2 Collaborative staffers honored receive awards

The Collaborative is proud to announce that two staff members, Samantha Pearce and Natalie Philpot, recently won Emerging Leaders awards from the Shires Young Professional group.

This group helps young professionals and families create deep roots in the community that encourage them to stay and build a prosperous life in the Shires of Vermont. Nominees had to be between the ages of 21 and 45 years and live or work in Bennington County or the Windham region.

Danby resident Pearce started at The Collaborative during the height of the pandemic. As community epidemiologist, she is in a newly created position that is required under a federal five-year grant, Partners in Prevention. Pearce brings to The Collaborative a passion for giving back to her home community. She has a B.S. in Public Health from Rivier University and masters in Public Health from the University of New England.

Samantha Pearce, community epidemiologist

At The Collaborative Pearce collects and analyzes data to investigate health issues. She prepares public health reports, such as community assessments, program protocols and statistical reports.

Programs coordinator Philpot conducts The Collaborative’s flagship substance misuse prevention program, Refuse To Use, with more than 360 young people participating from eight schools this year. Scholars engage in five evidence-based substance misuse and asset-building courses (free from scare tactics) over the year; in return, they receive a season pass to a local ski resort.

The Collaborative

Natalie Philpot, programs coordinator

Philpot is a Manchester resident and earned her M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University. During the 2020/2021 academic year, Refuse To Use programming went completely virtual. With the impact of Covid, Philpot pivoted Collaborative programming to focus on connection, community and resilience and provided many substance misuse education workshops that focused on the solution of the internal and external developmental assets.

Philpot also was named the winner of the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation Lynne von Trapp award, on behalf of The Collaborative. This $1,000 gift is given annually to a deserving organization from the VCTF’s list of grantees, in recognition of its valuable contributions to children and youth in Vermont. It honors a staff person who displays exemplary leadership of the program.

The Collaborative has served Bennington County and western Windham and southern Windsor counties since 1999.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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