NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | May 21, 2018
Get Racing for Youth In Need!
Love to run? We’ve got a race for you, and Youth In Need is proud to be the official charity partner for the third year! Race 13.1 returns to St. Louis for its third annual half marathon and 5K on June 10, 2018. Enter code “Youth In Need” at checkout to have $10 of your registration fee go to Youth In Need. The race begins and finishes at Missouri Research Park in St. Charles County and features a course filled with scenic greenways and beautiful views of the Missouri River and conservation areas. Each racer receives a tech t-shirt, and all half marathon finishers receive a finisher medal. There are medals for 5K runners, too! Learn more about the race or register here.
Pat’s Chat: Why Wait?
Youth In Need was thrilled to host a presentation by Tony Thompson, motivational speaker and entrepreneur, for our Shelter and Transitional Living Program youth last week. Dynamic and energetic, Tony travels around the country talking to young people and adults about overcoming challenges and finding true success in life.
Called “The Why Wait? Experience,” Tony talks about the need to live by stated principles, and how this can help you maintain focus, regardless of the highs and lows of life. Our youth listened attentively and participated in a lively discussion about Tony’s “Five Principles,” learned through hardship, that help guide his life. They learned how to find their Purpose and Passion, aligning their talents and loves with what the world needs. They learned that Make Up Your Mind means to “stalk your goals and your dreams,” becoming consumed by them to the exclusion of other distractions, and the importance of writing out goals and saying them every single day. They learned what it means to Fall in Love with Adversity, using obstacles and challenges as “fuel” to move forward instead of being stopped by them. Knowing the many difficulties that our young people face, Tony empathized with them, and reminded them that their strength will help them get through their pain, and that “purpose is on the other side.” My favorite of his principles was Be Loud! He explained that to “be loud” means to be yourself, be positive, and be a leader. And lastly, his fifth principle is Hurry Up for the Rest of Your Life. In other words, don’t hesitate to “get your stuff together and kill it!” He ended by telling them that “success belongs to you” and giving them each a copy of his book, which gives practical tools along with motivational messages.
It was inspiring to see Tony connect with our young people, sharing the story of his own life and the powerful message that they can take charge of their lives and reach their goals and dreams. These messages don’t just apply to youth experiencing homelessness though. I think we can all find meaning and reminders that help us believe in the power of potential for our children, youth and families, for ourselves and for each other.
Federal Head Start Reviewers Recognize Program Strengths
Federal Head Start monitoring reviewers spent five days in April reviewing Youth In Need’s Head Start program as part of its federal grant. While they were here, they reviewed 139 child files, observed 42 classrooms and conducted 20 center explorations. They spoke to Board members, Policy Council representatives, family advocates, teachers, home visitors, client families, program managers and administrators from Youth In Need and at childcare partner locations.
The review team coordinator shared some of the strengths they observed during their time in Youth In Need’s program:
- The diversity of participants and the services provided to New Americans
- Providing diapers for home-based families
- Youth In Need’s investment in our staff and the internal promotions of staff
- The relationships between Youth In Need and our partners
Congratulations to the entire Head Start team on a wonderfully organized and executed review!
Former Teen Parent Visits Program
Brandy, a former teen parent in the Teen Parent Program, recently delivered a workshop on oral hygiene for pregnant women and infants to the program’s Talk and Play group. This month Brandy will graduate from St. Louis Community College, where part of her studies required her to deliver a presentation to the community. She said she immediately thought of Youth In Need’s Teen Parent Program because of her experiences in the program. She also talked to the group about balancing college while having a baby, along with the importance of a college education. She wrapped up her presentation by giving out tooth brushes, tooth paste and mouth wash to everyone!
YIN-Fest Celebrates Staff, Recognizes Employee of the Year
YIN-Fest, Youth In Need’s annual staff appreciation event, is a chance for staff from all of our locations to celebrate and connect in one place. (A huge thanks to the amazing Human Resources Department who spent countless hours organizing, planning and executing a stellar event to make staff feel appreciated!) This year’s event was held once again at 370 Lakeside Park in St. Peters. Hundreds of staff gathered on a beautiful sunny day to relax, eat, visit, play and celebrate. Among the celebrations were the annual service anniversary awards, the t-shirt competition—congratulations to the RHY East team—and the much-anticipated Employee of the Year Award.
The Board of Regents selected Karen Sieve as this year’s Employee of the Year! In her role as Regional Safe Place Manager, Karen trains Youth In Need’s network of more than 800 Safe Place sites, which are businesses like QuikTrip and Walgreens that help youth connect quickly with crisis intervention services. She also visits schools and community groups to talk to children and youth about Safe Place, sharing some of her challenges growing up and resources for help. Karen often does multiple presentations a day. In 2017, she delivered 252 presentations that reached 3,650 individuals! Karen also recently became Youth In Need’s roving social media guru, engaging followers in the life of Youth In Need through a variety of different perspectives, most often with fun photos of staff. Karen is known for her creative hashtags—#yinnersarewinners, #thesearemypeople and #yinclusion, just to name a few. Her networking ability and community connections have led the Development Department to coin the phrase “Friends of Karen” (or F.O.K. for short). As her nominator said, “YIN is lucky to have Karen representing the agency in the community.” Congratulations, Karen!