Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All in a Day's Work

The challenge of working a bullying case.

As we set out to launch a bullying prevention agency in 2006, it became clear- very early on-that dealing with bullying issues is quite the task. Dr. Daniel Olweus, a pioneer in bullying research and its effects,  was right in concluding that it takes effort by the students, school, family and community to eradicate bullying (Olweus, 1940).

There are so many possible variables that impact bullying,  including but not limited to, family and school dynamics  that may comprise the details of a "bullying case".  For example, there is the fallout of an old relationship where students values, developmental needs and lifestyles may change; the newly arrived student facing the formidable task of a new culture; or the school climate void of anti-bullying tools. 

It does not end there.  Other variables can become catalysts that create a bully-victim situation. Students feeling as though they are being left behind by the academic system and it's many demands, the student who was  identified by a bully and became the victim. Let's also consider the students caught in family storms, such as divorce, abuse,  or other traumatic experiences. The possibilities are sometimes endless. 

In light of the many issues potentially brimming under the surface, where does an agency like Blueskies begin? A careful gauging of the situation is  mandatory. Sometimes our team feels like CSI Miami.  That's is correct!  

Dissecting one case at a time, one school at a time, and one event at a time. Sorting out the variables, putting immediate interventions in the school, home or community, and laying out a short, and long term plan to plan that provides the student with reprieve and intervention needed, finally filing with the necessary empowerment and education, and the schools with  needed professional support and collaboration to restore harmony and academic health. All in a day's work!

Be looking for more of Blueskies "All in a Day's Work" detailing the bullying prevention process.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good-Bye, Nick!

Over the past semester, we've had the privilege of having a student from Endicott College (our president and office manager's alma mater). Nick had the charge of fortifying our mentor program with an organized resource for our incoming mentors and interns. He presented his final work today and blew us away with the amount of time and excellence he put into the resource. 

Nick has been a great asset to our team in the short time he's been here and the students he has mentored appreciated their new "friend" and the time he put into their lives. 

Thank you, Nick! We hope this isn't the last we've seen of you at Blueskies Wellness!
Nick with our founder and President, Belen Godwin LCSW, PhDC 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Recap: Presenting and Exhibiting at Youth at Risk Conference 2013 (6.5.13)

Blueskies Wellness was honored to be a part of the 13th annual Youth At Risk conference held on Wednesday 6/5 at Endicott College.  In addition to being a featured exhibitor, we hosted our own breakout session, "Bystander: Know Your Power”, presented by BSW founder Belen Godwin, LCSW/PhDC. We covered the research behind the Bystander Effect phenomenon, as well as 5 practical ways individuals can “step up, not out!” (pictured below). We reminded attendees that bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, 57% of the time, when someone intervenes on behalf of the victim.
[Breakout Session Handout]

              Created by the Essex County Community Foundation, YAR brought together over 40   nonprofit organizations and industry vendors that provide unique services and resources to those who serve and care for youth.  Nearly 700 attendees included those who work with and care for youth in a variety of settings (family, community, school, religious, healthcare, human services, recreational, and legal.) Keynote speaker Michael Thompson, PhD spoke about the challenges boys now face with the current school system, and showed how some teachers are and principals are learning to better balance academics and hands-on learning.
It truly was an honor to be invited to participate in this fantastic collaboration and share the unique opportunity to network with our peers and partner  with those who serve our most vulnerable youth.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Recap: Blueskies 2013 Spring Wine Tasting Fundraiser 5.9.13

We were thrilled to see so many of you come out to Salvatore's Restaurant (Lawrence)  last week  and support our 2013 Spring Fundraiser! The evening included live music, delicious Italian cuisine, an "Around the World" tasting of 7 wines, and exciting raffles which raised additional support for our bullying prevention and mental health counseling efforts.

After opening remarks from BSW's president and founder, Belen Godwin, we kicked off the evening with a special wine tasting. Led by Maia Gosselin, founder of Sip Wine Education, we were introduced to an assortment of red and white wine from around the globe. We all recieved helpful handouts to keep track of what we learned and what we liked, and we had opportunity to ask questions and get recommendations. 

Looking around the room, it was clear that guests enjoyed networking with one another and participating in the tasting and raffle. Raffle winners took home various baskets including beer (Samuel Adams and Harpoon), wine (featured in the tasting!), restaurant and gas cards, JR Hair Studio, and the New England Aquarium! 

