PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Family, community members and 18 Degrees stakeholders honored the accomplishments of eight participants of the 18 Degrees programming.
18 Degrees promotes family well-being through education, support, prevention and intervention, youth and community development, and foster care and adoption.
Pittsfield Community Connection and West Main Connection, programs of 18 Degrees, hosted the event to shine a light on the efforts these young adults made to enter a path of new beginnings, 18 Degrees President and CEO Stephanie Steed said.
The speakers commended the honorees for overcoming a variety of obstacles and balancing unexpected life changes while on their journey to success.
"They faced challenges, identified personal beliefs, set ambitious goals, and did the hard work to reach their personalized level of success," Steed said.
The speakers said these young adults overcame challenges from a pandemic, pregnancy, obtaining sobriety, and juggling family life and used their wisdom, strengths, and love of learning to obtain their goal.
The honorees achieved the goals they had set — whether it was obtaining a General Educational Development, enrolling in adult learning or college courses, receiving vocational training, earning employment, learning a skill, or volunteering.
"We're really hopeful that you feel a high level of pride and satisfaction in your work because we are here because we are proud of you and proud of your accomplishments," Steed said.
During the emotional ceremony, the honorees, mentors and families choked up as the awards were distributed.
This celebration would not have been possible without the dedicated 18 Degrees staff who serve as a connection point for many young people in the community, Youth and Community Development Vice President Bryan House said.
"Throughout 18 Degrees, we put much effort into utilizing what's called strength-based approaches in our work with young people," House said.
This approach refocuses interventions away from "immediate deficits to resources and strengths," he said.
A key component of the strength-based approach are the staff, families, and community members who supported the young adults while on their journey.
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Merrill Road Bank Robbed
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking a suspect who held up a bank on Wednesday evening.
The robber entered the NBT Bank at 609 Merrill Road shortly before 5 p.m., displayed a firearm and demanded cash. He left with an undisclosed amount of cash and fled. No injuries were reported.
The suspect is believed to be a white man.
Anyone who can provide information or observed any suspicious activity in the area is asked to contact Detective Neil Goodrich at 413-448-9700, Ext. 554. Information can also be provided anonymously via the Tip Line at 413-448-9706, or by texting PITTIP and your message to TIP411 (847411).
Ward 1 Councilor Kenneth Warren, Ward 2 Councilor Charles Kronick and at-Large Councilor Karen Kalinowsky spoke against the proposal that would increase the average homeowner's bill by 8.75 percent.
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The event, sponsored by MountainOne and organized by the Berkshire Running Center, helped more than 400 participants work up an appetite and helped raise money and generate non-perishable food donations for local food pantries.
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