“We are a teaching advocacy networking group,” said Fairfax Partnership for Youth President Steven Klass to the audience of auctioneers and supporters. “We represent a variety of people whose concerns and focus are on teens and their wellness in the community. We likewise try to present a number of educational programs that cater to the needs of young people in our community.”
On Oct. 24, the Fairfax Partnership for Youth hosted its annual silent auction fundraiser at the Park Crest Club Room in McLean, Va. The partnership hosts the event every year to raise money for its many programs to meet the needs of young people in Fairfax County.
“I’ve been on the board for two years now and we do this auction as a fundraiser every year. It’s a mainstay,” said Tania Hossain, one of the board members of the partnership.
Among the items that were up for bidding were numerous pieces of art work, unique pictures, clocks, sports memorabilia, and even a photography safari in South Africa with a stay at a bed and breakfast. As a train lover since my childhood, the item that most sparked my interest was a framed 1980s photograph taken by a passenger on an Amtrak train curving around a stretch of track with a beautiful set of mountains in the background. Unfortunately someone else wanted it more and outbid me and everyone else for it.
“The median income in Fairfax County is well over $100,000 but there are also families that don’t make that income and need help. Believe it or not, kids from wealthy families also deal with issues growing up,” said Vice-President Dr. Ralph G. Perrino, also the owner of the Northern Virginia Tutoring Service. “We’re a sounding board for issues that affect the school system and that also need citizen involvement. We’re always looking for the support of corporations who are interested in the types of things that we’re doing.”
“Some of the bigger issues and areas that we address are bullying prevention, mentorship training, and other emerging issues relevant to young people (body and hygiene issues and obesity for example),” Ms. Hossain said discussing some of issues the group has addressed.
“There are tremendous gaps and needs that must be filled and addressed,” said Mr. Klass, a veteran English teacher himself, of 34 years. “On Nov. 13 we’re hosting a symposium on bullying and violence prevention titled “Ending the Cycle of Trauma and Violence in Our Community.” Our Keynote speaker will be Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University.”
The Fairfax Partnership for Youth is a 501-C-3 agency that delivers essential community education and training, advocates for effective programs and policy development, and builds strong community partnerships to help youth thrive. For more information about the partnership visit their website at www.FairfaxYouth.org.