R.O.P.E. and the Women of Color Giving Circle of the Berkshires will kick off its virtual well-being series for local youth on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Here's the Official Press Release:

The Rites of Passage and Empowerment Program (R.O.P.E.) and the Women of Color Giving Circle of the Berkshires will kick off its virtual well-being series for local youth 13-18 years old with its first session at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Additional sessions will be held every other Tuesday.

“We know that our young people are experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress during this pandemic. It has taken a toll on them in so many ways. In the midst of these ongoing challenges, we want them to know that we are here, we care about their well-being, and we’re listening,” says Shirley Edgerton, founder of R.O.P.E and the Women of Color Giving Circle.

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The series will be led by licensed clinical social worker, Charell McKenzie, LICSW, LCSW-C, and owner of Community First Therapy and Consulting, LLC in Pittsfield. McKenzie, who recently joined R.O.P.E as a mentor, moderated a similar conversation for R.O.P.E. mentees during the group’s annual retreat, held virtually earlier this month.

Even under ideal circumstances, we as adults, can become so task focused and lose sight of self- care. Now imagine being an adolescent, a year into COVID-19 where social distancing has turned into social isolation. Our youth are facing significant challenges across the board, and they have shown amazing resilience. However, we still have to partner alongside them, helping and guiding them through this time. This well-being check will give our youth a space where they can safely get together, virtually, and put into words some of the emotions they may have been feeling while developing healthy, coping tools. I believe that out of these tools, the most important may be connection.

Charell McKenzie


The well-being series is also made possible thanks to funding by Berkshire United Way and the Berkshire County COVID-19 Adaptation Fund.

To register in advance for this meeting, please click here. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent with meeting details.

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