1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program Class of 2021 Commencement

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Tuesday, May 4, 1Berkshire celebrating the commencement of the Youth Leadership Program's Class of 2021 via Zoom. 
Having completed the entirety of this 10-month leadership program, 31 students shared the products of their collective impact projects with attending family, friends, and regional leaders, and were recognized for their program completion. 
The Class of 2021 is the 11th class in the program's history.
Though the class applied to the program prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health guidance precluded in-person meetings throughout the course of the year. As a result, from their kickoff retreat over the summer through their Commencement, the students have participated in the program virtually. 
For their collective impact project, the class was organized into five groups and they chose to focus on the broad topics of racism and the environment. Each group of students addressed these topics in its own way. Students created social media accounts on the topic of racism in schools and in society more broadly, organized an anti-racism workshop to be held for their peers featuring an expert from Multicultural BRIDGE, created a social media campaign around reducing the impacts of fast fashion and reducing waste locally, and organized a park cleanup. 
"The past year has been challenging and uncertain for us all, but [the Class of 2021] truly rose to the occasion," Program Director Ben Lamb noted in his remarks. "[The class] did not shy away from addressing some of the most daunting issues our society faces, and showed a flexibility and persistence for which we should all be proud."
Berkshire Youth Leadership Graduates: 
Isabella Ameen, Pittsfield High School
Jordynn Bazinet, Pittsfield High School
Madilynn Brothers, Drury High School
Lauren Callahan, Pittsfield High School
Madison Crouse, Pittsfield High School
Zachary Davignon, Drury High School
Bronwyn Dix, The Potter's School
Jonathan Douhan, Pittsfield High School
Sydney Ferris, Pittsfield High School
Jonah Hane, Mount Greylock Regional School
Julianne Harwood, Lenox Memorial Middle & High School
Alex Henner, Pittsfield High School
Solia Herndon-Schmid, Lenox Memorial Middle & High School
Micah Ketchen, Mt. Everett Regional High School
Cecilia Kittross, Lenox Memorial Middle & High School
Isaac LeBlanc, Berkshire Waldorf High School
Alexa Macdonald, Drury High School
Grace Makuc, Mt. Everett Regional High School
Madelyn Malumphy, Pittsfield High School
Catherine McAllister, Mount Greylock Regional School
Tess McCluskey, Pittsfield High School
Elli Miles, Drury High School
Madeline Nesbit, Drury High School
Leila Paredes, Pittsfield High School
Thomas Peterson, Drury High School
Alyssa Potvin, Pittsfield High School
Zachary Pupo, Pittsfield High School
Jocelyn Sommers, Wahconah Regional High School
Alexis Toomey, Mount Greylock Regional School
Sienna Trask, Miss Hall's School
Isolena Ungewitter, Pittsfield High School
The 1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program is made possible through the financial support of sponsors Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook, and with additional support this year from Neenah Technical Materials and NBT Bank. The program is coordinated by 1Berkshire with the dynamic support of the volunteer Youth Leadership Program Steering Committee. Co-chaired by Karen Ruiz Leon of Berkshire Community College and Matthew Martin of Mildred Elley, this committee is composed of professionals across the region who commit their time and expertise to develop and facilitate the monthly sessions for the class and offer them advice as they look to their own futures.

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Berkshire County In Mild Drought Conditions

BOSTON — Although drought conditions have improved in some regions in the Commonwealth, Berkshire County remains in mild drought conditions.
With periodic precipitation events occurring throughout the Commonwealth in recent weeks, drought conditions, with the exception of groundwater in certain regions, improved or remained steady. As a result of recent data collections, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides  announced that the Western and Cape Cod Regions will remain at a Level 1-Mild Drought.
"This summer, the Commonwealth's drought monitor regions continue to experience fluctuations in conditions, which necessitates us all to take proactive water conservation steps to reduce the burden on our natural systems and public water supplies," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. "With the growing season and high water usage recreation months officially starting, we strongly recommend that both residents and businesses limit outdoor water use to safeguard vital water systems." 
As outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, a Level 1-Mild Drought warrants detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities.
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