Coalition for Bedford Youth: A nonprofit volunteer organization

The Coalition for Bedford Youth is composed of Bedford youth in grades 8-12 who usually meet on a biweekly basis at the Ross A. Lurgio media center. CBY provides a safe and fun environment for youth to develop their leadership skills, and also provides a strong voice for the youth of Bedford through activities, community service and outreach. There is also a smaller CBY chapter for seventh- and eighth-graders at the Ross A. Lurgio School, whose members work on outreach activities within the Lurgio community, making it easier for them to transition into the larger CBY group when they reach high school.

CBY has its roots in the "Developmental Assets" by the Search Institute. These assets, proven through research, are positive qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring and responsible adults. They are protective characteristics that have been linked by extensive research to enhancing resistance to at-risk behaviors. The positive power of assets is evident as teens who have experienced higher levels of assets tend to do well in school, be civically engaged, are more persistent in the face of adversity, and value diversity among their peers. CBY incorporates these assets (e.g. family and school support, communication, positive peer influence, self esteem, integrity, personal power, service to others) in the meetings, and works on building these assets within youth through different types of leadership activities and community service.

With a little guidance from adults advisors, the CBY teens are given the responsibility to create, plan and execute their own events which focus on helping the community. Some of the volunteer activities include many collaborations with the Bedford Parks and Recreation Department including the Summer Cultural Series, Halloween Spooktakular, Olde Town Day kids’ dodgeball tournament, and the annual Rotary Club Races. More recently, CBY helped with the Salvation Army Warm Winter Clothing Day where CBY youth had fun assisting kids shop for winter coats, boots etc at the JC Penney store. In mid-November, CBY teens were hard at work doing a fall cleanup up of Camp Allen, a local summer camp for people with special needs and challenges. This event was generously sponsored by the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.

CBY has a rolling membership, so you can join at any time. Bedford students in grades 8-12 are welcome in the organization, regardless of which school they attend. Just show up at a meeting. CBY members are involved in many other activities such as sports, theater, music and as a result the attendance at CBY meetings and events is very flexible. The level of participation is completely up to CBY members depending on their schedules.

Please save the date for our biggest and fun-filled annual event, "Lurgio’s Got Talent Show!" from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, in the Bedford High School Theater. Featuring seventh- and eighth-grade students performing their acts live. Tickets will be sold at the door. Refreshments will be available, and a raffle that should not be missed.

To learn more about CBY visit our website, www.cbynh.org. To learn more about Search Institute, the 40 Developmental Assets and acquire ideas for helping young people build these assets, visit www.search-institute.org.