Our 7th grade Youth Give Back students visited Fairgate Farm in Stamford this week. They helped harvest crops, plant flowers and prepared the grounds for winter. Farmer Pete taught our students about food deserts and the way that Fairgate provides fresh produce to an under-resourced area.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker Andrew Tepper has joined The Community Fund of Darien as an advisor to the Youth Asset Team. Tepper brings 15 years of individual and group psychotherapy in both the inpatient and outpatient setting experience, and specializes in working with pre-adolescents, adolescents, adults and families.
The Youth Asset Team is a student-run branch of The Community Fund of Darien (TCF). Its mission is to address substance abuse and mental health by encouraging healthy choices and through community events targeting teens and adults in Darien. The Youth Asset team will meet bi-weekly with Tepper and Emily Larkin, TCF’s Thriving Youth Program Director, to plan prevention-related events and speakers, plan alcohol-alternative events for their peers, provide the teen perspective at Thriving Youth Task Force meetings, and mentor middle school Youth Give Back students. This year’s Youth Asset Team boasts 42 student members, the largest group to date.
This past school year, the Youth Asset Team (YAT) helped design the new “Our Darien” campaign focusing on the power of older siblings serving as role-models for younger siblings regarding alcohol and e-cigarette use. The Youth Asset Team also co-sponsored a screening of the documentary Haze, the tragic story of Greenwich native Gordie Bailey’s death his freshman year of college year due to binge drinking. "We are so excited to welcome Andrew to the Youth Asset Team this year," noted Janet King, Executive Director of TCF. "He really connects with students thanks to his humor, compassion and contagious enthusiasm. Andrew will draw from his extensive work with teens to facilitate workshops about stress, self-care, helping friends struggling with substance abuse or mental health and other student-chosen topics."
Tepper holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Bates College and received his Masters of Social Work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. He has received extensive training in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy from the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute. In addition, he draws from years of training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), and Mindfulness techniques to mitigate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Our Youth Community Fund students visited Filling in the Blanks and packed nearly 900 bags of take-home weekend meals for local students.