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.”

I CARE Awards Breakfast   

To be held Friday, May 10th, 8:30-9:30 am

Newburgh Chandler Public Library, 4111 Lakeshore Dr., Newburgh

The 6th annual Warrick County Cares (WCC) I CARE Awards Breakfast will be held to honor organizations, youth and individuals that go above and beyond to serve the Warrick County community and contribute to the well-being of its citizens.

Nominees were collected from around Warrick County in three different categories: Organization, Individual, and Youth, along with Coalition Member of the Year.  WCC coalition members chose the awardees. 

Nominees

Organization:

  • Castle High School Riley Dance Marathon
  • Logan’s Promise
  • Optimal Rhythms, Access Academy

Youth:

  • Mayce Wangler, Boonville Middle School student
  • Hadley Mayes, Boonville High School student

Individual:

  • Michael Perry, Warrick County Prosecutor
  • Brad Schneider, Superintendent – Warrick County School Corporation
  • Carrie Roelle, Volunteer – Sharon Elementary School, Attorney at Kahn, Dees, Donovan, and Kahn
  • Jeff Valiant, Elberfeld Town Councilman

County youth will present “Through The Eyes of Youth,” A Photovoice Project, in conjunction with Purdue Extension.

The media is invited to attend the breakfast and awards ceremony.

This school year, 1,339 students have benefitted from a new partnership between Youth First and Orleans Community Schools and Springs Valley Community Schools. Both Orange County school corporations have welcomed a Youth First Social Worker in their buildings to serve the social and emotional well-being of students. Youth First also launched two Family First programs for students and families in Orange County.


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 76 schools across 10 counties in Indiana.


At Orleans Elementary School, Youth First Social Worker Brandy Terrell works 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. Principal Jimmy Ellis says the value of having a Youth First Social Worker in his building is immeasurable. “We feel very fortunate to be partnering with Youth First to place a social worker in our elementary school. Having Brandy Terrell in our building working with students has greatly benefited our school. She has provided services to students to enhance their emotional well-being and to help improve their academic performance. We look forward to continuing this partnership with Youth First for years to come,” says Ellis.


Youth First Social Worker Kacie Shipman serves students at Springs Valley Elementary School and Springs Valley High School. By working with Ms. Shipman, young people are learning how to manage emotions, cope with challenges, and motivate themselves to achieve their goals. Superintendent Dr. Trevor Apple says, “Our partnership with Youth First has been such a blessing to our students, families, and teachers. Our social worker, Kacie Shipman, has made a positive impact on the social and behavioral well-being of our students. Teachers and administrators are thrilled with the partnership we have developed with Youth First!”


Youth First launched two Family First programs this spring for Orange 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. Both Orleans Elementary School and Springs Valley Elementary School were excited to offer the Family First program for the first time this year to their families.


With a mission of strengthening youth and families, Youth First celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black states, “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. Youth First is here to help, listen, and provide a systematic approach to prevention in partnership with educators and parents.


Our school partners, along with the support we receive from the community, are critical to achieving Youth First’s mission.”

The launch of the Youth First prevention model was the result of the Lilly Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 students awarded to eligible school corporations. Sustaining the services into future years will come from school partner fees and the community supporting Youth First with donations and private investment. Youth First will need to raise $90,000 annually from Orange County citizens to support its school-based social work program.


Black explains there is more interest for Youth First beginning with the 2019-2020 school year: “We are thrilled that Paoli Community Schools are prepared to partner with Youth First if we are able to secure the funding. To fulfill their desire for a Youth First Social Worker embedded in Paoli school buildings, we will need to raise another $45,000 annually. We invite anyone who cares about the healthy development of young people and Orange County schools to support Youth First.”

To make a donation to Youth First, visit www.youthfirstinc.org and donate online.

Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Evansville Christian School Students

Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park has awarded a multi-year gift to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of pre-school – 5th grade students at Evansville Christian School.

Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park is committing $10,000 a year for three years as a challenge gift to help launch Youth First Social Work services at Evansville Christian School (ECS) for pre-school to 5th grades. The school is also paying a fee that covers a portion of the cost, but Youth First must still raise another $35,000 a year. Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park challenges anyone who cares about the healthy development of young people and Evansville Christian School to support Youth First, too.

United Companies President & CEO Ron Romain stated, “Youth First provides an invaluable service to this community. United Companies and Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park are proud to align with an organization that does so much good for young people in our region. Having social workers inside the school is important to the health and well-being of our students. It is our pleasure to announce a three-year commitment to Youth First that will aid in bringing a social worker to Evansville Christian School. It is our hope that this gift inspires others to contribute to make this new service sustainable for years to come.”

According to ECS Elementary School Principal Susie Masterson, “Evansville Christian School partnered with Youth First to provide a masters level social worker for our preschool through 5th grade students in January 2019. The impact of the support to our students, classroom teachers, and families was immediately evident.  We love our social worker and the positive impact she has made on our school by providing another caring adult who stands in the gap for children!”

Youth First President & CEO Parri O. Black stated, “Youth First is thrilled to accept Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park’s generous multi-year gift to boost the well-being of more young people in our community,” said Parri O. Black, President & CEO of Youth First, Inc. “We are also grateful that this challenge gift from Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park encourages more donors to support our new partnership with Evansville Christian School.”

Youth First embeds Master’s level social workers and prevention programs in schools to help increase the social and emotional well-being 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 76 schools in Indiana.

