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Mentor USA Welcomes Warren Street Academy, Hudson, NY, as a partner in prevention

Feb. 16, 2017


HUDSON, NY—Mentor Foundation is pleased to welcome Warren Street Academy to its peer-to-peer drug prevention program in Columbia County, NY.  We'll kick off our collaboration by training Youth Ambassadors at the school to become leaders among their peers promoting healthy drug free life choices and taking on school wide change projects. 

Warren Street Academy, part of Berkshire Union Free School District, is an alternative school that provides at-risk students with non-traditional school and job options.  This includes paid work experiences and workforce development, which combine classroom learning with real-world skills.  

“Having paid work experience creates a lot of great things that [often] haven’t happened before in a kid’s life . . . like how to get and maintain a job,” said Dan Kalbfliesh, principal of Warren Street Academy.

The Academy supports youth by working with them one-on-one, to help them perform better in school and at their jobs. The program makes sure that youth have all the tools they need to get and keep a job.

“We take the time because we’re small enough to be able to go over the questions with them,” Kalbfliesh said.

When at-risk kids are successful outside of school, they will be successful in school."

- Dan Kalbfliesh, Warren Street Academy principal

Mentor Foundation USA’s Manager of Programs and Youth Development, Sandra Goldmeer, will be meeting with students in the school’s senior seminar class, taught by Robert Flannigan.  These students will become Youth Ambassadors, and undergo leadership, social media and advocacy training.  The students will then be provided with the means and opportunity to create change projects to improve the school culture, based on issues identified by the students themselves.   

Creating student success is in line with not only the school’s mission, but that of Mentor Foundation USA, which works to prevent drug abuse among youth, while helping them realize their potential.

Kalbfleish said he is excited by the new partnership with Mentor. 

Believing in the students, showing support even when they fall down and having a high level of expectation is a few of the key factors of what makes the Warren Street Academy successful.”

- Dan Kalbfliesh

Additionally, collaborating with our many community partners to deeper embed a sense of success and preserving through adversity helps our students become successful well beyond high school.  

“We welcome this opportunity for our students to develop skills to become leaders,” Kalbfleish added.

Programming with Warren Street Academy will begin in early March with leadership training, followed by change project development later in the year.

by Sandra Goldmeer

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