Youth First is excited to announce the addition of Youth First Social Worker Jessie Laughlin.  Youth First, in partnership with Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation, is eager to make a difference for families who call Monroe County home.  This school year, over 640 students will benefit from a partnership between Youth First and Richland-Bean Blossom through services provided by Jessie and the Youth First team. 

Youth First embeds Master’s level social workers and prevention programs in schools to help increase the hope and resilience of young people and their families. Youth First Social Workers are specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers. Their presence also contributes to a healthier and safer school environment. Youth First currently partners with 90 schools across 11 counties in Indiana.

At Richland-Bean Blossom, Ms. Laughlin will work hand-in-hand with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators to help youth develop a mindset, a skill set, and a social support system that builds resilience in all areas of life. Ms. Laughlin says, “I genuinely care about the outcomes of our community and the lives within it.”   

Youth First will also launch virtual Family First programs this school year for Monroe County families. Family First is a 10-week group program designed for parents and caregivers along with their children and teens. Families build on improving family relationships, parenting skills, and youth social and life skills. The program welcomes single-parent, blended, and traditional families.

With a mission of strengthening youth and families, Youth First celebrated its 22nd anniversary earlier this year. Youth First President & CEO Parri Black states, “Caring relationships are even more important today as the world navigates the uncertainties of COVID-19. When the pandemic closed our partner school buildings in March, students, families, and educators counted on Youth First to continue caring for kids remotely to buoy their mental health and well-being during extraordinarily stressful times. This kind of confidence and trust is earned through years of relationship-building and a track record of results that make Youth First well-positioned to identify and address the social and emotional needs of thousands of school-aged children, no matter the circumstances.”

Youth First, Inc. is pleased to announce that Adam Novello has been named Regional Development Officer effective October 8, 2018. Adam lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and will handle fundraising and advocacy efforts in Monroe, Morgan, and Orange counties.

Adam brings with him nearly five years of philanthropy, event planning, and relationship management experience. Adam was formerly Curator of Education at South Bend’s HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum. Previously, he worked at The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. Adam is a graduate of Indiana University.

In his new role at Youth First, Adam joins a growing development team that is responsible for marketing, event, volunteer, and philanthropic efforts across the organization’s ten-county service area. He will manage advocates and supporters, as well as oversee all fundraising efforts, to ensure Youth First fulfills its mission.

Youth First protects and heals the hearts of children and strengthens families, resulting in more positive, productive citizens and a stronger, healthier community. The agency is best known for embedding highly trained Youth First Social Workers who act as specialized mentors in area schools, assisting students, parents, and educators. It also provides Family First and other proven programs in life skills training and substance abuse prevention.