Watertown Social Services Resource Specialists Given Latino Excellence Awards at State House

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Wayside SSRS Clincians Maysa Ramos (second from left) and Sophia Suarez-Friedman (second from right) received Latino Excellence Awards from at the State House. Also pictured are State Rep. Steve Owens (right) Kimberley Hutter, Sen. Will Brownsberger’s District Director. (Courtesy of Wayside)

Watertown’s two Social Service Resource Specialists, Sophia Suarez-Friedman and Maysa Ramos, recently received the Latino Excellence Awards at the State House.

Both work for the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Multi Service Center, and their positions are funded by the City of Watertown.

Every year, the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus hosts its Latino Excellence Awards to honor Latino leaders, agents of impact, and change makers who contribute to our communities. Each legislator is able to nominate one deserving recipient. State Rep. Steve Owens nominated Suarez Friedman and State Sen. Will Brownsberger nominated Ramos.

The City of Watertown/Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Multi Service Center’s Social Service Resource Specialists, were awarded Latino Excellence Awards at a ceremony at the State House on Oct. 26. They were nominated by Representative Steve Owens and Senator Will Brownsberger for their tireless work helping residents of Watertown in need through the SSRS Program.

Maysa Ramos, left, and Sophia Suarez-Friedman, right, pose with Wayside’s Senior Program Director Laura Kurman on the Great Staircase at the State House after receiving Latino Excellence Awards. (Courtesy of Wayside)

Owens said: “The Senator and I truly appreciate all the hard work that you both have been doing as Watertown’s Social Service Resource Specialists. Personally, I am so grateful for all the help and support you’ve given our constituents when we send them your way. I also want to recognize the work you’ve done kicking off the Community Fridge with that team of volunteers. You both have been so wonderful to work with and I want you both to know how important you are to Watertown, and frankly to the entire Commonwealth.”

Laura Kurman, senior program director of the Wayside Multi-Service Center said both Ramos and Suarez-Friedman have served the community well.

“I am so proud of the work Sophia and Maysa do day in and day out to provide timely and vital assistance to Watertown residents,” She said. “They both are so deserving of this Latino Excellence award.”

Wayside provided the following information about Suarez-Friedman and Ramos:

Sophia Suarez-Friedman

Sophia Suarez-Friedman began her career at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center in 2019 as a Clinical Intern. She rose to the role of Program Coordinator for Wayside’s Social Services Resource Program which assists residents in connecting to a wide range of vital social services.

She also oversees Wayside Multi’s clinical internship program and provides clinical supervision and services for Wayside’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Program. In addition, she continues to carry a caseload for Wayside’s Outpatient Therapy services, conducting sessions in English and Spanish.

During the Pandemic, Suarez-Friedman coordinated Watertown’s Mutual Aid program and she has facilitated a support group in Spanish for Latina moms in Watertown, hosted donation drives and free stores, and worked with community members to initiate the Watertown Community Fridge.

She has a Master of Social Work from Boston College where she participated in the Latinx Leadership Program and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish Studies from American University. Suarez-Friedman is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Massachusetts.

Maysa Ramos

Maysa Ramos began her career in social work as a Clinical Intern at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center in 2019 where she worked on a variety of programs to support youth including: counseling for youth, after school programming, social services resources, and Watertown Youth Coalition’s High School Peer Leadership projects focusing on mental health and wellness.

She currently provides services to Watertown residents as Wayside’s Social Services Resource Specialist Clinician connecting those in need to vital social services like resources for emergency financial needs. Ramos also oversees after school programs at Watertown Public Housing’s two Learning Centers, provides behavioral health support at the West Suburban YMCA, and supervises Graduate Interns.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who earned her Master of Social Work from Simmons University and Bachelor of Social Work from Salve Regina University.

3 thoughts on “Watertown Social Services Resource Specialists Given Latino Excellence Awards at State House

  1. Huge congratulations to Sophia and Maysa! You deserve all that praise and more for the incredible work you do for our community!

  2. Kudos to the Tony Palomba, the Watertown Town Council, Mark Sideris, and the Watertown Community Foundation for having the vision to establish and fund the Watertown Social Service Resource Specialists starting about 10 years ago. It was an initial struggle to get enough Council votes, and the first position was only part-time, but this effort did make a difference in people’s lives. Congratulations to Sophia Suarez-Friedman and Maysa Ramos for the excellent work they are doing in Watertown today!

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