NORTHAMPTON — The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) of Cooley Dickinson Hospital received an award recently for community leadership at the Department of Public Health’s Ounce of Prevention conference, an annual statewide prevention summit.
Kathleen O’Neill Alexander, director of education and outreach for Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel, nominated the Youth Leadership Academy for its contributions to promoting respect among school-age and adult members of the community.
Some of the strategies included workshops, conference programming, and retreats where youths teach their peers about topics ranging from racism and classism to homophobia and sexism.
“Under director Beth Mattison, the YLA has made incredible contributions to promoting respect among school-age and adult members of the community,” said Alexander.
The YLA, created in 1993, is a program of Cooley Dickinson Hospital and is funded by both CDH and the Department of Public Health that serves youth ages 11 to 18 in Hampshire and Franklin counties. The program is based at Casa Latina in Florence.