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Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Morgan County Students

Home Bank awarded a $30,000 challenge gift to Youth First, Inc. Tuesday to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Martinsville and Mooresville schools. The funds will help Youth First grow its highly impactful model of prevention in Morgan County, but other donors must also match the bank’s investment in order for the gift to be fully utilized.

Youth First partners with school districts to embed social workers in schools, 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 other valuable life skills. Research shows these are the keys to preventing addiction, suicide, violence, and similar outcomes for young people.

“Our children are growing up in an increasingly complex and challenging world that puts them at greater risk for substance use, bullying, social media abuses, and other harmful behaviors,” said Parri O. Black, President & CEO of Youth First, Inc. “Home Bank’s investment is critical to furthering Youth First’s mission in Morgan County. Working together, we can protect and heal the hearts of more young people and their families.”

Home Bank’s commitment comes with a challenge for community members.

“After learning about Youth First’s approach to prevention and the impactful results, Home Bank employees wanted to get behind it in a big way, so that more children and families benefit in Morgan County,” said Dan Moore, Home Bank President. “We encourage everyone who cares about kids to join Home Bank in donating to Youth First.”

Home Bank will match the community’s support dollar for dollar for up to $30,000.The Kendrick Foundation has already joined the effort to back Youth First’s work in Morgan County with a $15,000 grant.

Youth First started at Martinsville’s Bell Academy in August with funding from the Lilly Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative, the Governor’s Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement, and the school district. Youth First will launch services at Paul Hadley Middle School in Mooresville in January with the support from Home Bank, the Kendrick Foundation, and the school district.

Donations designated for Youth First in Morgan County may be made online at youthfirstinc.org/morgan or by mail to 111 SE Third Street, Suite 405, Evansville, IN, 47708.