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Youth First, Inc. was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to support social work services in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). As part of the grant, Youth First Social Workers will be in local schools to help address the social and emotional needs of young people by building caring relationships, fostering a readiness for positive changes, boosting resiliency and teaching other valuable life skills. These specialized mentors will offer free-of-charge support to students, parents, families and teachers in five local schools. 

“Our children are growing up in a complex and challenging world that puts them at greater risk for substance use, suicide, violence, and other harmful behaviors,” said Parri O. Black, resident & CEO of Youth First, Inc. “The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s investment and the EVSC’s partnership are critical to achieving Youth First’s mission. Working together, we can protect and heal the hearts of more young people.” 

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant will help fund Youth First’s Social Work services and programs at five EVSC high schools: Bosse, Central, Harrison, North, and Reitz. 

“Anthem is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities and the people we serve,” said Kristen Metzger, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan President. “Through our partnership with Youth First, we’ll be able to improve access to care for those in need while positively impacting and supporting youth who are often the most in need of finding emotional and social help.” 

A check presentation for the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation grant will take place on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 2:00 pm at Youth First, 111 SE Third Street, Suite 405, Evansville, IN. Representatives from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Youth First and Dr. David Smith, Superintendent of the EVSC, will be present. Media is invited to attend. 

About Youth First, Inc.:
Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First partners with 59 schools across 7 counties to provide 39 Master’s level social workers who assess needs, develop and implement prevention plans, and connect students and their families to community resources. Youth First also offers afterschool programs involving parents and caregivers to strengthen families. For more information about Youth First, please visit www.youthfirstinc.org or call 812-421-8336. 

About Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Indiana:
Anthem BlueCross BlueShield works with the state of Indiana to offer the Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) health insurance programs for 372,000 Medicaid beneficiaries. HHW serves low-income families, pregnant women and children up to age 19. HIP covers residents age 19 through 64 including low-income families. Anthem has administered benefits and services for HHW since 2007 and HIP since 2008.