As I have often said the power of being in the news business is meeting new people and learning about what they do. I had the most extraordinary experience when a friend of mine took me to meet Bill Fusco and Karen Carlini who run a program that saves young people’s lives, Dynamic Youth Community Inc. (DYC).
They explained to me the group founded in 1970 is a Brooklyn-based program that helps 13- to 23-year-old drug abusers become substance free.
And they have achieved a remarkable success rate based on their unique program.
Bill explained to me that when an adolescent is referred to them a family member is required to participate in workshops weekly to support them on their road to recovery.
My friend, whose child has received services from DYC, shared with me her powerful experience meeting other parents and sharing their worries and then joy as they see their child making progress.
I was impressed by their Fallsburg, New York campus on 100 acres. There are 76 clients sent there to begin their journeys to recovery. I understand how taking a young person out of his environment can begin the intense therapy, vocational training, education and counseling that is needed to treat drug abusers.
Although I have read about the devastation of prescription drug abuse, both Bill and Karen told me it’s at epidemic proportions. Are we all on alert to the dangers in our own medicine cabinet?
They also see many clients abusing heroin.
When I visited they invited me to have lunch at their center on Coney Island Avenue where 60 outpatient clients are served and it is home to a 16-bed residential unit. The professional kitchen is manned by clients who all participate in vocational training. The delicious lunch of chicken cutlets, salad and hummus was so good I asked if I could take home the hummus they prepared. It’s good enough to be served in restaurants!
The residence floor was stunning, decorated in warm colors with plush living room furniture and a large dining table where all 16 people eat together. The living room is surrounded by a large patio with comfortable seating too. It’s the clients last stop before entering the world once again, but now drug free.
I was very impressed by the passion and caring of this unique team providing a powerful service to our community, a model that is desperately needed, as noted by their growing waiting list.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Members of Intercoiffure, an international organization of salon owners, gathered at the elegant Waldorf Astoria to share their business and professional information and celebrate the beauty industry. Lois Christie of the salon bearing her name in The Bay Terrace Shopping Center in Bayside is this highly esteemed and exclusive organization’s president. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Oribe at a special dinner that weekend.
For several terms she has led the group through tumultuous times in the economy and judging by my visit to the conference this past week, has made a major difference with her leadership.
Giving back is part of Lois’ mantra and it was through her relationships with leaders in the industry, like L’Oreal, that enabled her, with a phone call, to get pallets full of products to bring to Sandy victims last year. It was an enormous effort and thanks is owed to Cord Meyer and their Bay Terrace Shopping Center for storing the floor-toceiling, wall-to-wall pallets that helped so many people.
Lois Christie (left), received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Oribe