Westchester County Youth Council Recognizes Three Positive Youth Development ‘Sheros’

LR, Deputy County Manager Ken Jenkins, Joanne Dunn, Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden, Alice Joselow, Debbie Burrell-Butler, County Manager George Latimer

As part of Women’s History Month, Westchester County Youth Council hosted the 4th Annual Shero Awards virtually on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. This year’s “Sheros” were the Executive Director of the Office of Mount Vernon Youth Debbie Burrell-Butler, Executive Director of the Youth Shelters Program of Westchester, Inc. Joanne Dunn and Coordinator of the Coalition of Ossining Communities who care for the Open Door Family Medical Center Alice Joselow.

County Executive George Latimer said: “Westchester County is fortunate to have no shortage of women who are seen as everyday sheros in their communities. This year’s recipients are recognized for their tireless work in the areas of positive youth development, juvenile justice, and alcohol and drug prevention. We thank them for being excellent resources and role models for the children, youth and families they serve.

Westchester County Youth Bureau Executive Director Dr DaMia Harris-Madden said: “When the ‘Shero’ Awards were conceptualized in 2018, we knew there would be a long list of dynamic women who would delve into solving quality of life issues for children and youth. . We also recognized that there would be many born with the super power to create change day in and day out, even when they think no one notices. Therefore, this occasion is our way of recognizing contributions within county-funded programs and beyond. »

Youth Council Chair Dr Alexandria Connely said: “The 2022 Sheros are recognized as true collaborators and key influencers in their respective agencies and have ensured the effectiveness of the programs they oversee. The council and office appreciate their dedication, especially for their partnership with the Westchester County Youth Office, the council and the community at large.

About the 2022 Sheros:

Debbie Burrell-Butler is the Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau. Debbie attended Mount Vernon City Schools and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 2001. Over the past 21 years, Debbie has held various positions in Mount Vernon City Government until her appointment to her current position in August 2018. Today, she continues to drive change within the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and its community by providing youth and young adults aged 6-24 with a voice to advocate for them. themselves and others. She also continues to write and apply for grants that provide paid internships and work experiences for young people, which have led to careers in highly demanding fields. She remains dedicated to her mission and provides resources to families in need, increases positive youth development such as employment readiness and youth educational programs, and builds meaningful relationships within the community that help youth. to overcome obstacles and provide them with life-changing opportunities. Debbie has mentors, coaches, friends, families and lots of support that have made her who she is today; therefore, she feels compelled to do the same for the young people of Mount Vernon, which ultimately leads to their self-sufficiency and future success.

Joanne Dunn is a social services professional with over 15 years of experience creating and delivering programs throughout Westchester County, NY. She is the first woman to run Westchester’s Youth Shelter program, an alternative to incarceration program for young men between the ages of 16 and 21, awaiting trial or convicted of various criminal convictions. She has served as a troop leader for the Westchester Putnam Girl Scouts, a member of the Peekskill City School Districts Parent/Community Involvement Committee, Parent Coordinator for the Peekskill Pop Warner Football League, and a member of the Peekskill NAACP Executive Council. Joanne’s leadership philosophy is to lead by example. It embraces the notion that an organization progresses when its staff feel empowered and valued and provides its staff with many opportunities to learn and grow.

His mission in life is to empower and employ others to channel their pain towards their goal; especially those who are troubled by life’s obstacles and help them use these adversities as a vehicle for good/change. She continues to push her own limits personally and professionally. In her spare time, she is a champion for children in need of homes and works with United Way of Westchester Putnam to promote and locate foster families.

Alice Joselow is a community activist. She has lived in Ossining for 24 years and currently works for the Open Door Family Medical Center where she coordinates and chairs a federally funded coalition (SAMHSA Drug Free Communities grant) called Ossining Communities That Care, which focuses on reducing the teen substance abuse and promoting positive youth development in Ossining.

Alice has volunteered with the PTA where she organized many activities including storytelling festivals, after-school programs and assemblies, and served as president for several years. Alice was elected to the Ossining School Board (BOE) in 1999 and served 12 years on the board. During her BOE service, she worked to put children first, close the achievement gap, and ensure equitable and high educational outcomes for all students. She worked to create many new community collaborations and helped plan and solve several bond issues. Alice also helped start ‘A Kid’s Place’ daycare and also served as Senior Vice President of the Ossining Food Pantry for many years. Alice is a founding member of the Ossining Communities That Care (OCTC) community coalition and Ossining MATTERS, the local educational foundation.


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