Board Members Named to Thriving Youth Task Force, James Palmieri and Shelly Skoglund Named Co-Chairs

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Darien Police Detective James Palmieri will be joining the Thriving Youth Task Force (TYTF) as the community co-chair for 2019-2020.

— an announcement from the Thriving Youth Task Force

Palmieri, the first school resource officer for Darien High School, has shown unparalleled commitment to Darien’s youth since joining the force a decade ago.

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Detective James Palmieri

He is currently a youth detective for the Darien Police Department, where he spearheaded the implementation of a Juvenile Review Board and runs programs which focus on juvenile education, safety and enforcement.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson lauded the appointment, saying “Having Detective James Palmieri join the Thriving Youth Task Force as co-chair along with Shelly Skoglund and the entire TYTF leadership team underscores the dedication our law enforcement and community at large has to supporting the wellbeing of our children.

“As Darien’s first Darien High School SRO, James brings a unique perspective to his new role helping to lead efforts to build resilience, help kids make smart and healthy decisions and develop the skills needed to navigate life.”

The TYTF, created in 2008 under the leadership of the Community Fund of Darien, brings together leadership from the town, the public schools, parent organizations and social service organizations to develop strategies and programs that promote and empower positive youth development.

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Shelly Skoglund, left, speaking at a public hearing.

Every three years, the TYTF surveys Darien 7th to 12th grade students about their developmental assets (the building blocks of healthy development) and involvement with risky behavior, presenting results to parents and the town.

The TYTF members have provided insight and guidance for The Community Fund’s nationally recognized “06820” campaign to reduce binge drinking among adolescents in Darien.

Susan Marks

Selectman Susan Marks (at the 2015 town fireworks display)

James Palmieri will join Shelly Skoglund as co-chair of the TYTF Executive Board. Shelly is a member of The Community Fund of Darien’s Board of Directors and has a long history of involvement and leadership in Darien PTOs, including chairing the Royle PTO and the Council of Darien School Parents. Shelly is also co-chair of the Community Fund’s Human Services Planning Council.

New for 2019/2020 is the addition of several other Darien community members who will bring expertise to the TYTF and serve on the Executive Board:

Image from Darien TV79 video, Feb. 2, 2016 hearing

Marli Hayes, speaking at a Board of Education public hearing in February 2016.

Susan Marks, who currently serves on the Board of Selectmen and has volunteered in Darien for many years on school PTOs, the CDSP and many other committees, will serve as the vice chair.

Marli Hayes, membership and community outreach Manager of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk, and Janice Marzano, program director of the Depot Youth Center, will serve as co-chairs of the Programming Committee.

Georgette Harrison

Photo from Child Guidance Center

Georgette Harrison

—Georgette Harrison, LPC, director of clinical and community partnerships for Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, will serve as a subject matter expert for the task force.

Finally, Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program director at the Community Fund of Darien, will manage the “06820” campaign and the Connecticut Strategic Prevention Framework Coalition (CSC) Initiative Prevention Corps grant to reduce binge drinking among teens.

The Community Fund of Darien and the TYTF are extraordinarily grateful to the Darien Police Department and the organizations who are represented for their commitment to the youth of Darien.

Emily Larkin, director of the Thriving Youth Initiative of the Community Fund of Darien

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