Posts by Katiana Smith

Our student library just got bigger!

Thank you Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury

Reading is a passport to countless adventures!

- Mary Pope Osbourne

It is said that everyone is a reader, some just haven't found their favorite book yet. A heartfelt thank you to the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury for your annual donation of books our youth can get lost in. Your continued support and investment in our youth is heartfelt. The youth look forward to finding that perfect book that can transport them on an adventure all while improving their literacy skills.

Pictured Above: Executive Director Jessica Reho (second from left) of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury pictured above dropping off 38 books for our student library.

38 Books from Literacy Volunteers of GW

WYS Youth Create Holiday Cards!

Upstarters Holiday Card Making

Our Waterbury Youth Services' (WYS) youth got their creative juices flowing when they designed handmade holiday themed cards for the UPSTARTERS Card Making Contest for United Way of Greater Waterbury! UPSTARTERS is an initiative that gives local youth exposure to the role they can play in addressing community needs. Rather than hoping that youth learn about volunteerism or philanthropy by the time they are adults, UPSTARTERS provides opportunities today.

We couldn't be more proud of our WYS youth for taking the initiative and putting forth the effort to brighten someone's holiday. They're starting early in caring for their community and hoping to make a difference for someone with their holiday card!

Thank you, United Way of Greater Waterbury, for providing our youth with this wonderful opportunity!

Thanks to you, our Holiday Toy Store was a Success!

Toy Store Thank You 2022

The best gift is giving from your heart.

- Kevin Heath

We cannot thank each of you enough for making our Holiday Toy Store for Waterbury's families and children a huge success! Your generosity helped to spread joy, incite laughter, and brighten the season for 49 families and 123 children. Please know you made this holiday season more memorable for each child.

In alphabetical order, we thank each of you and wish you a joyous Holiday Season: Albert Bro’s, Brass City Memorial Detachment - Marine Corps League, Doc’s Motorcycle Parts, Drew Marine, Exchange Club of Waterbury, Jill Sloane and Ray Bhatia, Literacy Volunteers, Main Street Waterbury, M.J. Daly LLC, Nicholas Goodson and Premium93, Oppenheimer & Company Inc, Savings Bank of Danbury, Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT, Waterbury Country Club, Waterbury Country Club's Men's Car League, Waterbury Strong, Waterbury Youth Services Board of Directors, United Way of Greater Waterbury, Waterbury Regional Chamber, and Webster Bank.

We could not have done it without You!

Thank you Santa Donors

"Behind every life changed is someone who cares. We're happy our special "someone" is you!


As the year comes to a close, this is the time to count our blessings. Here, at Waterbury Youth Services, you are at the top of our list! A tremendous Thank - You to our sponsors for joining us in our efforts to brighten the holidays for Waterbury's youth. Your sponsorship was used to purchase holiday toys and the continuity of our vital programming that our youth benefit from every day. Serving Waterbury's youth is our foundation and investing in their well-being and development shows them how much you care.

In alphabetical order, a heartfelt thank-you to: Advanced Benefit Strategies Inc, Bannon & Hebert Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, BHB Education Consulting, Broderick Law Firm, Connecticut Community Foundation, D'Amico and Pettinichi LLC, the DePecol family, Dymar, Employers Reference Source Inc, Eversource, Family Care Visiting Nurse and Home Care Agency LLC, Ion Bank, Golden Technology Services Inc, JWB Realty LLC, Kenco Engineering & Construction LLC, Liberty Bank, Litchfield Bancorp, MacDermid, Oppenheimer, NSI Total IT Support, Thomaston Savings Bank, Webster Bank, William Kenny Associates, Zackin, Zimyeski, and Sullivan CPA.

Building community starts at home and each of you in some way has called Waterbury home. Thank you for keeping Waterbury in your hearts. We could not have done it without you.

WYS Signature (2)

Learn about WYS’ New After-School Program!


Spread the word about our new after-school program for high school youth!

Do you know a high school teen that's interested in getting more involved in our community and learning about the history of racism in our country?
Have them sign up for our free after school program STUDY & TRANSCEND INSTITUTIONAL RACISM (STIR) that helps high school youth learn the history of systemic racism in an uncensored environment to help promote community and cultural change.

This program is designed to empower and activate our youth to engage directly with the movers and shakers of Waterbury and share their voices with the community.

Program is every Tuesday from 5pm-6:30pm. Enroll NOW! Monthly incentive of $50 given to youth that enroll.*

Program includes a trip to Washington, DC to visit the National Museum of African American History and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Contact Jurea McIntosh at for questions or concerns.

Download the STIR flyer to share and help us empower more youth!

*Stipends of $50 are awarded to enrolled participants that adhere to the agreements of the program.