We were delighted to have Eastern Bank as our Silver Sponsor. They are doing amazing things to support their local communities through their own Charitable Foundation, and we were grateful to gain their support for this special evening!

Have a look at some of the evening's snapshots...and thank you to all who came out to support Blueskies! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Strive To Thrive with Blueskies - Part 1

Our founder - Belen Godwin (left) with volunteer, Cecilia Moreno

As many of you know, October is Bullying Awareness month. This past Friday, October 19th, we held our Strive to Thrive Expo at the Greater Lawrence Technical School. Over 150 families flooded into the school cafeteria to help support the end to the bullying epidemic. Personally, I was so pleased to see so many families come out and join us in the fight to end bullying. It was wonderful to see the community come together to help stop bullying.
Miss Massachsettes Latina U.S. 2011 and 4th runner up Miss Dominican Republic U.S. 2012 Maria Cristina Payano
Miss Massachusetts 2012

The event was hosted by Maria Cristina Payano, Miss Massachusetts Latina U.S. 2011 and 4th runner up Miss Dominican Republic U.S. 2012. Miss Massachusetts 2012, Taylor Kinzler, was another special guest that evening. The Lowell Spinners Mascot, Canaligator, was also there to greet the guests. All three of these special guests did a phenomenal job Friday evening! I enjoyed seeing Maria Cristina Payano and Taylor Kinzler take photographs with our guests and sign autographs. The girls were so happy to see these wonderful role models!

Canaligator was very popular that night! 

Music was provided by DJ Reddy and JAM’N 94.5 DJ Sammy Smoove. They both did a fabulous job providing the latest tunes for the evening. Dancers from the Center for Performing Arts took the dance floor to show off some moves! 

I don't think I've ever seen such young kids break dance this well! 

Other spectacular performances that evening were contributed by Canal St. Gym, Master Shin’s, and Acting Out! I really enjoyed the boxers from Canal St. Gym, as they demonstrated strength and power to their viewers. Children at Master Shin’s demonstrated the same qualities after breaking chunks of wood with their hands and feet. The actors and actresses of Acting Out had me chuckling at their comical skit that successfully delivered an important message to the audience about bullying.

Master Shin's students were awe inspiring! 
Master Shin's Martial Arts School showed what they've learned.

They were amazing!

We were wowed and wowed again by these skilled young kids from the Center for Performing Arts

Many vendors were present at the event including Orange Leaf, Neighborhood Health Plan, Cambridge College, Head Start, St. John’s Prep, Lincoln Technical Institute, and many more!

Miss Massachusetts 2012 - Taylor Kinzler led us all in an anti-bullying pledge. 
Before the night was over, Miss Massachusetts 2012, Taylor Kinzler led all of us in an anti-bullying pledge. 

We would like to thank everyone that came out and contributed to the event. We hope to have many other events in the future to help support this cause!

Stay tuned for a few more highlights from the evening! 

Lauren Delaney
Case Manager
Blueskies Wellness, Inc.
45 Osgood St. 
Methuen, MA

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Personal Power and 1 Year of Success!

Happy Birthday Blueskies! 

We are extremely excited to be able to share this year with all of you. A year ago today, Blueskies opened its first office. The techniques and strategies our Founder had been using for over 25 years finally focused into one goal: ending bullying and creating safe environments. It's a big goal but we're up to the challenge. We'd like to thank everybody who has had a part in helping Blueskies grow to this point and to make it to our one year! 

Needless to say, a lot has been going on recently at Blueskies. One of our most important activities this summer has been our Empowerment Group. Our Empowerment Group focused on empowering each of our group members and was available for children and teens. Each session spanned 6 weeks and met every Tuesday. We are currently finishing our second and last session for the summer. 

We all have our own personal power... 

Throughout the summer Blueskies has been offering an Empowerment Group for children and teens. The topics discussed are personal power, perseverance, and bullying survival strategies. The participants learned what personal power was, and how each of them has the ability to access that power. They were introduced to bullying prevention strategies, and thought critically about different bullying situations. 

We define personal power as the ability to be aware of yourself, your emotions, and understanding that you can make decisions which can impact your well-being in both positive and negative ways. Our group discussed ways we give up our personal power as well as ways we hold onto our personal power. 

