Youth Creating Solutions

Peer Advocates

Peer Advocates is a 2-part program that trains willing and qualified high school applicants to listen to and to be resources for their peers.

Peer Helpers

Peer Helpers is for students at Polson and R.H. Brown Middle Schools who are considered trustworthy and helpful to their peers.


Allies is a 6th grade leadership program for students who want to make a positive change at Brown Middle School through awareness campaigns and serving as role models for their peers. Students are chosen by their teachers. For more information please contact Peg Butler (203) 245-5654.

Mentoring Matters

Mentoring Matters is a program that matches 5th and 6th graders with highly-motivated, well qualified high school students to provide guidance and positive role modeling. Within the bounds of this positive peer relationship and through mutuality of experience, all young people are given further opportunity to thrive and expand their horizons. Mentoring Matters meets every Monday at Brown Middle School from 2:50 - 4:15 p.m. A Madison Youth and Family Services staff member supervise all meetings. For further information email/phone Melissa Balletto at (203) 245-5657.


ROAR is a youth group for 7th and 8th graders, that serves as an affiliate of MADE in Madison.  Like its high school equivalent, LEAD, ROAR will focus on building leadership skills and creating long lasting changes in the school, and community.

ROAR members will have a chance to work on skill building, education, collaboration, media, policy change, and spreading positive messages throughout the community.
ROAR members will also have a chance to interact with the LEAD students from Hand as well as other students from across the state at various conferences and events. 

Safe Rides 
The Safe Rides Program has currently suspended its operations until further notice,  there will be no weekend shifts.


Perspectives is a cross-age, student-to-student program developed by an interracial, interfaith group of high school teens to address the ways in which hateful language is used to hurt people. Today Perspectives has developed into a group that discusses current and relevant events as they pertain to high school teen's everyday lives. The group also puts on two performances at the Polson Middle school to address hate language as well as the transition to high school. For further information, contact Derek Cornwell at (203) 245-5656, or by email.

Girls' Leadership Group

Girls' Leadership Group meets every Monday after school until 3:30 p.m. at Polson Middle School from November through May. This program aims to promote positive self-esteem, body image and good decision making skills while having fun and meeting new people in a safe and supportive environment. Interested 7th and 8th grade girls are invited to an informational meeting in the late fall. Please contact Melissa Balletto at (203) 245-5657 with any questions or concerns.

Boys' Council, Brown Middle School

This club offered at Brown Middle School by Madison Youth and Family Services will serve 5th and 6th grade boys in a manner that will provide them with skills that will help them in school, sports, and home life. These skills should lay the foundation to their maturity into respected young males within their schools and community.

Interested 5th and 6th grade boys will provided an application form, which can be found on our lobby table or obtained from one of our school counselors at Brown or from the MYFS website. Parents should complete the registration form and return it to Brown School main office by Friday, September 30, 2016. This club will meet on Thursday’s after school from 3pm-4pm, starting October 6th. This 10-week program is based off of the One Circle Foundation’s The Council, which is a strength-based, group approach, to promote healthy development for boys and young men. Below are the different topics we will cover throughout the fall.  Contact Derek Cornwall with any questions.

Gender and Sexualilties Program

Dedicated to providing a forum for confidential conversations about a variety of issues including homophobia, family, sexual identity, how to support friends, where to find information, and raise awareness of issues faced by members of the LGBTQ+community.  For further information, email Erin Corbett

W.O.W. (Women of the World)

This is a high school girls group that provides a safe environment to talk about current events, issues that girls face daily.  Email Melissa Balletto if interested.


This is the youth version of M.A.D.E.  This club focuses on reducing the amount of stress, anxiety, and depression all around DHHS.  We try to use creative methods to accomplish these goals and foster a positive school climate.  Email Erin Corbett or Derek Cornwell if interested.

Juvenile Review Board

This group exists under the auspices of Madison Police Services and has representatives from various other local agencies. Juvenile offenders may accept an alternative to the court process designed by the Juvenile Review Board and coordinated by Madison Youth and Family Services. Please call Derek Cornwell for more information (203) 245-5656.