Second Growth‘s mission begins with the overarching goal of reducing substance misuse and violence for adolescents. This organization provides clinical counseling in their offices, and trainings, group support, and prevention education in local schools and community settings. The emphasis is on developing resiliency skills to help area youth safely navigate adolescence.
Founded in August 2000, the nonprofit agency is located in Wilder, Vermont, and serves a broad region of the Upper Valley. Second Growth’s Executive Director, Heidi Postupack, said recently, “We often see that teenagers and young adults do not have access to essential treatment and recovery services. We strive to be that resource by offering programs designed to meet their needs and support their growth, regardless of their ability to pay for these programs.” Second Growth offers youth programs focused on developing leadership skills, bullying prevention, relationship building, and substance misuse prevention, among other offerings. Second Growth has grown steadily since 2000, increasing the number of licensed clinical staff and school-based counselors who are further able to support adolescents in need.
“Second Growth’s primary mission is to offer services that provide local youth with a good start in life,” said Postupack.
Second Growth’s current initiatives include a series of summer camps designed to support and reinforce leadership, resilience, communication, and teamwork. During June, July, and August, they offered two arts-based camps and two sports-based camps which appeal to youth with different interests and skills. Postupack says, “Children have had a really tough year and a half, and our number one concern right now is their mental health. These camps have such a positive and lasting effect on their outlook.” During the camps, teens are able to develop resilience and self-assurance through fun activities and experiential learning.
Mascoma Bank is a proud supporter of Second Growth’s mission and initiatives. In 2020, Second Growth saw increasing needs for support in the face of COVID-19’s impact on children’s mental health. “Mascoma Bank was quick to approve grants amidst a pandemic; they were responsive, and very gracious. In our community, we all took care of each other, and that was a great experience,” said a grateful Postupack.