Chester honors Northern Children’s Services with “Outstanding Civic Service” Proclamation

When Widener University, Northern Children’s Services and the City of Chester teamed up to plan and create the 3-Day Wellness & Resiliency Symposium, it was hard to expect what the turnout would be, considering it had never been done before.  Fortunately, the symposium exceeded all expectations and left a lasting impression on the Chester community.  So much so that Mayor John Linder and the Council Members of the City of Chester presented a Proclamation to the organization for their “Outstanding Civic Service” and named the month of May, “Mental Health Awareness Month.”

“We led the charge to have the month of May recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month and partnered with the Commissioner of Health and Dr. Sanjay Nath, Associate Dean of Psychology (at Widener University) to bring the symposium to fruition and help the community. This is very distinguished honor,” Mrs. LaTanya Wood El, Chief Program Officer of Northern Children’s Services, stated.

To learn more about the 3-Day symposium, the distinguished leaders who presented and the positive affect it had on the Chester community and all those that attended, please click here.

A vision to take on Chester  Proclamation1

As crime rates continued to climb to epidemic proportions and the Chester school district suffered becoming one of the worst in Pennsylvania, Mr. Lavallias had a vision to bring the mission of Northern Children’s Services to the Chester community.  With this ambitious vision, Mr. Lavallias hoped to become a staple in the community and be a key aspect in the positive change that was yet to come.

For the past year, a team of dedicated individuals worked together to bring this vision to fruition, including NCS Representative, Asher Kemp, LaTanya Wood El, Chief Program Officer, Dr. Varsha Reddy, Director of BHRS and Commissioner Ieasa Nichols just to name a few.  Within just one year, Northern Children’s Services was able to team up with surrounding organizations and bring their mission to life.  The 3-Day Wellness & Resiliency Symposium was just one example of this goal to team up with surrounding organizations and acknowledge head on the mental health, behavioral health and child welfare needs of the community. 

A distinguished honor

Asher Kemp and LaTonya Wood El, Chief Program Officer, accepted the award on behalf of CEO and President of Northern Children’s Services and Chairman of Tabor Northern Community Partners, Tracey Lavallias, on June 25, 2014.  Both Kemp and El have been instrumental in bringing Northern Children’s Services to the Chester community and were vital components in making sure the first ever symposium was a success.

“It shows the commitment of the staff and leadership of the organization to bring the awareness of mental health to the community.  It shows Northern Children’s Services is willing to push the envelope regarding mental health services and it shows the agency is willing to work with other organizations to share in the same commitment that they have,” Mr. Kemp explained.

On Wednesday July 16, 2014, Asher Kemp presented to Mr. Lavallias and the staff of Northern Children’s Services, many of whom were directly involved with the Chester Symposium, with the Proclamation for “Outstanding Civic Service.”   It was a testament to the entire staff of Northern Children’s Services that their dedication and tireless work serving the Philadelphia and Chester community is indeed making an impact.

“This proclamation is extremely heartwarming.  It is reflective of our commitment to the city of Chester.  Together we have made tremendous strides.  However, we know that our work is incomplete.  As a result, we have a renewed sense of vigor, to continue making a difference in the lives of children and families of Chester,” Mr. Lavallias said.

While this was just one step in improving the Chester community, it was a significant one.  Northern Children’s Services looks forward to building upon this relationship with the City of Chester and Widener University as they continue to serve the vital needs of the children and families in this community.

To view the Proclamation presented to Northern Children’s Services, we encourage you to click here. 

To learn more about the work that Northern Children’s Services is doing in Chester, click here. 


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