Positive Youth Development Programs at Daniel Hand High School

Peer Advocates

This program  trains students to be a resource to their fellow classmates. The 11 week training focuses on self-awareness, understanding, communication skills and knowledge of available  resources.  Trainings take place Oct-Dec and Feb-April.  Look for applications in Sept and Jan. during lunch waves.   You have to apply and go through an interview process before being trained; freshmen can only apply in the winter (January). Email Melissa Balletto at ballettom@madisonct.org  or Derek Cornwell at cornwelld@madisonct.org for more information.

Sign Up Form

Girls United

This is a high school girls group that provides a safe environment to talk about current events, issues that girls face daily.  

Sign Up Form 

Email Melissa Balletto at ballettom@madisonct.org for more information.

G.A.S.P (Gender and Sexualities Program)

Dedicated to providing a forum for confidential conversations about a variety of issues including homophobia, family, sexual identity, how to support friends, where to find information, and raise awareness of issues faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Sign Up Form

Email Erin Corbett at corbette@madison.k12.ct.us  for more information.

We partner with Town and local businesses to help some Madison teens overcome barriers to employment opportunities! Summer Youth Employment Program will match a teenager with a local employer. A participant would be matched to a job and commit to working six weeks between July and August, between 15-20 hours per week. The Town of Madison will pay all the wages (through a grant from Workforce Alliance) and provide support to the participant through an orientation and ongoing contact.

“Reach Out”

“Reach Out” is a welcome/orientation program run by Madison Youth & Family Services’ Peer Advocates in collaboration with the Daniel Hand High School Department of Guidance and Counseling.  “Reach Out” is a student-to-student project conceived of and organized to ease the transition to a new school for students coming to DHHS from other towns, other schools and other school systems.

Safe Rides

A student led volunteer program that provides safe rides home to fellow students during Friday and Saturdays from 10pm-1:30am.   A student Core Group helps to manage this program. You DO NOT have to have a license to volunteer; you can be a rider or dispatch! So yes 9th graders can volunteer! 

Sign Up Form

Email Derek Cornwell at cornwelld@madisonct.org if interested. Follow us on Twitter: @madsaferides


This club takes DHHS students to  8th grade health classes and talks about making healthy choices in high school. 

Sign Up Form

Email Derek Cornwell at cornwelld@madisonct.org for more information.

Mentoring Matters

This program matches 5th and 6th graders with highly-motivated, well qualified high school students to provide guidance and positive role modeling. Within the bounds of this positive peer relationship and through mutuality of experience, all young people are given further opportunity to thrive and expand their horizons. Mentoring Matters weekly  at Brown Middle School from 2:50 - 4:15 PM. Madison Youth & Family Services staff member supervise all meetings. 

Sign Up Form

Mentor Application

Email Katie Volz at volzk@madisonct.org for more information.

Community Service Training (Summer Program)

This training is available to students in 7th-12th grade that are interested in becoming more involved in and connected to their community. Once the training is complete, students will have the opportunity to volunteer at various locations. 

Sign Up Form

Email Derek Cornwell at cornwelld@madisonct.org for more information.