Shires Young Professionals and Southern Vermont Young Professionals announced today that Alyssa Irizarry, Projects Coordinator at Alliance for Community Transformations (ACT), has been selected as a 2022 Emerging Leader of Southern Vermont.
“It’s a joy to be recognized as an Emerging Leader,” says Irizarry. “I feel grateful to be able to work with passionate colleagues and community members to build a healthier, more inclusive, and caring community. I am really proud of this work.”
Each year, Southern Vermont Young Professionals recognize leaders and changemakers between the ages of 21-45 for the leadership, passion, or service they bring to their community. Irizarry was one of 20 selected out of 57 nominations from the region.
“Alyssa approaches youth substance misuse prevention through a social justice and health equity lens, which is an asset as we shape initiatives in support of marginalized youth populations,” says ACT Director Dare Chammings. “Her creativity, kindness, and advocacy is valued by the ACT team, community partners, and most importantly, our youth! We are so proud Alyssa’s leadership has been recognized for this award.”
Irizarry joined the ACT team in the spring of 2021. Since then, she has overseen the organization’s communications and marketing efforts, creating an attractive and accessible online presence that has grown ACT’s recognition, reach, and impact in the community and beyond. Irizarry created Bennington Youth Thrive, a directory and calendar of programs, activities, events, and other opportunities for youth and families in the Bennington area. This central collection of community assets for youth provides a resource for families, expands reach of local organizations, promotes protective factors for youth, and cultivates youth mattering.
Irizarry also co-facilitates the Youth Leadership Group, a partnership between ACT and Mt. Anthony Union Middle School, and runs The Space Place, an afterschool club and safe space for students at the middle school.
In addition to her work with ACT, Irizarry serves as a board member for Queer Connect, as a volunteer for The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, and as an Assistant Coach for the Girls on the Run Vermont Bennington team, and works with Wildstone Farm at the Bennington Farmers’ Market.