Youth Services

News and Events


A Newton Performance on the Opioid Epidemic and Recovery

“End of the Line” performed by Improbable Players, March 4th, 7pm, Newton North HS Little Theatre.

“It’s one thing to tell people, ‘Here is what happens if you use drugs, you need to refuse and if you are struggling you should ask for help.’ It’s a very different thing to actually model that behavior, to show people what the beginning of addiction looks like and how to make different choices,” said Andy Short, Improbable Players co-director. Improbable Players is an innovative theater group based in Watertown comprised of actors in recovery. They will be performing The End of the Line in a free performance at Newton North High School on March 4th. The End of the Line chronicles the lives of four characters struggling with opioid dependence based on many interviews with people in recovery.


When the play was first written and performed in 2014 the actors would ask their audiences to imagine losing two classrooms full of students every day, based on fatal overdose statistics at that time. In 2019 they have to ask audiences to imagine losing ten classrooms of students a day. “Our performances drive home these messages by illustrating what this looks like in real life, using people who themselves are in recovery. That’s powerful in a very different way that doesn’t preach but stays with you as an audience member,” Short added.


This evening program for all adults and young people ages 12 and older is an opportunity to come together as a community, to learn about the risks of addiction and the paths to recovery. The 45-minute play is followed by a 15-minute audience question and answer session. The Improbable Players performed “End of the Line” for Newton North High School students February 12. The additional community performance allows parents to engage with their kids around this topic. Adults, parents and teens are all welcome. The community program is sponsored by The Rebecca Pomroy Foundation and Newton PATH, Newton’s interdisciplinary substance use prevention working group. For more information and to reserve free tickets (suggested but not required) please go to:


Questions? Call the Health and Human Services Department at 617-796-1420.


Youth Commission - Monthly Meetings!

Interested in meeting other teens, discussing issues that impact youth city-wide, and planning teen-focused events, workshops, and other leadership activities? Join the Newton Youth Commission!


We are seeking interested youth in grades 9-12 to join the Youth Commission Advisory Board for the 2018-2019 school year. We are also seeking adults who are interested in serving on the Advisory Board. For more information, please email Quinn Etchie, Director of Youth Services at


Meetings are held monthly on Wednesday evenings (September - June) from 5-6:30 in Newton City Hall.


Meeting Dates for 2018-2019 School Year:

Wednesday, March 13th – Room 211, Newton City Hall, 5-6:30pm

Wednesday, April 10th – Room 211, Newton City Hall, 5-6:30pm

Wednesday, May 15th – Room 211, Newton City Hall, 5-6:30pm

Wednesday, June 12th – Room 211, Newton City Hall, 5-6:30pm
**Post Graduation**

This fall, the Newton Youth Commission is working to survey Newton teens regarding their mental health and stress in and out of school and to determine the ways in which they cope with stress in those situations. 

If you are a teen looking for some helpful resources for stress management or are looking for support dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, here are some helpful resources: 

Samaritans - Suicide Prevention and Support

William James Interface - Teen Resource Page

Headspace - Mindfulness and Meditation

Calm - Meditation Techniques (Great for sleep, short guided meditations, and more!)

Additionally, your guidance counselors, social workers, and teachers at school are fantastic resources!

Happiness Workshop

This past fall, we piloted a Happiness Workshop for Newton high school students based on the book Happier, by Tal Ben-Shahur, professor at Harvard University. We know Newton students are stressed out and worried about the future, and we hoped to help them learn  some new strategies to identify parts of their lives that bring them value and joy and skills to make more time for those people and activities.            


We'd also like to provide students with a sampling of resources to use for meditation, mindfulness, stress-relief, and happiness boosting. Check out our Happiness Workshop Resource Guide to find recommendations for apps, books, and websites!


The Monologue Project: Voices of Color


The Monologue Project is a collaborative work written and performed by Newton High School students of color. Supported by Newton Theatre Company and Newton Youth Services, this event completed its second year in June 2018,  bringing a diverse group of Newton High School students together to tell their stories. All student work was published in a book, now available to the public in PDF format online here, as well as at the Newton Public Library and other locations around the city.


