.
The program will include the presentation of this year's MLK Peacemaker Award to PopCares Inc., in recognition of the difference the nonprofit organization makes in the lives of more than 310 local families who are battling cancer.
“I am excited because I feel my background and current work match nbCC priorities related to community dialogue and problem solving, building strong neighborhoods, and youth-focused prevention programs.” — Adam Hinds