Youth Opportunities Unlimited is a local organization that is on a mission to foster youth development in the Greater New Bedford community. The Director of Programs and Operations, Linton Harrington, believed in that mission and lived each day with it in mind.

Unfortunately, the former science teacher and lover of nature passed away unexpectedly due to a heart condition on Wednesday, September 29. He was in his late 40s and leaves behind a loving family.

Youth Opportunities Unlimited reported the news on its Facebook page on Thursday, September 30.

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“It is with great sadness that we inform you that our beloved employee Linton Harrington passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, September 29. Linton was the Youth Opportunities Unlimited Director of Programs and Operations since 2019. He was an amazing and loving man who cared about each and every child who came through our doors. His calming presence, passion for nature, and gentle spirit touched every single person at Y.O.U. and will forever leave a lasting impact. He will be greatly missed by all of us. We are heartbroken over this loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family during this time.”

Youth Opportunities Unlimited via Facebook

On the staff directory page, Harrington’s accomplishments and commitment to youth are made evident.

“Linton has been taking young people outside to explore and learn about nature for over 20 years as a science teacher, environmental educator, program manager, and naturalist. Most recently, he taught Environmental Science and Ecology at Durfee High School. Previously, he worked for The Trustees of Reservations as Youth Development Program Manager, running a statewide youth conservation corp. He also led a number of trips to the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve for Y.O.U. in his capacity as South Coast Education Coordinator. His most unique work experience was a year spent teaching in the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Linton holds a BS from Bates College and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England with a concentration in Environmental Education. He loves hiking, biking, kayaking, and pretty much any activity that gets him outdoors with his family."

We spoke with Bernadette Souza, the Executive Director at Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

"I was always in awe of his love for nature," Souza said. "He came in and put his stamp on everyone here at Y.O.U. His appreciation for nature and knowledge of the environment rippled out to every staff member and each kid."

Souza remarked on his ability to take a learning moment and make it so easily digestible for the students and adults who came in contact with him.

"He was full of stories and what came with it was authenticity, passion, and love," Souza said. "The kids ate it up. They appreciate what this peninsula has to offer thanks to him. We lost a big piece of this puzzle because he’s gone now. We’ll make sure his legacy lives on because there’s so much good to come in this community, but we just got to get through this together.”

Mr. Harrington will be missed throughout the SouthCoast community.

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