CTC recognizes local volunteers

Program reviews goals and accomplishments at annual meeting

LEWISTOWN — Five individuals were recognized for their volunteer service on Friday during the Mifflin County Communities That Care annual meeting.

Program treasurer Jennifer Hepner recognized Denise Shugarts, Judy Fitzgerald, Martha Leister, Susan Miriello and Colby Guyer for “going above and beyond” in providing countless hours of service to the program, which seeks to promote the healthy development of children in Mifflin County.

Those honored received a framed piece of artwork that was created by a Mifflin County student.

In addition to welcoming Aleta Kammerer, the program’s new coordinator, Communities that Care organizers, during the meeting also discussed some accomplishments and goals they set for the program.

One goal, Kammerer said, is to increase youth participation. Kammerer said she hopes to launch a youth team this fall in an effort to offer outreach programs that speak to them.

“Youth involvement is critical,” she said.

The program’s coordinator also announced some developments in the way the Pennsylvania Youth Survey would be conducted in Mifflin County.

Communities that Care uses the youth survey as a way to measure what new programs should be implemented in the county to support youth.

Kammerer said sixth graders in Mifflin County School District, as well as students at Belleville Mennonite School, would be dded participants in the survey.

Kammerer said this will allow the data to be “more well-rounded.”

The coordinator continued, saying the program is working to increase outreach and speaking engagements in the community and hopes to explore evidence-based student teen outreach for mental health programs — one area that was identified as a potential risk factor for Mifflin County youth.

Communities that Care has also launched a positive messaging campaign at Mifflin County School District where students can use data from the Pennsylvania Youth Survey to create positive messages, said Susan Miriello, the program’s community outreach team leader.