Posts by Katiana Smith

Helping Girls Find Their Voice: Join Live Girl Confidence Club at WYS

CC x WYS 2023

Attention all girls in grades 6-9!

Are you looking for a safe and supportive space to develop your self-esteem and social emotional intelligence? Look no further than Live Girl Confidence Club, hosted by Waterbury Youth Services.

This free program provides a BRAVE SPACE for girls to develop self-esteem, social emotional intelligence, and empathy - the building blocks of a confident and inclusive leader. Confidence Club provides girls with a positive adult role model and creates a safe space for girls to be their authentic selves.

The small group meets weekly on Wednesdays from 3:45-5pm at Waterbury Youth Services with a professional mentor to share concerns and interests. The curriculum-based program builds social emotional intelligence and self-esteem, the building blocks of a confident leader. Confidence Club speaks life into young girls, inspires them, helps them flourish, and to be their authentic selves.

Youth can register at any time. So, what are you waiting for? Register today at and pick Waterbury Youth Services location to attend.

Join us at Live Girl Confidence Club and become the confident and inclusive leader you were born to be.

WYS Staff Become CPR Certified


Waterbury Youth Services staff recently took a vital step in being prepared for emergency situations by completing a CPR certification course. The course, which was taught by Sha'Kenya Whittaker, the owner of Just Breathe CT, LLC, was a combination of online and in-person training. This innovative approach allowed staff to learn the necessary skills and knowledge to properly perform CPR in emergency situations, while also minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The staff members who participated in the course are now equipped with the life-saving skills necessary to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a medical emergency. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a critical skill that can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Knowing how to perform CPR can help to keep oxygen and blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until medical help arrives.

According to Sha'Kenya Whittaker, the course was designed to be both informative and engaging. The online component of the course allowed staff to learn the basics of CPR at their own pace, while the in-person training provided hands-on practice and instruction. Our staff members were also taught how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), a device that can be used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm in certain types of cardiac arrest.

WYS extends their gratitude to Sha'Kenya Whittaker for her expert instruction and guidance throughout the course. The certification they received is a testament to their commitment to serving their community and ensuring the safety of those around them. They can now act quickly and confidently in an emergency, potentially saving a life in the process.

Support WYS Youth while you Shop

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Make A Difference for Waterbury's Youth with the AmazonSmile Program

Every purchase will help support our 16 programs that help youth reach their full potential.

DON’T WAIT! Enroll in AmazonSmile NOW with these 4 simple steps:

• Visit

• Sign in to your Amazon account

• Search for and select "Waterbury Youth Services" as your preferred charity

• Start shopping!

Happy Shopping.

On behalf of our youth, Thank YOU!

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Gently Used Winter Coats Available at WYS

Winter Coats Available at WYS

Gently Used Winter Coats Available at Waterbury Youth Services

Waterbury Youth Services has some gently used winter coats to give to anyone who needs a coat on a first come first serve basis. Sizes and quantity are limited.

Please call Shenquaya Clements to schedule an appointment 203- 573-0264.

Building a Bright Future with Insights from Thomaston Savings Bank

Thomaston Savings Bank Speaks Careers in Banking

Becky from Thomaston Savings Bank recently had the opportunity to speak with a group of LAL youth at Waterbury Youth Services about careers in banking. The presentation was a great success and provided valuable insights for the young adults in attendance.

Becky discussed the different types of careers available in the banking industry, including tellers, loan officers, and financial advisors. She also highlighted the importance of customer service and communication skills in the field.

Becky also emphasized the importance of being able to adapt to change in the banking industry. With advancements in technology, the field is constantly evolving, and it's important for employees to stay up-to-date with new systems and processes. It gave them a better understanding of the various career opportunities available in banking and the skills and education needed to pursue them.

Overall, it was a great opportunity for the students to learn more about the industry and to ask questions directly from someone who is working in the field.

Thank you, Becky and Thomaston Savings Bank for sharing valuable information that empowers youth.

Becky from Thomaston Savings Bank Present Careers in Banking

Becky, from Thomaston Savings Bank, speaking to LAL youth about careers in banking.

Felicia Diaz: Waterbury Community Trailblazer – Recognized with Prestigious Award from Dominican Republic President

Felicia Diaz Award 2022

WYS Employee Spotlight

Mrs. Felicia Diaz, our dedicated and hardworking POWER Facilitator, was recently honored with a prestigious award for her contributions to the Waterbury community. The award ceremony, which took place at the Marriot Hotel, was attended by a wide range of community leaders, politicians, and local residents.

Mrs. Diaz has been working as a POWER Facilitator for the past 19 years, and her tireless efforts and dedication to the community have not gone unnoticed. One of her notable achievements is her work at Waterbury Youth Services, where she helps women who speak Spanish as a first language open their own child daycare facilities or work in the child daycare industry. Her efforts have been truly commendable and have made a positive impact on the community.

In recognition of her outstanding work, President Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona of the Dominican Republic presented her with a plaque of recognition. This plaque serves as a testament to her commitment and dedication to the community, and it is a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication that she has put in over the years.

Mrs. Diaz was visibly moved by the award and thanked everyone for their support and encouragement. She also emphasized the importance of community involvement in achieving the common goal of a better future for all.

Mrs. Felicia Diaz is a shining example of the positive impact that one person can have on a community. Her dedication and commitment to the Dominican Community in Waterbury is truly inspiring, and she is a deserving recipient of this award. We all wish her many more years of continued success in her tireless efforts to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

Learn more about our POWER Program.

Join Our Mentor Information Session January 27th, 2023

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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 during a time when human connection is more important than ever.
Just one hour a week can make a difference - YOU have the power to change a life and we need you to help impact the lives of our youth. You have a gift, it's time to use it!
Join us Friday, January 27th, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm for our Information Session and begin your mentoring journey!
*A light dinner will be served.
Please RSVP by January 25th. For more info, please contact Jurea McIntosh by phone (203)573-0264 or by email
Please help us spread the word and share our flyer to your networks.

RSVP Mentor Info Session

A Joy Filled Holiday Party at WYS!


Every year Waterbury Youth Services hosts a festive Holiday party for our youth in LAL and 4H. A warmness filled the room as the youth came in from the cold weather to be greeted by their facilitators with a hot cocoa station and a seasonal movie playing. This year our youth donned their Holiday jammies, watched a movie, warmed up with hot coco and delicious food, and received gifts that the community came together to provide. The gifts ranged from teddy bears, books, sports equipment to gift cards, blankets, and more. The agency was filled with overwhelming joy, infectious laughter, and most of all, heartfelt love. One youth was so overcome with happiness when they realized their gift and said, "This is what I really wanted!". What a memorable way to close out the year!
A tremendous Thank You to the sponsors that opened their hearts and spread the joy that filled the room. YOU helped brighten the holidays and we couldn't be more grateful.
In alphabetical order, we thank each of you and wish you a joyous New Year: 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.


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!