Roots Teen Center Names New Executive Director

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Paula Buxbaum has been named executive director of the Roots Northern Berkshire Teen Center.  

The board of directors selected her to lead the organization as it begins its third year with a new strategic plan, new programming, and new goals in recruiting youth attendees, volunteers and fundraising goals. 

Buxbaum comes to Roots with 30 years of experience managing volunteers, program management and youth services. She most recently was the director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program in Pittsfield, which trained volunteers to provide advocacy for children in the juvenile court system. Before joining CASA, a program of Berkshire Children and Families, she held an eight-year assignment as a tutor and regional volunteer coordinator with a program bringing K-12 education to children in homeless shelters in Los Angeles. She has a BA in English Literature from Harvard Extension. 

Buxbaum succeeds Jessica Sweeney, one of the founders of Roots. Sweeny is celebrated for her dedication to youth, the arts, and community development.

"I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead Roots," Buxbaum said. "Its two boards, staff, volunteers and community partners have done outstanding work since opening the doors in October of 2016. I look forward to joining the organization and shepherding it through its exciting next phase of growth."

The board chose Buxbaum from a diverse field of candidates. 

"She has the right combination of experience in youth development, volunteer management and nonprofits to make her ideal to lead Roots into the next phase of its development," said Courtney Randall, board president and pastor at New Hope United Methodist Church. "We're looking forward to working with her."

"I'm confident she will work well with all the work the Youth Board is doing to recruit new people, raise money for Roots, and help attract more volunteers," said Christina Briggs, president of the teen center's Youth Board.

Since opening its 43 Eagle St. location in October 2016, Roots has had nearly 800 youth visits. The teen center hosts a three-day drop-in center, monthly open mic nights, Youth Board meetings, computer-building worships and game nights. Partner programs include Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (Art Doors), YMCA Mentoring Group and Arts in Recovery for Youth, with support from partnerships with fiscal agent New Hope United Methodist Church, Williams College WRAPS (Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus) Program, and MCLA Internships.

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