West River Valley Thrives is pleased to announce the hiring of their new Director, Steve Tavella, and Project Coordinator, Nick Plante.

As director, Steve is primarily responsible for oversight of the coalition, grant writing and grants management, and program development. Steve has a Bachelors degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Gettysburg College, and a Masters in International Administration from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. Steve has been a resident of the West River Valley for over 32 years, raising his daughter in Brattleboro. He has worked, lived, and traveled in over 50 countries and 6 continents, including longer-term stints in Afghanistan, Rakhine State Myanmar, The Republic of Georgia, Egypt, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands, working with displaced persons, communities in distress, and youth. Steve feels it is imperative to find positive influences in our young people’s lives and to create healthy lifestyles. “We must better understand substance abuse issues in our communities, and educate and support our younger generations to live healthy, substance-free lives.” Steve is currently a resident of Dummerston, VT.

As coordinator, Nick overseas the majority of the organization’s youth programming, including the Leland & Gray Above the Influence (ATI) group, which supports West River’s mission to engage youth in developing healthy lifestyles, and educating them to the risks of substance use. Nick holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Clarion University, is a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology. He has co-authored several academic papers on self-esteem, anxiety, well-being and stress, and proxemics. Having previously worked in treatment as a Mental Health Worker at Clarion Psychiatric Center and Brattleboro Retreat, he is excited to be a part of a community effort to prevent substance abuse and encourage healthy living. Nick is currently a resident of Brattleboro, VT.

For more information, questions, or volunteer opportunities, contact Steve at wrvtdirector@gmail.com, Nick at wrvthrives@gmail.com, or call 802-365-4700. WRVT is located at the Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School.

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