Pam Roberts is the July 2007 recipient of the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Making a Difference award. The award celebrates individuals and groups who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.
Pam has served as the Middle School Youth Center (MYSC) Site Leader since the fall of 2004. The MYSC, sponsored by the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division, is a free, drop-in program open after school during the school year and throughout the summer months. Over 90 youth participated throughout the school year, with approximately 35 attending on any given day and over
50 participating this summer.
Pam has been an inspiration to the MYSC staff and youth. She leads with dedication and caring and engages college volunteers in daily activities as well as after-school tutoring.
Youth who attend the MYSC value the time she spends mentoring and treating each as an individual who has value. “Pam could be doing other things this summer, but instead she spends her time helping us stay out of trouble. She gives advice and puts a lot into the youth center so that we have a fun time,” said one Northfield Middle School student.
Pam works to foster responsibility and respect in the youth she interacts with. Working past her scheduled hours, she designs entertaining, meaningful and interesting programs and activities. She is respected by the Middle School staff and appreciated for her insights about middle school youth.
“Pam was concerned about a student in the after-school program this past school year and e-mailed all the student’s teachers to let them know her concerns and ask for help on behalf of the student,” said Barb Holm, Northfield’s Middles School Guidance Counselor. “Middle school staff responded and the student received the help needed.” According to Pam’s supervisor, Susan Sanderson, Northfield Public Schools Community Services Youth Development Coordinator, the MSYC has become far more than a drop-in Center due to Pam’s positive and creative spirit.
“Pam has created an environment that is welcoming and supports the youth. She takes the time to connect with the youth one-on-one and believes they are an asset to our community,” added Sanderson. “Pam is continually looking for ways for the youth to share their gifts and talents with each other and the larger community.”