Be Honest

As we close out our week with an emphasis on our second BCC core value, integrity, I would like to share a prayer attributed to the Cherokee tradition:

Oh, Great Spirit,
Help me always to speak the truth quietly,

to listen with an open mind when others speak,
and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.

Continue to be kind to yourself and to others.  These 40 days are going by quickly.  I encourage us all to be intentional each day to make positive actions and positive thoughts our way of living and being.
May a sense of God’s peace be with you and may we share it with one another.
Rev. Stacey

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College Bound

Our case management team is constantly working to seek resources for our youth. Our case managers hosted a college fair that provided useful information to our youth about college clubs, scholarships, financial aid, and admissions. Youth received giveaways and other useful information that can guide them in college choices. After the event, youth contemplated on which college they want to go to. This summer, our youth will have the opportunity to tour various college campuses in order to experience what college life is like. – Blog Post written by Nick, BCC’s Development Intern

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Core Value Award Winner: Breana Gretsky!

IMPACT drives lasting change

We seek to make lasting change in the lives of those we work with by providing services that are durable, measurable, and sustainable. We will maximize our impact by investing in staff and board development. Feedback gathered from our entire community will enhance and strengthen our programs and their outcomes.

Breana Gretsky is an exceptional teacher at the Strawbridge School. She has been a role model for her peers and has learned to create a trauma-informed classroom environment that enables our youth to thrive. Breana recently received a new student that was having a hard time transitioning into the program. Breana’s eagerness to provide the appropriate trauma-informed support played a significant role in stabilizing the youth and encouraging more positive behaviors. She understands the needs of our youth and her passion for education has allowed her to help elevate the elementary school program to a new level of expertise.

Breana, we are proud to have a teacher that is focused on making sure that our youth receive the proper support to be successful in their school environment. These daily interactions make a difference in the lives of our students here at BCC. Breana, we appreciate your hard work. Congratulations and thank you for striving to make an impact at BCC!


Congratulations Breana Gretsky! Thank you for being BCC’s exemplary ambassador of our core value: Impact!

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Core Value Award Winner: Jessica Weeg!


Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture. We, as an organization, must build trust with our program participants by being thoughtful, transparent, and committed to our decisions and promises.

Jessica Weeg is the Clinical Supervisor at our Outpatient Mental Health Center in Pasadena. Due to her clinical focus, her assistance has been needed as we move forward with designing our EHR program. Over the last few months, the review process has greatly increased its need for dedicated time. Jessica has been more than willing to be an integral part of the review process. Even with having a clinic to run and clients to see, she continues to make time to fit in multiple EHR meetings throughout the week and while keeping a positive attitude regardless of how many trials may arise within the process. Jessica has also put in time while at home to review documents to help the EHR team meet deadlines and she continues to offer valuable feedback to ensure the final product will fit the program’s needs.

Jessica, I understand that this is a huge project that takes a lot of work. I appreciate your support and contributions in helping move this forward. Congratulations!

Congratulations Jessica Weeg!  Thank you for being BCC’s exemplary ambassador of our core value:  Integrity!

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Core Value Award Winner: Tayler Baker

Listen and respond with EMPATHY

Empathy will guide our programming and culture at all levels. A supportive work and program environment means possessing a desire to know and understand others. We recognize that with empathy we will better understand what type of care and encouragement to provide.


Tayler Baker is a therapist at our Falling Waters campus. She works very closely with many of our youth and has shown herself to be a supportive role in their lives. Recently, a youth was struggling to cope after receiving news that his grandmother, who happens to be his closest relative, was in the hospital with rapidly failing health.  Tayler made herself emotionally available to help the youth process and she immediately tried to figure out a solution that would allow the youth to be transported to the hospital that was 6 hours away to visit. Unfortunately, the youth was not able to make it time before their grandmother passed. However, Tayler rearranged her schedule to take him to an overnight visit with his grandmother’s fiancé. This allowed the youth to share a moment with his family and have some closure with his grandmother’s death.

Tayler, your willingness to put the youth and his needs first during this time is appreciated. Thank you for showing empathy and being attuned to the needs of our youth. Congratulations!

Congratulations Tayler Baker! Thank you for being BCC’s exemplary ambassador of our core value: Empathy!

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Core Value Award Winner: Jessica Cole

SAFETY as a mindset

We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the safety of our community.

At BCC, we care about our kids and are always willing to go above and beyond to make sure that they are safe and feel safe. Recently in our Falling Waters location, a youth left campus without supervision for over five days and per BCC policy had to be discharged. Jessica Cole, one of our care team coordinators at our Falling Waters campus was worried about the youth being missing for this extended period, so she decided to continue searching for the youth during her personal time to make sure they were in a safe place. Jessica followed leads given by the youth’s peers and with some amazing detective work, she put clues together to get an idea of where the youth may have been located.  After completing her own investigation, she informed the local Sheriff’s office of all the leads she had, which contributed to their success in finding the youth.

