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Characters Unite Award Winners

Michael Arterberry

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS
NEW FAIRFIELD, CT
FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YOUTH VOICES CENTER, INC.

Michael Arterberry is the Executive Director of Youth Voices Center, Inc., an organization he founded to improve the quality of life of young people through positive youth development in a safe and supportive environment, thereby encouraging youth to become active, productive members of their families, schools and communities.

Michael also created a unique and dynamic program called Power of Peace, which is a series of workshops designed to enable young people to become skilled at conflict resolution, understand the importance of teamwork, and develop respect for and understanding of others who are different. During the approximately 30 hours of intensive workshop training, youth develop strong relationships and a sense of community that they will carry with them for years to come. Each workshop is led by trained facilitators, and teachers and staff are encouraged to participate. The program strives to allow young people to use their voices to express their concerns, fears and dreams within a safe environment, and ultimately results in schools and communities that are safer and more productive places for youth. .

Michael developed this unique and dynamic Power of Peace program based on experiences he had as a volunteer certified facilitator at the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) in Green Haven Correctional Facility. He has taken the program into several schools in the tri-state area and hopes to introduce the program to additional schools in the future.

Michael has had a long and successful career in working with youth. He began his career as a Case Worker, monitoring the care of children with foster families. He moved on to become an Independent Living Specialist, providing counseling, teaching life skills and ultimately touching the lives of hundreds of children. Michael then began working in a school system in Westchester as a Counselor. In this role, he participated in and implemented individualized service and support plans for at-risk youth and their families.

Michael's ability to reach out to, guide and encourage those around him has enabled at-risk teens to thrive in their communities. His passion for working with youth, and his enthusiasm for helping children become productive members of society, cultivated and inspired his career in youth development, and he has also formed life-long friendships.

Michael has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Iona College. He resides in New Fairfield, CT, with his wife Rachel.

Michael Arterberry