In a presentation on March 5, Alcoa Foundation awarded $30,000 to Youth First, Inc. to support school-based social work programs and services that strengthen the social and emotional well-being for thousands of Warrick County students.

Youth First partners with school districts across Indiana to embed social workers in school buildings, where they become specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers. Youth First Social Workers build caring relationships, foster readiness for positive change, and boost resiliency along with equipping students with valuable life skills. Their presence also contributes to a healthier and safer school environment.

Research shows these protective factors are the keys to reducing and preventing anxiety, depression, addiction, suicide, violence, and similar obstacles for young people. The organization’s positive outcomes and tremendous impact are driving growth, with more schools seeking a partnership with Youth First to address the growing social and emotional needs of students.

Brad Marrs, Alcoa Warrick Site Manager, stated: “Youth First is a crucial program for our Warrick County students. Alcoa Foundation is proud to support Youth First for many years now. With the pandemic and life being anything but normal, to restore normalcy in the lives of some of these children is very important.”

“The Alcoa Foundation has a mission similar to Youth First’s mission, which is prioritizing local needs and addressing them in a sustainable manner. Together, Alcoa and Youth First are helping youth and families face life’s current challenges and emerge with resilient mindsets and real hope for the future. We are grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for this grant that allows Youth First to sustain critical mental health supports for Warrick County kids,” says Youth First Vice President of Philanthropy Julie Hoon.