2020 Summer Meal Program

Free Summer Meal Sites across New York and around the country Learning and good nutrition do not end when school lets out. The USDA Summer Food Service Program helps provide nutritious meals to children so they are better fueled with healthy food to learn and grow.  This summer, youth ages 18 years and younger can receive FREE breakfast, lunch, or snack served at community recreation centers, summer school locations and other neighborhood sites around New York State, Maryland and throughout the country. Find the location and meal times that work best for you Text Option: Text “Summer Meals” to 97779…

Read More

Virtual Senior Celebrations Honor HW-SC Student Achievement

Each year at this time, Hillside traditionally salutes the soon-to-graduate high school seniors whose paths to success have been supported by the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program. In regions throughout New York State and in Prince George’s County, MD, hundreds of students would cross the stage in local HW-SC Senior Celebration ceremonies featuring their friends, families and local dignitaries. COVID-19 disrupted that tradition this year, but our teams have been working to honor the class of 2020 all the same. Commemorative senior gifts and stoles – the customary sashes worn by many students during their graduation ceremonies – are being awarded…

Read More

Hillside Youth Create ‘Black Lives Matter’ Art Exhibit

Inspired by the nationwide unrest concerning systemic racism and violence in America, dozens of youth receiving residential treatment services on Hillside’s Monroe Campus in Rochester came together to create a Black Lives Matter art exhibit that was presented to youth and staff on June 11. Nearly three dozen hand-drawn and mixed-media pieces were created for the event. “We wanted to create an opportunity for our youth to share their voices,” said Damaris Attanasio, a Hillside clinician who was one of several staff members to help organize the effort. Youth from the Monroe Campus toured the temporary exhibit based on a…

Read More

Hillside Stands

Again, and again, and again. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and far too many people of color have put yet another grim spotlight on the racial and economic inequalities that continue to define life in America. This ugly tradition can’t possibly be reversed as long as any one of us continues to sit down. Hillside stands. We stand with black and brown people in a shared sense of urgency. We stand against racism and discrimination, and against the violence that comes with them. We know that Black Lives Matter. The children and families we serve are…

Read More

Nurses Make a Difference — Today and Every Day

An open letter to Hillside’s nurses from Ann Cott, Hillside’s Executive Director of Health Care Services: It’s National Nurses Day and the start of National Nurses Month! The theme this year is You Make a Difference. The global COVID-19 pandemic makes it even more important this year that we support and recognize all of our nurses who work with courage and compassion and under extremely challenging circumstances. Whether it is a national health emergency or routine daily care, nurses’ vital contributions impact the health and well-being of our communities, which is why the American Nurses Association selected the theme for…

Read More

Hillside Encourages Participation in 2020 Census

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing additional complications to the lives of already vulnerable families coping with the challenges of trauma, poverty and neglect. To many of these families, keeping up with the mail at this time might be the last thing on their minds—but the 2020 United States Census is no ordinary piece of mail. It’s an important tool that can help ensure that publicly funded resources are allocated to those who may need them most. Hillside encourages families throughout the regions we serve, and everywhere, to take the few minutes necessary to complete and submit an accurate Census form…

Read More

Community Service Takes New Forms During COVID-19

How can community service requirements be completed when the community itself is shut down? In the wake of COVID-19, Hillside’s Mary Jo Acomb and her team have found a way to help young people solve that problem while participating in the Livingston County-based Community Service program. With shelter-in-place orders now the norm throughout the nation, a new initiative is allowing youth who are involved in their local Family Court or probation systems to fulfill community-service requirements while building self-esteem and accepting responsibility for their actions. Youth can now receive credit toward community service by doing work consistent with COVID-related safety…

Read More

HW-SC: Inspiring Excellence

At 9:00pm on a recent Wednesday, Shekena Dallis answered a phone call from a student she mentors as a Youth Advocate (YA) in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program. A call so late on a school night was unusual, and Dallis worried it might be bad news—but the exact opposite was true. The excited student had earned a 4.2 grade point average for her recently completed third quarter at Suitland High School in Prince George’s County, MD. She was calling to thank the YA for Dallis’ tireless support, including offering plenty of encouragement whenever the student had felt overwhelmed. She told…

Read More

The Art of Caring: Connecting with Comics

Hillside Community-Based Treatment Provider Nicole Bielowicz struck upon a novel way to help one very creative youth see the COVID-19 pandemic through a different lens. After sharing his stress and anxiety about the crisis, Nicole asked her youth if he’d tried drawing his feelings out as they have routinely done. When he responded that he didn’t know how to express his feelings about coronavirus, Nicole had her ah-ha moment! As art activities have been one coping skill the youth regularly uses when he becomes upset, Nicole proposed creating a comic book together to help him through these challenging and uncertain…

Read More