Gift Supports the Social and Emotional Needs of Students in Multiple Indiana Counties

April 30, 2019

Old National Bank Foundation has committed $25,000 per year for two years to Youth First, Inc. to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of students in Daviess, Gibson, Orange, Posey, and Vanderburgh counties. A check presentation was held on April 30 at Youth First’s downtown Evansville office.

Sara Miller, Old National Bank’s Southern Region Chief Executive Officer stated, “We are proud to partner with Youth First so that kids in our communities receive the services that they need. This $50,000 grant will help fund those efforts and ONB is proud to play a part in that development.” 

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 impact is driving growth, with more schools seeking Youth First’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,” said Parri O. Black, President & CEO of Youth First, Inc. “Old National Bank Foundation’s continued 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 these counties.”

Youth First’s Passport to Adventure Auction, presented by Edward Jones, was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Evansville on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Guests enjoyed a live and silent auction, program and awards reception. The awards reception was sponsored by Deaconess Health System.

Young people and supporters who have benefitted from or advocated for Youth First’s programs and services were honored.

The Don Mattingly Youth First Award was launched in 2012 to salute young people who share his strengths. Don, an Evansville native, New York Yankees legend, and current Miami Marlins Manager, embodies many winning characteristics, including:

  • A Winning Attitude
  • A Commitment to Self-Improvement
  • A Strong Work Ethic
  • Overcoming Adversity in Life
  • A Commitment to Help Others Succeed

Each year, Youth First Social Workers and staff nominate young people who exhibit these qualities, and a committee of community leaders carefully reviews the applications. This year, the Don Mattingly Youth First Award was presented to middle school student Ian Simmons of St. Joe Catholic School and high school student Brittney Willis of Pike Central High School.

The Carol Lynch Award Honoring Advocates is named for Founding Board Member and past Board Chair Carol Lynch, who has championed the organization since 1998. Joely Yaser, a junior at New Tech Institute, was named this year’s winner. She has been a frequent and impactful spokesperson for Youth First ever since she benefitted from the support of her Youth First Social Worker at Thompkins Middle School.

The Steve Fritz Award Honoring Educators celebrates Youth First Champion and past Youth First Board Chair Steve Fritz, a long-time teacher, coach, administrator, and mentor in the EVSC. This award honors outstanding educators who value and champion Youth First programs and services. Dr. Shane Browder, principal of Plaza Park International Prep Academy, was named the first-ever recipient of this award.

Proceeds from the evening will be used to fund Youth First’s school social work services and prevention programs available to students and their families at no charge across 10 Indiana counties.

Today D-Patrick Boonville Ford presented a check for $1,000 to Youth First, Inc. for support of programs and services in Warrick County schools. During the month of March, D-Patrick Boonville Ford awarded $10 per test drive (up to $1,000) to Youth First each time a new Ford was test driven through their “Charity Drives” Program.

“We are grateful to the D-Patrick Boonville Ford team for this generous gift and for supporting Youth First’s work in Warrick County schools. This donation allows Youth First to fulfill its mission of strengthening youth and families in our community,” states Julie Hoon, Youth First’s Vice President of Philanthropy.

So far in the 2018-19 school year, over 7,000 Warrick County students have been impacted by Youth First. There are 7 Youth First Social Workers embedded in 11 Warrick County schools as a free, onsite mental health resource for students, parents, and educators. Additionally, Youth First programs strengthen families and enhance life skills in young people by providing effective prevention strategies for youth, families, and communities.

Donations like the check from D-Patrick Boonville Ford make a lasting impact by providing life-saving help and hope. Tony Toomey, General Manager of D-Patrick Boonville Ford, explained: “We are proud to give back to our community and support Youth First through our ‘Charity Drives’ Program. Having Youth First Social Workers in Warrick County schools makes a significant impact for our community’s kids, and D-Patrick is proud to be a part of this transformational work.”

To be held Tuesday, January 22nd, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Crossroads Christian Church Chapel, 10800 Lincoln Ave., Newburgh, IN

Youth First, Inc., Warrick County Cares, and Evansville Christian Schools (ECS) are joining to begin a discussion about the pros, cons and effects of social media on our children and youth.  According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018, 95 percent of teens report they have a smartphone or access to one and 45 percent say they are online “almost constantly.” 

Moderator Gretchen Muchnick, (ECS School Board Member, FC Tucker Emge Realty VP of Marketing, & WFIE News Personality), will guide a panel of local experts to provide insight to parents, youth workers and other adults who want to know how social media and screen time are impacting our children and teens.    

Panelists:

  • David McClary, ECS Campus Principal (grades 8 – 11)
  • Mark Wickersham, ECSCampus Principal (grades 6 – 7)
  • Officer Dale Naylor, Warrick County Reserve Deputy Officer
  • Laura Keys, Youth First Director of Social Work
  • Dr. James Schroeder, VP of Psychology, Evansville Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
  • ECS Students – Kira Johnson, Junior, and Berkeley Neikirk, Sophomore


Local teens will share the ins and outs of the most popular apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, and Omegle, and how adults can keep children and teens safe while online.

The media is invited to attend.

CLICK HERE to visit the online bidding site for Youth First’s 17th annual Passport to Adventure Auction, which will be held on April 11, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel Ballroom in downtown Evansville, IN.

The doors will open at 4:30 pm. The silent auction will begin at 5:00 pm and the live auction will take place at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments will be available throughout the evening.

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 began on March 28th and will close at the live auction on April 11th.