Waterbury Youth Services reaches their Turkey Drive Goal Thanks to Everyone at KBE Building Corporation!


Food insecurity in the Waterbury area is still a massive problem. It is especially difficult around the Holiday season for families in need. On Saturday, November 19, Waterbury Youth Services (WYS) held their annual Turkey Drive. Thanks to KBE Building Corporation, WYS was able to give away 50 Thanksgiving Dinners which included a turkey, pie, baking pan, and delicious side dishes.
Imagining the joy these families will experience this Thanksgiving is part of the passion that drives Waterbury Youth Services and KBE.

With heartfelt thanks once again to KBE Building and the Waterbury Youth Services Turkey Drive Team under the leadership of Amanda Augeri, Positive Youth Development Team Leader.

A Spooky Halloween at WYS


We couldn't miss the opportunity to share our Spooky Halloween party we had. Our Program staff and our LAL youth did a phenomenal job planning and decorating so that our 4-H youth could have a memorable Halloween experience. Our LAL youth were hiding among the goblins and spider webs on our haunted trail that the younger kids enjoyed so much, that they went back time after time! The kids wore elaborate costumes, had props, and even used face and body paint to get into character! The 4-H youth enjoyed fun games, activities, light refreshments, and left with a bag of treats.

Here at WYS, we take pleasure in providing our youth with joyful experiences. Are your kids signed up for any of our programs? Contact us today to sign up!

WYS’ United Way Staff Campaign

WYS Staff Campaign for United Way

The United Way of Greater Waterbury is an integral and important partner for Waterbury Youth Services (WYS). Because of the United Way of Greater Waterbury and others, WYS has a direct effect on Waterbury's children and youth. Every year, WYS enthusiastically joins in United Way's joy of giving by hosting a staff campaign to raise funds. We wholeheartedly support the efforts of Waterbury's United Way and the great work they do for so many organizations in the greater Waterbury area.

WYS' staff campaign breakfast was fun and festive. We celebrated our giving efforts with apple cider, treats, and an exciting and dynamic pumpkin hunt with prizes that varied from pumpkin candles to the top prize of a $10 gift certificate! Each person who contributed $52 or more to the campaign received a scratch off ticket.

Thank you, Linda and Ari for presenting to our staff and Thank You, United Way of Greater Waterbury, for all your continued support!

Hispanic Heritage Dinner

We're stepping into November remembering all the fun festivities we had going on in October! Last month we closed out Hispanic Heritage month with a spectacular cultural dinner celebration for POWER that was coordinated by our POWER Program Coordinator Felicia. We are proud to join in the festivities, celebrate and recognize the profound influence of Hispanic Americans all over and within our agency.

POWER is our comprehensive, 26 week professional home day care training program that assists participants in acquiring the skills enabling them to work in and/or operate their own business in the area of childcare. Conducted entirely in Spanish.

Mentors Needed for Waterbury Youth!


At Waterbury Youth Services, our mission is simple: Guiding youth to discover their unique talents and potential for success- one life at a time.

Our Mentoring program is looking for kind, caring, dedicated community members who are ready to make a commitment to the next generation! This is an opportunity to make real, tangible change in a time when human connection is more important than ever. You can truly be the change you want to see in the world. Want to see your efforts make a direct impact on youth, and by doing so, strengthen our community and move towards a better future for us all?

Our mentoring program matches youth with community volunteers such as yourself for a year of conversation, inspiration, guidance and positivity. With just a few hours a month, you can change the life of a young person, just by being yourself! That’s all it takes. We will provide training and support through the entire match. Best of all, our mentors can expect to learn as much from their mentee as the mentee will learn from them. Who else will keep you up to date on the latest slang or teach you the newest tiktok dance?

Youth with mentors have:

♥ Better school attendance

♥ Better school performance

♥ Better chance of going on to higher education

♥ Better attitudes toward school

♥ Improved self-esteem

♥ Less likelihood to use alcohol and illegal drugs

♥ Increased social skills and ability to relate to a variety of people

♥ Increased drive to set career goals and to participate positively in the workforce

There are no "perfect mentors." Just people trying their best to help younger people be their best!


• Sincere desire to be personally involved with a young person to help them achieve their goals
• Ability to communicate with youth openly and in a non-judgmental manner
• Adaptable regarding virtual and in-person meetings
• Familiar with current technology
• Strong listening and communication skills
• Actively embraces and values diversity
• Familiar with the Greater Waterbury area
• Willing to make a minimum 12 month commitment, 6 hours per month,
21 years +
• Must have valid driver’s license and registered, insured vehicle
• Must provide 3 references and pass DMV and criminal background checks
• Bilingual a plus, but not required

Are you ready? Apply now and begin your mentoring journey today!