Adam Weitsman, CEO of Upstate Shredding – Weitsman Recycling, entrepreneur and philanthropist, presented a check in the amount of $2,500 to Joy Bennett, Tioga County director of probation at the Upstate Shredding Facility on Jan. 3. The donation will be used for the Probation Department’s diversion services for youth at risk.
Bennett, in her 34th year working for Tioga County, along with Family Court Supervisor Brian Cain, explained that the donation will benefit the department’s program, “Decision Points,” an evidence-based project for young people to learn decision-making and take responsibility, and in turn, set them up on a more positive path.
Bennett remarked, “The Family Court Act empowers local Probation Departments to offer diversion services,” adding, “The purpose of diversion is to allow youth to take responsibility for their behavior.”
For the youth served, and those between the ages of 14 to 17, Bennett commented that it is hoped that the young people will change positively, whether it’s as soon as the first experience, or returning after a second experience.
Bennett and Cain explained that the youth, and usually in small groups of six to eight, and who successfully complete a session, are rewarded with pizza for their participation in the program. With the generous donation made by Weitsman, Bennett mentioned that more incentives may be considered, such as rewarding youth with new sneakers for school.
Both Bennett and Cain said they are very appreciative of Weitsman’s contribution and that it will help ensure the program’s continued success.
Weitsman shared that when he was younger, he went through a program with the Broome County Probation Department, and said, “Programs like this hit home, and I am happy to contribute to this great program for at risk youth and helping to make a difference in their lives.”