Tag Archive for: Posey County

Valero Corporation has awarded $20,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the mental health and well-being of students in Posey County.

The grant will allow continued support for students at West Elementary School, St. Matthew Catholic School, and St. Philip Catholic School in Mt. Vernon; South Terrace Elementary School in Blairsville; and North Elementary School, North Posey Jr. High School, and North Posey High School in Poseyville.

Youth First partners with 107 schools across 13 Indiana counties to embed skilled 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 other valuable life skills.

Research shows these protective factors are the keys to effective prevention of negative outcomes for young people. The organization’s positive work and strategies are driving growth, with more schools seeking Youth First’s help to address the growing need for mental health supports for students.

“We’re driven to make a difference for our community,” said Chris Rhea, Plant Manager of the Valero Mt. Vernon Ethanol Plant. “We’re proud to continue supporting Youth First and all they do to improve children’s lives in Posey County.”

Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black stated, “Our children are growing up in a complex and challenging world that puts them at greater risk for substance use, suicide, violence and harmful behaviors, and the stress of the pandemic will affect the mental health of our youth for years to come. The continued investment of Valero Corporation is critical to achieving Youth First’s mission of cared-for kids. Working together, we can provide Posey County youth with the support and coping tools needed to become thriving adults.”

A $10,000 grant award was presented to Youth First, Inc. by The Community Foundation of Morgan County on Tuesday, December 7. The grant will allow continued support for students at Bell Intermediate Academy in Martinsville and Paul Hadley Middle School in Mooresville. Youth First partners with 105 schools across 12 Indiana counties to embed skilled 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 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 mental health needs of students and best equip them for success.

Ryan Setterlof, Principal of Bell Intermediate Academy says, “Our Youth First Social Worker has really made connections with our students and their families to meet their needs. It’s a huge support system, for not only our students, but for the families and our staff as well. We’re very thankful to have Youth First in our building.” 


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In a presentation on October 25, AstraZeneca awarded $10,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the mental health and well-being of students in Posey County.

Femi D-Etti, Vice President and General Manager at AstraZeneca’s Mt. Vernon site, says, “We are committed to partnering in the communities where we live and work. We are grateful for the opportunity to support Youth First and the important work they do in schools to improve the health of young people.”

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.

Youth First Social Workers are coaching kids to thrive. Research shows that when equipped early in life with the protective factors that combine to create resilience, young people can successfully navigate the increasingly complex world that awaits them as adults. Long term, communities will benefit from a healthier, happier, more employable workforce.

“AstraZeneca’s mission to deliver life-changing medicines parallels Youth First’s mission to change lives by strengthening the mental health of youth. Together, AstraZeneca 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 AstraZeneca for this grant that allows Youth First to sustain critical mental health supports for Posey County kids,” says Youth First Vice President of Philanthropy Julie Hoon.

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Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Students in Posey County

Valero Renewable Fuels – Mt. Vernon has awarded $7,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Posey County.

This school year, Youth First is partnering with 80 schools in 10 Indiana counties to embed 59 Master’s level 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 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.
“This is just one of several Valero locations that will proudly distribute funds to children’s charities throughout the United States this year,” stated Chris Rea, Plant Manager of Valero Renewables – Mt. Vernon. “These gifts enable our community agencies to continue their good work for the many children they serve. We appreciate all that these agencies do to improve children’s lives. And it gives us great joy to be able to support the children of the Tri-State area once again.”

Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black stated, “Our children are growing up in a complex and challenging world that puts them at greater risk for substance use, suicide, violence and harmful behaviors. The investment of Valero is critical to achieving Youth First’s mission. Working together, we can protect and heal the hearts of more young people and their families in Posey County.”

Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Students in Posey County

In a presentation on September 10, AstraZeneca awarded $25,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Posey County.
Youth First partners with school districts 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 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.
“AstraZeneca is committed to partnering in the communities where we live and work. We are grateful for the opportunity to support Youth First and the important work they do to improve the health of young people,” said Tanya Harris, Vice President and General Manager, AstraZeneca.
Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black stated, “Our children are growing up in a complex and challenging world that puts them at greater risk for substance use, suicide, violence and harmful behaviors. AstraZeneca’s investment is critical to achieving Youth First’s mission. Working together, we can protect and heal the hearts of more young people and their families in Posey County.”