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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sally and Rocco to receive Allegheny County Parent of the Year Award on Oct 6th!
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, October 02, 2010

It came as no surprise that Sally and Rocco have been selected to win the Allegheny County Parent-of-the Year Award. Their hard work with their son Cisco, as writers and editors of the Parent Survival Skills Training blog, and some really exciting volunteer work that Sally does with female addicts put them in a class of their own this year. Still, after the meeting, Sally commented, "I just wish that each of the parents at PSST could win this award because I think we all deserve it!

Sally and Rocco will receive this prestigious award on 10-6-10, this Wednesday, at 550 Fifth Ave., (old county jail-second floor waiting room). It is scheduled from between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Why not come down and clap for Sally and Rocco and catch their acceptance speech?

I have reprinted practically the whole of the nomination, minus some real names: the challenging part was really limiting this to 250 words. When it comes to Sally and Rocco I could go on and on.

Reason for Nomination (no more than 250 words):

Both Mr. & Mrs. (Rocco and Sally) have been tirelessly involved in efforts to intervene in the life of their teenage son who experienced serious drug abuse and a number of MH issues. By working as a team they have helped their son effect a positive change in his life.

1. Both Rocco and Sally attend Parent Survival Skills Training regularly. They actively participate, encourage and support others.

2. Both Parents took steps to cease enabling and they began to work with Probation to hold their son accountable.

3. Both Rocco and Sally worked closely with Wesley-Spectrum Family Therapist, Cathy Culbert. They had the courage to take a good look at their own roles in parenting. When they saw something they could improve- they did.

4. Rocco and Sally both act as Parent Editors of the PSST blog. They use pen names to share their ongoing story about Cisco and they edit other parent’s stories and publish them to the blog. (www.gopsst.org)

5. Sally also volunteers to help others in their fight against the disease of addiction: she started knitting groups with female addicts in treatment programs.

Currently, Rocco and Sally are visiting their son in his third inpatient drug treatment program. He is so far succeeding at a local adult treatment program. The steps that Rocco and Sally took to stop enabling have helped Cisco decide to get better. While they are waiting for the “miracle” to happen they continue to help others through their involvement in PSST and various volunteer activities.

Lloyd Woodward, JPO 9-10-10


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sally & Rocco for giving each day to help others and for all that you do! It has been a rough couple of years for Cisco as we have all heard of his struggles. I just am so grateful for the PSST group, for probation professionals that care and for the programs that make effort to engage our young people as we wait for the miracle! Bravo Rocco & Sally!

Anonymous said...

Hello to Sally and Rocco from London!!! Yes, oh yes, I'm following you here in good ol' England, so your fame has spread internationally! ;-) I can't be there in person for your big day on the 6th, but hopefully you can hear me clapping from 'across the pond!'

I recently left Gateway Rehabilitation Center where I was an adolescent therapist for nearly eleven years. I just want to tell you to hang in there because you never know when the 'miracle' is right around the corner.

One of the greatest assets any kid has when he/she is struggling with an addiction is a loving but firm parent available to offer support and accountability. My hats off to you guys - you not only care for your own, but you also consistently share your insight and compassion with other parents who undoubtedly often need a boost just to get through the day. That is priceless.

Thanks for being you...from the bottom of my heart. I wish that more parents would not only listen, but follow in your footsteps to spread HOPE instead of fear. Addiction is strong, but together we are always stronger!!

All my best,
Ann Beamer

Anonymous said...

Sally and Rocco,
You deserve this award! I can't make it to meetings because I live outside of Columbus,Ohio. I can't find anything like PSST around here.
I keep checking the blog, almost daily because I have become addicted to your story as well as Mel & Max Adventures. It is like one of my HBO series that I used to watch only much more serious. Sometimes it makes me laugh , like when Rocco nudged you because I can picture that and I feel like I was there when that happened. Sometimes it makes me cry. I feel so bad for you Sally, I know how a mother feels. Been there. My son is older and no longer lives with me but he has struggled with drugs too. Looking back I'd have to say that I was his biggest enabler and sometimes I still am but I am more aware now that I might not be helping him when I am helping him. So I am working on it. I pray for your family every day and I want to THANK YOU SALLY AND ROCCO SO MUCH for sharing your story. If you two can hang in there then there is hope for every one of us.
When you share your story you opened your heart to all of us. Someday, I believe you will find a reward for all of the hope that you have spread around. I hope it is the kind where Cisco finds the miracle that I'm sure so many of us are praying for. Until then, keep up the good work. Even over here in Columbus your message of hope is being heard.
I bet there are alot of people like me that have never posted a comment but now that I see you two got this Big Award I just had to let you know that I am out here, and I am listening.
Keep up the good work Sally and Rocco and a big Buckeye congratulations from your neighbor in Ohio!

Anonymous said...

Sally and Rocco - God bless you and your son for working through this together. You've found it in your hearts to help others as well. Only by this one on one, day to day support we give each other can we really get through the tough times. I wish I could be there for your award, but I live in Florida. Sending love and blessings from here... Janis

Sally said...

It is so wonderful to hear from our 'Buckeye State' neighbor and also from our neighbor 'across the pond'. Thank you for taking the time to write.
I love your comment, Ann, that addiction is strong but together we are always stronger. So true.
Ms. Ohio, thank you for the heartfelt post; you know first- hand what it is like to have a child with an addiction. I truly appreciate the prayers for they are very powerful and I will pray for your son also but mostly for you that you will continue to read the post and learn how not to enable or be co-dependent. This blog has an abundance of wisdom that has been collected from many parents and professionals for over six years. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I have heard so much about both of you and your group from my brother Lloyd. Congratulations on your awards, they are truly deserved. Your story is inspiring, please keep up the great work. Diana from Ross Township, Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...

Sally and Rocco~
We have such admiration for you and all the strength you hold and yet still find time and empathy to PASS IT ON! I know it continues to be a long (and sometimes what feels like an uphill) struggle, but know that all of us at PSST are there to hold you up and give the hope back to you. You truly are deserving of this wonderful recognition. Hugs, Candy and Aaron from PSST

Anonymous said...

Sally and Rocco~ You are so deserving of this award. Through the last year, you have inspired so many of us at PSST to have strength and to keep the hope. We admire you! Thanks for passing it on. Hugs, Candi and Aaron

molly said...

Congratulations Sally & Rocco on your award. I am living in Indianapolis, IN & have been following your story. You both are an inspiration to many who face similar challanges. This blog reaches out to many distant places & sharing your experiences help those who need the support & encouragement as they face challenges with their children. Best wishes to you both & your son as you move forward on your journey together. Once again, Congatulations and Keep the Faith!!! molly

luigi said...

Hi, Sally and Rocco, I am so proud of you both and look forward to see you tonight at the 'jail'. i want to be just like you when i grow up. love, luigi

Mary said...

Sally and Rooco -- Congratulations on receiving the Allegheny County Parent of the Year Award. Wish I could be there in person today to share in your happiness with you. I admire both of you for giving this all you got and not giving up on Cisco. I continually keep you in my prayers and, hopefully, someday this too shall pass and Cisco will be over his drug addiction and other problems. You two are the best and I am so proud that we are family. Your sister (Sally), and sister-in-law (Rocco).


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