The SYDA Foundation Community Service Award will be presented to Durbak on Thursday, November 20 at 4:30 p.m., at the monthly meeting of the Sullivan County Legislature, at the Government Center in Monticello. The public is invited to attend.
Since 1986, the SYDA Foundation has sponsored this annual award to recognize and honor local citizens whose community service has been outstanding. A committee of local civic leaders and past SYDA Foundation Community Service Award recipients selected Durbak to receive this year’s award in recognition of her years of advocacy for the young people of Sullivan County. Durbak has worked to raise community awareness about teen substance abuse, organized and supervised programs for young people and their families, and advocated for additional funding for programs for young people in Sullivan County.
In her eleven-year role with the Sullivan County Cares Coalition, Durbak organized and supervised programs designed to help young people develop positive communication skills as alternatives to substance abuse and violence. These programs include Growing with Pre-Teens and Growing with Teens, both of which involve parents and children in learning about the challenges of adolescence and in developing the understanding and skills to deal with its many changes – physical, emotional, and social. Barbara also spearheaded Choices: an interactive theatre program for teens that teaches interpersonal skills for resolving conflict. And, while it was active, Durbak ran CHILL: Changing Hostility into Listening and Learning, another effective youth program.
She was active in the planning and inauguration of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, aimed at reducing bullying in the school environment. The program is now operating in the Liberty, Fallsburg and Monticello school districts.
Durbak is Treasurer of the Fallsburg Community Cares Coalition that organizes the annual National Night Out in conjunction with the Fallsburg Police Department. This annual event promotes the positive aspects of community and reduced violence, drug use, and smoking. This year over 1000 people attended.
She is married to Michael Durbak and the mother of three grown children. And while holding down two part-time jobs: the first at Sullivan County Head Start, the second at the Catskill Regional Medical Center Cancer Outreach Program she continues to serve the youth of Sullivan County through her volunteer service as Chairperson of the Sullivan County Youth Board.
The SYDA Foundation, located in the Town of Fallsburg since 1979, is a not-for-profit organization that makes Siddha Yoga meditation available to students around the world. The SYDA Foundation contributes to the Sullivan County community through regular monetary donations to the local volunteer fire departments, police, school district, and hospital, and through its philanthropic expression – PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Program.