It is always a wonderful thing when we can recognize a staff member for doing more than what is necessary for their job. Jessica, all it takes is for the right person to push on an issue to make things happen. I appreciate your dedication to our youth and making sure that they are safe.  Congratulations!

 Congratulations Jessica Cole! Thank you for being BCC’s exemplary ambassador of our core value: Safety!

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Centering Moments: Gratitude

Our positive action focus this week:
show gratitude.
Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. Alice Walker
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Ward
Each day this week let us look for ways to show our gratitude to God and to one another. Don’t forget to do something kind for yourself in gratitude for the gift of your life and the unique person you are.
I believe deeply that gratitude is an essential component of positive living. Gratitude is healing and transforming. It cannot be imposed; gratitude can be nurtured and modeled. Gratitude makes us more fully who God created each of us to be. It brings us
Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision
for tomorrow. Melody Beattie
The Bible records countless expressions of gratitude – too many to number – as well as the teaching from God that we are to give thanks in all circumstances.
I would like to share a personal note of gratitude to each of you through a verse of scripture. This is an expression of gratitude from the early church leader, Paul, to his mentee and teammate, Timothy:
I am grateful to God … when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. (2 Timothy 1:3, New Revised Standard Version).
Please know that I pray for our BCC team every night and every day. Our Spiritual Life team is here to support all of you – we keep you in our prayers and we give thanks for you daily. Please call on us if we can provide spiritual support for you personally
and for the young people and their families with whom you work. Shawn, Randy and I are grateful to God for the opportunity to serve.
Join with us in gratitude:
Thank you, God, for this beautiful day!
Gratefully yours,
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Centering Moments: Be Safe

At BCC, we are committed to the value of safety first and foremost. Safety is our mindset.

We always can do more to be safe and to ensure the safety of others. The more we live with a mindset of safety, the more we see opportunities to be pro-active. Safety is a basic human need. We all need to feel safe at a certain level in order to be productive.

It is imperative for us to remember that safety is necessary for a therapeutic environment (for clients as well as caregivers and support persons). The first stage of healing from trauma is safety: safety in body and spirit, safety in place and safety inter-personally.

For many of us, our various faith traditions and practices help provide us with a sense of safety.

I would like to share some selected scripture verses in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Please read on if you would like these resources. Positive regards to all.

The most ancient God is a place of safety; the eternal arms are a support. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. God is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. God is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3)

I will lie down and fall asleep in peace because you alone, God, let me live in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. God is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2)

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. (Psalm 16:9)

These verses give us comforting images of God that help us feel safe and secure in a trusting relationship with God. As appropriate, I encourage you to discuss these and other helpful images and experiences of God for creating a sense of safety.

May we work together with God’s blessing to be safe and to increase the safety of others.

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January Inspiration

Happy New Year!
Yes, I know it is the last day of the first month of the new year yet it is our first Centering Moment email of 2018.
I wanted to share a brief message of hope for all of us.

The picture above was drawn by one of our Caminos youth a couple of years ago when we were sharing in a Bible study on the theme of hope. The youth were asked to draw a picture of a symbol of hope for them. They inspired the staff with their pictures and,
more importantly, their incredible faith.

We experienced a renewal of hope on January 15 when we celebrated the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A group of BCC youth and staff participated in a Day of Service by volunteering at Glen Mar United Methodist Church. BCC hosted volunteers in
Baltimore with the same event and also received donations in WV from a community groupin honor of the holiday.

Here is a quote from Dr. King to inspire us as we move into the new year:

“If you can’t fly, then run.

If you can’t run, then walk.

If you can’t walk, then crawl, but

whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

I am grateful to keep moving forward with each of you and our entire BCC team in fulfilling our purpose of “enriching
communities, one family at a time.”

With hope and gratitude,

Rev. Stacey

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“Freely we have received, freely give”

On Monday, January 15th, our nation celebrated one of the most influential leaders in our country’s history, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the spirit of his efforts to serve others and to unite our country with love, equality, and justice, a few of our youth spent a portion of the day doing their part to make a difference in someone’s life.

Glen Mar UMC, located in Ellicott City, hosted its annual “Day of Service”, in which hundreds of youth and adults participated in a variety of community service projects that impacted youth in our local community and children around the world. Six of our male teenagers decided to take the opportunity to participate in the day of service and soon realized the joy of giving. “I didn’t know that so many people wanted to help others. It felt good being able to help”, said one youth. Our youth spent the majority of their time weighing and packaging rice packets that will be sent to families around the world, assembled health care kits, and made spiritual bracelets.

On MLK Day, our youth were able to see the value of giving, the value of caring, and the value of their greatness. As Dr. King once said, “everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”

– Mr. Shawn Elbert, Spiritual Life Coordinator


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