It was back in April of 2011, that Dedham Town Administrator William Keegan put out his hand and welcomed a new Director for the Dedham Youth Commission. After 39 years of service, Tom Clinton was retiring and Rob Blaney was coming on board.
After graduating from college, Rob Blaney became a youth counselor and eventually Director of the Boston-based "Upward Bound" Program - a group that helps disadvantaged students stay in school.
Since coming to Dedham, Blaney has hit the ground running. One Town Administrator said: "you can ask Rob for anything... and he`ll find a way to get it done." The Dedham Youth Commission is dedicated to providing social, educational, and recreational programs for the young people in town.
Along with fellow Youth Commission staff workers, Greg Cabral and Angela Osei-Mensah, Blaney works year round to help Dedham students plan for their future education.
In the Summer of 2011, Blaney started a program for incoming freshmen at Dedham High School, called "RISE". In just one year, the participation in RISE has doubled!
This year - with the help of a generous donation and the sponsorship of the folks from the Dedham Savings Bank - the Youth Commission reached out to the 7th and 8th grade students of the Dedham Middle School. "College Camp" is a two week program, designed to open the eyes of younger students, to the wide range of courses and careers available to them.
The group will "live" at Regis College for the entire first week, and visit other schools such as UMass, Bowdoin, and Johnson & Wales the second week.
Each day, Blaney and his staff focus on the academic end of things. With classes in Math, Science, and Essay Writing, they also include time for physical and recreational activities.
Evenings feature guest speakers and panel discussions, along with various social events.Students involved in College Camp are required to check in with the DYC staff each month of the school year, maintain good grades, and work together on a community service project.Congratulations to Rob Blaney and his staff at the Dedham Youth Commission for always "being there" for the youth of our town...