You give up personal power when you:

  • Don't think for yourself
  • Are not assertive
  • Isolate yourself

You hold onto your personal power when you:

  • Think before making decisions
  • Surround yourself with people who support you
  • Take control of your situation by including people you trust to help you


Guest speaker, Carlos Avellan is a Kenpo instructor in Lawrence, MA. He spoke to the group about confidence. 

"You have the right to be yourself no matter what anybody else thinks or says. Everyone is unique and important because they are different."

"Know that your difference is what makes you special and that you should be confident about that. Present yourself in a confident way. The way you speak and the way you look will present confidence. Shoulders back, look straight ahead instead of to the ground." 

"Any skills you have, do them to your best ability and be proud of it! Since there is nobody else like you, be the best at being you!"

"There will always be people trying to put you down or hold you back, but you have the power to keep doing your best and moving on."

One of the best examples of personal power is a man named Nick Vujicic who was born without arms or legs. Our group listened to excerpts of his presentations and discussed what we could learn from him. View a video of Nick here. Check out Nick's website Life Without Limbs.

Some of the lessons they took from Nick's life were: 

"Nothing can stop you from being the best you can be. If you fall, stand up again!"

Take Home Power

I bet you were wondering what these power take-home boxes were for! Each box personified one group member's personal power. They wrote down what personal power now meant to them and filled their own boxes with their ideas of power. 

Here are some of the things they wrote down:

  • Confidence
  • Doing well in school
  • Standing back up when you fall down
  • Being proud of who you are
  • Making the right decisions
  • Talking to someone older than you
  • Choosing the right friends

We added a few tips to start the new school year:

  • Talk to new people and make friends
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help from people you trust
  • Never be alone
  • Walk with your shoulder's back 
  • Look straight ahead when you're walking 

So what are you going to do to hold onto your personal power?

Priscilla B.
Director of Administration
Blueskies Wellness, Inc.
45 Osgood Street
Methuen, MA 01844

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Who is Blueskies?

Hello everyone,

If you don't know who we are, I'd like to take a moment to introduce us. Blueskies Wellness, Inc. is a non-profit bullying prevention agency which opened on August 29th, 2011. We are all about healthy change. Blueskies Wellness, Inc. believes that there needs to be a huge change in our attitudes, our crisis management, and our behavior when it comes to deal with bullying in and out of schools. We believe this is possible because we help make these changes every day. Our main focus is to end bullying by teaching children, teachers, families, administrators, and other professionals how to manage and reduce bullying. We believe that every child has a right to learn in a safe and distraction-free environment. By no means is it okay for a child to avoid going to school because he or she fears for her safety.

Bullying stems from a perceived imbalance of power. We work to eradicate that imbalance. Blueskies offers a variety of options including but not limited to; workshops, training, individual counseling, consulting, parent support groups, and mentoring.

Blueskies pride's itself in partnering with the community and existing programs to provide the best and most comprehensive bullying prevention services available. We understand that it is imperative to work together to give each child, each person the kind of guidance and care they deserve.


In August of 2011, Blueskies opened up an office in Lawrence, MA. There, we began to work at changing the lives of students that were too afraid to go to school. In March of 2012 we moved our headquarters to Methuen, but our presence in Lawrence remains. We have had several events allowing the community to get to know us such as a Provider's Harvest Mixer in late October, several fundraisers in Salem, NH and Haverhill, MA, and an Open House event here in our Methuen office in late April.

Harvest Provider's Mixer
 Marta Velez (left) accepts our gratitude for the work Lawrence Council on Aging has been doing for over 50 years. Belen Godwin, founder of Blueskies Wellness, Inc. (right) presented her with a commemorative plaque.

Harvest Provider's Mixer
The winners of our silent auction.

April Open House
Ribbon cutting ceremony care of Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce. Special guest: Methuen Mayor, Steve Zani.

April Open House
Mother and daughter team spearheading Blueskies Wellness, Inc. 
Priscilla Brito (left) and Belen Godwin (founder) 

April Open House
Our guests stopped to sign in and enter their names in our raffles. 

We are excited to keep working in the summer and are continuing to provide workshops and training for teachers and individuals working with youth through summer camps and youth organizations and clubs. Look forward to our coming events and our presence in the community through expositions and fairs!

Together we can end bullying and create safe environments one child, family, school, and community at a time.

Priscilla B.
Director of Administration
Blueskies Wellness, Inc.
45 Osgood Street
Methuen, MA 01844