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Caring for Kids: Remembering and Honoring A Colleague

Caring for Kids: Remembering and Honoring A Colleague
Thursday, February 19, 2015

We all know someone who's made a difference in the lives of area youth. That's why this year's Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award, presented during the 2015 Youth At Risk (YAR) conference, needs your help.

With the nomination period nearing its deadline (Feb. 25), there's still time to honor that local hero by submitting a nomination form to the YAR committee. We're looking for a colleague who serves at-risk youth, makes outstanding contributions within a field that supports young people, or even advocates for colleagues who spend themselves helping our youth.

Each nominee matters, each act of giving is worth noting, reminding us of Diruhi Mattian, the social worker who, in the course of doing the work that meant so much to her, was tragically killed in 2008. Diruhi was committed to her mission of helping youth at risk and their families. She was dedicated to her profession and driven to make a difference in the lives of young people. Because Diruhi was known to many as an advocate of self care who nurtured and supported her colleagues, ECCF's YAR committee created the award to honor her memory and recognize those doing outstanding work in the community.

For instance, last year’s recipient, Donna Coe, a nurse practitioner at Lynn Community Health Center, (pictured here with Mike Duda, the first recipient, founder of YAR conference and pastor of First Church in Wenham) takes special care to help others. Donna offers professional health care and personal encouragement in Lynn, and is in good company with past recipients of the award as well: Kelly O’Connor, director of the Gregg Neighborhood House Afterschool program; H. Bud Kelly, a licensed independent clinical social worker, and Mark Libon, vice president of Community Based Services for Lahey Health Systems.

"Each year, the Youth at Risk Committee has the difficult task of selecting a recipient from so many inspiring submissions we receive," said Kathy Moriconi, grants and YAR coordinator. "Even if someone has been nominated in the past, we encourage everyone to put their name forward again. It's a chance to honor those who work so hard to help our kids.

The YAR Confererence was established in 2000 to promote collaboration and coordination among the many providers of services to at-risk youth in and around Essex County. Through training workshops on youth issues and by increasing awareness of existing resources, the Conference is an amazing opportunity to tap the wealth of expertise in Essex County on the topics relating to youth at risk. It continues to be a one-of-a-kind and most anticipated annual event. This year's conference takes place Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 8:00am - 3:30pm at Endicott College, during which the Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award will be presented.

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