2019 Atlas and Athena athletic mentoring program connects freshman and upperclassman!

Last year’s ATHENA Squad Leaders and Participants

Last year’s ATLAS Squad Leaders and Participants

Each fall, junior and senior athlete leaders give a warm welcome to all incoming freshman athletes with the Atlas and Athena mentoring program. Upperclass “Squad Leaders” are trained to facilitate discussions with younger athletes on positive choices and building team and community during a training retreat hosted by Project Adventure. Then, after school for five consecutive days, Squad Leaders are partnered with a group of 15-20 freshman as they lead them through an active curriculum that covers proper diet, adequate sleep, good sportsmanship, and other tools that make for an outstanding student athlete, and help them become more successful adults.  Students also discuss how to avoid negative influences, such as drug use or binge dieting.

The goal of the program is to prepare students for the rigors of being a student athlete and to create lasting connections between freshman and upperclassman athletes well after the program ends. The upperclassman are always so excited to take on the challenge of being an Atlas and Athena Squad Leader because the remember their Squad Leader from when they were Freshman and valued their experience in the opening month of their high school career.

Who will attend: All DHS freshman fall athletes. All upperclassman “Squad Leaders” have been recruited and trained prior to the program start date.

Dates of Program: September 15-20, 2:00-2:40 in the Vye Gym at DHS

For more information, email Lyla Harrod at [email protected]

DanversCARES’ Continued Focus on Positive Youth Development

Over the past decade, DanversCARES has encouraged families to aspire to “healthier decisions, healthier lives, healthier futures”. The topics addressed and programs offered may vary, but our goal always remains to encourage the healthy, positive development of the children, youth and families of Danvers. The Positive Youth Development approach is the guiding concept for the work of DanversCARES, as this wholistic approach not only calls for direct work with students of all ages, but also education and engagement of parents, teachers and community members.

What is Positive Youth Development?

Positive Youth Development is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.” (Source: Youth.gov)

We have chosen two applications of the Positive Youth Development approach to guide our programming:

  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) – SEL is the process of developing students’ and adults’ social and emotional competencies—the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that individuals need to make successful choices. (Source: Department of Education)
  • Developmental Assets®️ Framework – Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets). (Source: Search Institute)

ATLAS and ATHENA Program this Week!

Each year, DanversCARES works with the Athletic Office of the Danvers Public Schools to run the Atlas and Athena program. It is a mentor program run by upper class student athletes for incoming freshmen athletes. Junior and Senior Squad Leaders are trained to facilitate discussions with younger athletes on positive choices. Proper diet, adequate sleep, and good sportsmanship make for an outstanding athlete.  Students also discuss how to avoid negative influences, such as drug use or binge dieting that may negatively affect their athletic performance. Program evaluation shows participating students are more aware of the dangers of drug use and are more likely not to use.


For Fall 2017 Attendees:

Who: All Freshman Fall Athletes

When: September 18th through 22nd from 2:00-2:40

Where: Vye Gym, Danvers High School

This program is optional, students will not be penalized for not attending, however we hope everyone makes the time to participate in this fantastic opportunity!

What’s new in teen social media trends? Update #1: Snap Map


The ever-changing landscape of social media apps that teens use can present issues and concerns around topics such as safety and cyberbullying. Staying aware of trends allows you to have a consistent open dialogue with your child. One such trend is Snap Map…

Snap Map – Snapchat’s location sharing update

What is Snap Map?

Snap Map is a function of the Snapchat app that allows users to track their friends’ locations on a map using GPS.

Can people automatically see where you are—right now, without you knowing—if you’re using Snap chat?

No. Location sharing is optional and turned off by default. When you open the Snap Map for the first time, a prompt has you choose whom you’d like to share your location with. That could be nobody (ghost mode). Or it could be all your friends (as long as you are mutual friends), or specific friends that you choose. Snaps shared on the public Our Story can show up on the map as well. Settings can be changed at any time. Your location on the Snap Map is only updated when you’re using Snapchat, not if your phone just happens to be on.

Can people literally see what you’re doing in real time?

