Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse (NECASA) announced the winners of the regional Volunteer with Youth Award and the Judith Nilan Award for Community Service to Youth.
The 2015 recipient of the Volunteer with Youth Award is Allan Rawson. Allan is a resident of Putnam and is being recognized for his work in the development of three soccer fields in Canterbury and Putnam as well as countless hours as a coach and mentor to many youth soccer players.  Allan has been instrumental in providing not only the financial backing for the Northeast Opportunities for Wellness (NOW) organization but continues to serve as the President of NOW, providing free trainings for youth in several sports.
The Volunteer with Youth Award recognizes one volunteer from the Northeast corner for their volunteerism with youth. It is part of NECASA’s effort to promote adults working with young people and being role models and mentors, which is a preventative to destructive behaviors including substance use.
The 2015 Judith Nilan Award for Community Service to Youth is awarded to Barbara Placido, a guidance counselor at Killingly High School.
Placido, was nominated by a former student, who in her nomination called her one of the best advocates for students in this region. Mrs. P as she is called has seen many dire situations; homeless students, students with drug issues and she never judges, just finds a way to help. She takes her own personal time to meet with students, discuss their needs, whether that is shelter, counseling or drug issues. Mrs. Placido acts as a wonderful liaison between the students and the school.
The Judith Nilan Award was established by NECASA in 2006 to honor the work of the late Judy Nilan, school social worker at Woodstock Middle School who was murdered  in 2005. Judy was a compassionate individual who respected and nurtured all of her students. The award is given to one school social worker or counselor who promotes positive youth development, substance abuse prevention and anti-violence and who best represents the giving and loving spirit of Judy Nilan.
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