Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Morgan County Students

Home Bank has awarded a $15,000 gift to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Morgan County. The funds will help Youth First protect and heal the hearts of children through its highly impactful model of prevention.
For the second year in a row, Youth First’s prevention services and evidence-based programs are embedded in Martinsville and Mooresville schools. Youth First Social Workers at Bell Intermediate Academy and Paul Hadley Middle School are 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 80 schools across 10 counties to place 59 Master’s level social workers in school buildings, where they become specialized mentors for students and prevention coaches for parents and teachers.
“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. “We are so thankful for Home Bank’s investment, which is critical to furthering Youth First’s mission in Morgan County. Working together, we can strengthen more young people and their families.”
If you would like to know more about Youth First’s work in Morgan County, please contact Becky Jessmer, Regional Development Officer, at bjessmer@youthfirstinc.org or (812)322-8123. Donations designated for Youth First services and programs in Morgan County may be made online at youthfirstinc.org/morgan or by mail to 111 SE Third Street, Suite 405, Evansville, IN, 47708.

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.”

CLICK HERE to visit the online bidding site for Youth First’s 18th annual Passport to Adventure Auction, which will be held on April 30, 2020 at the DoubleTree Hotel Ballroom in downtown Evansville, IN.

All are welcome to attend this FREE and exciting evening that features a live and silent auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an awards ceremony that honors young people and supporters who have benefited from or advocated for Youth First’s programs and services. Doors open at 4:30pm and the live auction begins at 7:00pm.

CLICK HERE to register to bid, view our auction items, and bid on silent auction items. New items will be added as they are received, so check back often. Online bidding will begin on April 16th and will close at the live auction on April 30th.

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

Kendrick Foundation has awarded $56,196 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Morgan 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.

“Youth First Social Workers are the lighthouses for many students in Morgan County,” stated Keylee Wright, Kendrick Foundation Executive Director. “They choose to see the opportunities instead of the circumstances with these students and their families. We’re proud to be a partner in this effort to improve the health and well-being of Morgan County residents.”

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 the Kendrick Foundation 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 Morgan County.”

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

In a presentation on October 29, Alcoa Foundation awarded $30,000 to Youth First, Inc. to support school-based social work programs and services that strengthen the social and emotional well-being for thousands of Warrick County students.
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.
Research shows these protective factors are the keys to reducing and preventing anxiety, depression, addiction, suicide, violence, and similar obstacles for young people. The organization’s positive outcomes and tremendous impact are driving growth, with more schools seeking a partnership with Youth First’s to address the growing social and emotional needs of students.
“The Alcoa Foundation is very proud of its association with Youth First,” said Kari Fluegel, Communications Leader for Alcoa Warrick Operations. “Youth First and the Youth First Social Workers in our schools are changing lives every day. They are making our children safer, stronger and more successful, and they are having a sustainable positive impact in our community.”
Youth First Vice President of Philanthropy Julie Hoon stated, “Sustainability is a key focus of the Alcoa Foundation and an integral part of Alcoa Corporation’s culture and core strategy. Alcoa Foundation’s investment in Youth First allows us to invest in the mental health of young people today to ensure sustainable value in our workforce tomorrow. Working together, we can ensure the future is bright for more young people and their families in Warrick County.”

Youth First, Inc. honored community leader and former board member Dan Arens at its 13th Annual Breakfast of Champions event on Tuesday, October 22nd at St. Vincent Manor in Evansville.

Arens received the Dr. William Wooten Champion of Youth First Award at the event, sponsored by German American. In addition to recognizing Arens, the organization celebrated its hundreds of donors, supporters and volunteers with approximately 300 attendees.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke proclaimed October 22nd, 2019, as “Dan Arens, Champion of Youth First Day.”

Dan’s passion for youth and the community is evident in everything he does, including raising a family with his wife Scherri, growing a business, and serving as a volunteer for numerous organizations. An Indiana native, Dan received undergraduate and graduate degrees in management from Purdue University and launched his business consulting career. In the late 1970s he moved to Southwest Indiana, where he co-founded Keller Schroeder, an information technology and consulting firm.

While serving on Youth First’s Board from 2004 – 2011 and continuing to volunteer to this day, Dan has been instrumental in helping the organization plan for healthy growth and sustainability. His current community involvement includes the Downtown Evansville Rotary Club, the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, the Evansville Industrial Foundation, the Evansville Police Department Foundation, Crossroads Christian Church, and Youth First.Breakfast of Champions attendees enjoyed remarks from Brad Hill, Evansville Police Department Deputy Chief; Carrie Ellspermann, Old National Bank Chief Talent Development Officer; Brian Williams, Co-Managing Partner of Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn; Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black and Founder Dr. William Wooten, as well as friends and family of Arens.

To be held tonight, Monday, October 21st, 6:00-8:00 pm
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, 200 S. E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Browning Room

Youth First, Inc. is hosting a town hall forum to increase community awareness on the effects social media has on the teen brain, especially when it pertains to substance use and its consequences. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018, 95% of teens reported they have a smartphone or access to one and 45% said they are online “almost constantly.”
Moderator Dennis Jon Bailey, WIKY Morning Show DJ, will guide a panel of local experts to provide insight to parents, youth workers, and other adults who want to know how social media is impacting substance use.
Panelists:
o Dr. James Schroeder, PhD, HSPP – Vice President of the Psychology Program, Evansville Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
o Lieutenant Monty Guenin – Commander, Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force, Evansville Police Dept.
o Brittnie Hughes – Social Emotional Learning Specialist (SELS), Department of Neuroeducation, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
o Katie Omohundro, MSW, LCSW – Youth First School Social Worker, Vanderburgh County
o Lisa Hutcheson, MEd – Vice President for Policy and Programs, Mental Health America of Indiana & Director, Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (ICRUD)
Local teens will share the ins and outs of the most popular apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, and TikTok, along with advice about how adults can keep children and teens safe while online.

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.”

Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Students in Daviess, Martin & Pike Counties

In a presentation on August 16, Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), Washington, Indiana, committed $10,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Daviess, Martin and Pike counties. GPC is a subsidiary company of Kent Corporation, headquartered in Muscatine, Iowa.
This school year, Youth First is partnering with 78 schools in 10 Indiana counties to embed 57 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.
“When we first heard about the presence of Youth First in our local schools and the positive work they were doing, it was an easy decision to get on board with our support,” said John Dudenhoeffer, Plant Manager. “Youth First social workers are in nearly all of the area schools where GPC employees’ children or grandchildren attend. This is one way that we can help support those families and the many challenges facing our youth today.”
The positive outcomes of Youth First are driving growth across the area, with more schools seeking the organization’s help to address the growing social and emotional needs of students.
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. GPC’s investment is critical to achieving Youth First’s mission. We are so grateful for their continuing support. Working together, we can protect and heal the hearts of more young people and their families in Daviess, Martin and Pike counties.”

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

In a presentation at Orleans Elementary School on July 30, Hoosier Uplands awarded $20,000 to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Orange 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.

“Hoosier Uplands recognizes the immense importance and need for mental health services for at-risk children in our schools,” said David Miller, CEO.  “In today’s world our schools, parents, and grandparents must work together to make sure children have the best resources available to them to handle the challenges they face on a daily basis. We are very pleased to be able to support Youth First in its work with Orleans and Springs Valley Schools.”

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. Hoosier Uplands’ 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 Orange County.”