Not quite. The way some are making it sound is that people can watch you through their phones as you’re eating or sleeping or working, like a live stream. They cannot. But Snapchat is trying to guess what you’re doing using data such as as your location, speed of travel, the time of day, and whether your headphones are plugged into your phone. When it thinks it knows, it changes your “Actionmoji,” a cartoon avatar, showing it on the map in an illustrated car, airplane, or perhaps under a beach umbrella. Friends with whom you’re sharing your location can see the snaps you’ve posted in that particular spot.

Parents, be sure to have a conversation with your child about appropriate settings and concerns you have about others knowing his/her location.

Source: Lifehacker, 2017. http://offspring.lifehacker.com/a-guide-to-snapchatssnap-map-for-parents-who-are-freak-1796609749


Snap Facts

  • 60% of “Snap” users are under 25
  • 23% of Snap users are in high school
  • In a survey, one third of respondents age 13-24 said they used Snap Chat because their parents did not
  • Companies can pay to add brand specific filters for users to apply to pictures

Source: Hootsuite Blog, 2016. https://blog.hootsuite.com/snapchatdemographics/

Youth Leader Profile: Olivia Thompson




Year of graduation? 2016

How long have you been involved in DanversCARES?  

4 years


Why do you choose to participate in DanversCARES?

I choose to participate in DanversCARES because of all of the opportunities available, and the information of how to make Danvers a healthy community.


What do you like to do for fun? (Hobbies? Sports? Favorite movies?)

I love spending time with kids and volunteering! When I am not at school or working I also love to catch up with friends and do some shopping!


Interesting story about yourself?

When I started DanversCARES I was a freshman and just eager to join a club. Now I have acquired a whole skill set that I didn’t have before, and a huge appreciation for the coalition members.


Something unique about yourself?

If I could make one person smile everyday for the rest of my life, I would be happy.

Youth Leader Profile: Connor Murray


Connor Murray pictured on right, Jose Rodriguez Colon pictured on left.

  • Name: Connor Murray
  • Year of Graduation: 2017
  • Number of Years involved in DanversCARES: 4 Years
  • Why do you choose to participate in DanversCARES?

“ I chose to participate in DanversCares because I enjoy working to educate the community and work to keep it substance free.”

  • What do you like to do for fun?

“ I really enjoy writing, playing video games, and just hanging out and having fun with my friends.”

  • Something unique about yourself?

“ I really enjoy writing, I have written many stories based on my friends and other people that I know..”

Youth Leader Profile: Gilberto Perez



  • Name: Gilberto Perez
  • Year of Graduation: 2017
  • Number of Years involved in DanversCARES: 7 Years
  • Why do you choose to participate in DanversCARES?

“ I choose to participate in DanversCARES because it gives me a chance to be active in my community and to prevent and/or help bring down the poison amongst my peers and in my community.”

  • What do you like to do for fun?

“I like to participate in Boy Scout Troop, currently I am working on my Eagle Scout project, as well as participating in my local Law Enforcement Explorer Post, sponsored by the Danvers Police Department.”

  • Something unique about yourself?

“ I am personally a part of a set of triplets involved with DanversCARES, it is myself and both my sisters.”

Youth Leader Profile: Sofia Perez


Name: Sofia Perez

  • Year of Graduation: 2017
  • Number of Years involved in DanversCARES: 5 Years
  • Why do you choose to participate in DanversCARES?

“ I choose to participate in DanversCARES to help make Danvers a healthier and safer society and spread awareness about healthy and positive decisions and/ or lifestyles.”

  • What do you like to do for fun?

“My hobbies include reading and drawing. My favorite movies are The Hunger Games, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and Divergent.”

  • Something unique about yourself?

“I am apart of a set of triplets that participate in DanversCARES. It is myself, my brother, and my sister.”

New DanversCARES Healthy Living Scholarship!

DanversCARES is pleased to be able to offer a brand new scholarship for this year’s Danvers High School graduating seniors! So many teens in Danvers live a healthy lifestyle and embody what DanversCARES is all about, so this is our way of giving back! Please take a look at the scholarship and application details in this PDF file: “DanversCARES Scholarship Details” and pass along the information to anyone you think might be interested.

Feel free to contact Lyle Harrod at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding the DanversCARES scholarship application. All final scholarship applications must be submitted to the DHS Guidance Department.