This year, in 2018, students also collaborated with a local artist, Lakshmi Kadambi, to create artwork that served as the backdrop for the show. (See photos below)


You can view the 2018 performance and Q&A with our students on YouTube here.


The 2017 performance is also available for viewing on YouTube and can be found here.



What's in Your Medicine Cabinet?: Help Be a Part of The Solution to the Opioid Epidemic!

Misuse of prescription drugs is a common way for teens and adults to start down the road of addiction. The most typical place young people get access to prescription drugs is their home medicine cabinet. A few simple steps can have a significant impact on limiting unsafe access to these powerful drugs. For more information on where to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription (or over the counter medication) click here.


Wondering About Weed? Myths, Facts, and Marijuana in Newton

This free program, sponsored by Newton's Health and Human Services department, takes place on Wednesday, November 28th, 6:30 - 8pm. 


Mayor Ruthanne Fuller will introduce local experts Dr. Kevin Hill, addiction psychiatrist, cannabis researcher and author, and Dr. Nicole Danforth, child and adolescent psychologist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. Each will share myths and facts about the science of marijuana, health risks and benefits, information on adolescents and the developing brain, and adult recreational and medical use. Dr. Hill and Dr. Danforth will be joined by Dr. Elizabeth Booma, interim Chief of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry at Newton Wellesley, who will facilitate an audience Q&A. Whether you're an adult considering giving legal marijuana a try, a parent worried about preventing teen use, or just curious, this event is for you. Click here for the full flyer.


Teen Employment and Volunteer Opportunities

For more information about our internship program, visit our page here.


We will begin accepting applications for Summer 2019 in early December. However, if you are still looking for an internship or volunteer opportunity right now, there are many ways to connect with businesses and organizations. If there's a certain interest or skill that you would like to explore, try reaching out to a local business or organization with a phone call or a professional email. Many local businesses are interested in having short term interns.


Take some time to identify a specific staff person (Human Resources is a good place to start!) and introduce yourself. Feel free to ask if they are in need of an intern or if they could use some volunteer help for a short term project.


We in Youth Services are available to help you work on the right language to use if you have questions about this, so please feel free to contact us. Additionally, before you agree to work in any business or help out anywhere, make sure it's cleared with your parents and that it is a safe environment. We do background checks on all mentors we use in our program, and we want you to be safe out there if you find something on your own.


In addition, here are some related programs and volunteer opportunities that we highly recommend!


Newton Community Farm

The Newton Community Farm is a non-profit community farm that provides locally grown produce to Newton Farmers' Markets, local food pantries and their own farm stand. Opportunities for volunteering include joining the Field Crew, assisting as an Event Organizers and helping with Communications.


To volunteer, send an email to and note your name, interest, and information about yourself relevant to the work you are interested in doing.


More volunteer information via Newton Community Farm's Website HERE


Newton Food Pantry

The Newton Food Pantry provides food and personal care products for over 650 Newton residents. The Food Pantry is run entirely by volunteers. There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, including stocking shelves, making home deliveries and assisting with composting.


To connect with Newton Food Pantry, visit their website HERE

More Resources



Center For Civic Engagement @ Newton North


The Center for Civic Engagement seeks to provide opportunities for Newton students to participate in community service, civics, and leadership. Visit CCE's website HERE to learn more or visit them on Facebook.


Help Around Town                        

Help Around Town is a free community job board designed for youth. Register at to find flexible local jobs such as babysitting, running errands, and yard work.                                                


Please feel free to contact Quinn Etchie, Youth Services Director at with any questions about Summer Opportunities, or visit our Middle School Summer Resource Guide for more ideas!

Youth Resources Quick Links

Newton Cares - Suicide Prevention

Health and Human Services

Newton Public Schools

Riverside Emergency Youth Services

William James Project Interface Referral Service

Newton PATH - Opioid Prevention

Newton Police

Parks and Recreation

Newton Free Library

Mayor's Office


Stay In Touch With Us

Director of Youth Services
Quinn E. Etchie

1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton Centre, MA 02459 
Phone: (617) 796-1436
Fax: (617) 559-7063



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