In a check presentation on Thursday, July 23, the Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County awarded Youth First, Inc. with a grant to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Monroe County in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The $2,000 award through the community foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund will help Youth First continue to carry out its vision of cared-for kids through its highly impactful model of prevention.
Youth First’s prevention services and evidence-based programs are embedded in Richland-Bean Blossom schools. A Youth First Social Worker at Edgewood Intermediate School and Edgewood Jr. High School is working to build caring relationships, foster readiness for positive change, and boost resiliency along with other valuable life skills. Research shows these protective factors are the keys to preventing addiction, suicide, violence, and similar outcomes for young people.
The organization’s positive outcomes are driving growth, with more schools seeking Youth First’s help to address the growing social and emotional needs of students. Statewide, Youth First is partnering with 91 schools across 11 counties to place 61 Master’s level social workers in school buildings, where they become specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers.
If you would like to know more about Youth First’s work in Monroe County, please contact Becky Jessmer, Regional Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812)322-8123, or visit our website at youthfirstinc.org/monroe.