26th Annual Back to School Rally: Another Year, Another Success!


Waterbury Youth Services' "Backpacks to Brilliance" theme was in full swing at the 26th Annual Back to School Rally on August 16 at Fulton Park. Our success was shaped by the collaborative spirit of our dedicated staff, the City of Waterbury, the Department of Education, our enthusiastic volunteers, 50 community allies, and our generous sponsors. Through our collective efforts, we presented a wealth of school supplies and showcased essential resources for the youth of Waterbury.

Approximately 1,500 enthusiastic attendees were met with an outpouring of academic supplies and resources. The distribution of 1,400 backpacks and 500 books ensured our youth are well-equipped for their academic journeys. Raffles featured school supplies, filled book bags, gift cards, books, and unique art kits.

Olivia Dudley, Co-chair of the event, alongside Paul Pernerewski, Jr., President of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen, Quineshia Brown, Family and Community Engagement Manager of Waterbury Public Schools and Jim O'Rourke, Interim Executive Director of Waterbury Youth Services, took to the stage. Their brief yet heartfelt words underscored the value of education and the integral role our community plays in fostering it. Complementing the speeches, Fitness Fury and Empress delivered captivating performances.

Luis Aguilar, representing DJ Double L, infused the atmosphere with lively and classic tunes, setting the perfect upbeat tempo for the event. Meanwhile, the iconic Frankie’s Hot Dogs served attendees their signature hot dogs. In a new addition to the day's activities, guests had the unique opportunity to contribute to a community mural. This artistic endeavor was expertly guided by Katiana Jarbath Smith of Jarbath Art, in collaboration with Waterbury Youth Services, and the finished mural will hold a place of pride at the agency.

We express our deepest gratitude to our invaluable sponsors and partners: In alphabetical order, City of Waterbury, Comcast, Connecticut Community Foundation, Connecticut Department of Corrections, Drew Marine, First Congregational Church of Cheshire, Frankie’s, HNTB, Savings Bank of Danbury, TD Bank, The Home Depot, Thomaston Savings Bank, Waterbury Dept. of Education, Waterbury Hospital, and WATR for making this event a resonating success!

For any further inquiries or details, please contact Olivia Dudley at Waterbury Youth Services (203)573-0264.

A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Waterbury Youth Services consistently serves over 1,000 youth and their families every year. Offering a diverse range of 15 programs, WYS continues to lead in areas such as Juvenile Justice, Mentoring, Truancy Prevention, support for Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Youth & Family Emergency Services, After-School Programs, and the Child Advocacy Center.

Waterbury Youth Services is a haven for youth, where they are celebrated, understood, and empowered. Offering myriad opportunities, WYS ensures that every young individual is geared to explore their potential and achieve their dreams. Whenever guidance is sought, Waterbury Youth Services stands ready.

RELIVE THE MEMORIES! Dive into our vibrant photo gallery below featuring our spirited volunteers, eager students with their families, enthusiastic community organizations, and speakers.

BTSR 2023 Thank You
BTSR 2023 Thank You (1)
BTSR 2023 Thank You (4)
BTSR 2023 Thank You (3)
BTSR 2023 Thank You (2)