With Access to Youth First Programs and Services



Partner Schools


Youth First Mental Health Professionals on Staff


Youth First Mental Health Professional

student lives

were touched by a


Last school year,

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Stories of Change

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Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families by providing evidence-based programs that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and maximize student success.

Our mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and maximize student success!

Our mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and maximize student success.

Stories of Change

See how your generosity transforms lives.

Youth First partners with schools churches businesses communities local agencies to provide
a menu of proven programs and strategies.


By Kelly Leavitt – June 11, 2024 – As a Youth First Social Worker, I interact with children in an elementary school setting daily. Most students I serve have the world readily available with electronics such as cell phones, tablets, video games, the internet and social media. Unfortunately, there is the risk of exposure to […]

By Rebecca Williams, MSW – June 6, 2024 – Burnout is defined as chronic stress related to helping others. As a school social worker, I can certainly relate to this, and I believe teachers and other school personnel can as well. According to Michelle Ratcliff in the article, “Social Workers, Burnout, and Self Care” in […]

By Sarah Laury, MSW, LCSW – May 30, 2024 – The month of June is Pride month, dedicated to celebrating and recognizing members of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as supporters and allies. Pride is celebrated during the month of June in honor of the Stonewall Uprising, which took place in New York City on […]

By Amanda Haney, MSW, LSW – May 29, 2024 – How does screen time affect your child’s sleep patterns? Sleep is important to growing and developing brains. According to the CDC, toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep, preschool-aged kids need 10-13 hours, school-aged kids needs 9-12 hours, teens need 8-10 hours, and adults need at […]

By Haley Droste, MSW, LCSW – May 22, 2024 – Everyone knows someone with a “glass half-empty” attitude about life. It seems like a dark cloud just follows them around, and it can be exhausting to spend too much time with them. We also know people who are just the opposite; they always see the […]

Upcoming Events

July 1 - August 12
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

In It To Win It Summer Program – Starts July 1, 2024

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What Youth First supporters say

“I feel it is vitally important to have availability and access to Youth First Social Workers in all the schools and in as many youth programs as possible. It literally saved my daughter’s life and provided me with a sounding board and a helping hand during the rough patches when I didn’t know where to turn.”

“You make my heart feel good.”

“Today, our youth face so many more pressures. Add to that the rise in poverty, drugs, pressure to grow up too quickly, social media, family issues, and it should come as no surprise that many children need help. They need that trusted third party with whom they can converse, vent, and ask advice. They need Youth First.”

“Mrs. C., when I talk to you I feel brave.”

“Over the last twenty years, Youth First has taken a firm stance in our community on behalf of young people. They have demonstrated significant leadership in helping to improve many of the serious substance abuse issues in our city and region, all while enhancing our most important assets…young people and strong families. I believe we should all invest in their future through Youth First.”

“Mrs. A., if people can be safe places, you’re my safe place.”

“Vectren believes in Youth First’s mission because its progress should result in a healthier and safer community by addressing some of the most costly problems such as drug abuse and graduation rates. Their very successful focus on students’ success in school should also contribute to a higher quality workforce. We believe our contribution advances a very strong partnership between Youth First and the local schools.”

“Youth First’s multifaceted programming comprehensively addresses both youth and their families – among the most important targets for the Welborn Baptist Foundation. Through their school-based social workers and other prevention and early intervention resources, Youth First is tackling risk factors like substance abuse and family conflicts, using evidence-based programming models and a deep understanding of our community.”

“My child’s Youth First Social Worker Tiffany Harper was like a second mother/best friend to her. She was able to tell her things she was afraid to tell me, because she didn’t want me to worry. Ms. Harper contacted me when things got very bad and I was able to get my daughter the intensive treatment she needed at that time. If Ms. Harper hadn’t been there, I can’t imagine what would have happened. I don’t want to imagine. I’m so thankful for Youth First Social Workers!”

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How You Can Support Local Youth

Be a part of our life-changing work by donating, volunteering, or sponsoring an event!

A generous donor wants to ensure our future is bright with a matching gift opportunity. If we raise $100,000 each year for the next 10 years, it will be matched by this donor!