NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | June 2018

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NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | June 2018

NewsFeed @ Youth In Need  |  June 18, 2018


HSE Teachers Named Early Educators of the Year

Congratulations to Jeannetta Wallace, Early Head Start Teacher at Head Start East’s Academy Neighborhood Center, and Natasha Jackson, Assistant Center Manager at Academy, who were named Early Educators of the Year at LUME Institute’s annual early education appreciation event in May!

LUME Institute provides the professional development training in the LUME Approach for Head Start East staff. The LUME Approach is designed to help educators understand the emotional development of the children in their care, enabling them to respond and connect with children in a new and deeper way. Research shows that emotional development is the foundation for learning and future success. LUME’s goal is to help teachers understand the emotional development of children and how a child’s emotional development impacts his or her academic readiness and long-term outcomes. In addition, LUME provides one Saturday cohort a month for teachers who have expressed interest in more intensive training and coaching. In between sessions, the LUME team spends time on site and provides targeted coaching with these staff as well.


Therapy Dog Joins Counseling Staff

Benson, a CHAMP Therapy Dog graduate and Humane Society rescue, joined his human Danielle Harper, Therapist at the St. Louis County Counseling office, to begin work with select clients this month.

Danielle credits Youth In Need with helping her find Benson. “I had just started at Street Outreach and was leaving work and stopped by the shelter to look at dogs, and that was when he picked me,” Danielle said. “They brought him into the meet and greet room, and he ran around for a couple seconds and then came over and just sat in my lap and basically told me to take him home.”

After passing a basic skills and temperament test, Benson and Danielle completed a 12-week intensive training that covered everything from greeting people in wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds to handling distractions and eye contact. Danielle said they were given homework to practice, but Benson had difficulty practicing at home. So the pair headed to Lowe’s, where Benson had the chance to meet and greet many different people and navigate distractions in the store.

As Benson heads to work with Danielle, he will support clients and help them feel less anxious during sessions. He can help younger clients learn empathy and boundaries, and he’ll build trust as clients navigate therapy. “I’m very excited to see how he supports my clients and reaches them in ways I may not be able to as a therapist,” Danielle said.

CHAMP has more than 90 therapy dog teams—even a therapy cat! CHAMP Therapy Dog Teams meet more than 1,700 people a month during scheduled visits to local hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, adult day cares, homeless programs, the USO, homes for people with dementia, with developmental disabilities and with mental illness, as well as libraries, schools, nursery schools and colleges.


Pat’s Chat: Belonging 

Belonging: A connection to an organization or group of people that makes you feel you can be yourself

I think that what’s really at the heart of our diversity and inclusion efforts is the universal desire for belonging. At Youth In Need, we want our clients and our staff, and everyone who comes through our doors, to “bring their whole self” and experience a positive sense of belonging. This is especially important for people we serve who feel excluded and marginalized in our society, such as members of the LGBTQ community.

A recent national survey on youth homelessness included research on the specific experiences of young people who identify as LGBTQ and face homelessness. They found that, compared to heterosexual and non-transgender youth, LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented among the nearly 4.2 million youth and young adults in America who experienced homelessness during the 12-month period studied. They also face a higher risk of early death and other adversities. On the positive side, the research points to actionable opportunities to better meet the needs of LGBTQ young people in our collective efforts to end youth homelessness. Among the recommended solutions were ensuring that interventions address trauma, stigma and discrimination, and making sure agencies are safe and affirming spaces so that youth will decide to engage with them.

At Youth In Need, we “believe in the power of potential” for every youth, and we know that young people need to feel safe, supported and free to be who they are to be able to reach their potential.  That’s why we’re proud to offer inclusive and affirming programs and services, and to host monthly meetings for PFLAG, Growing American Youth (GrAmYo) and the St. Charles Equality Coalition.

A great way to show your support and be an ally for LGBT youth is to join Youth In Need at Pride events this month! Youth In Need hosted at table at the Pride St. Charles event on June 16, where Rob Muschany, our Chief Development Officer, spoke at the opening ceremony. Joins us on Sunday, June 24, when we’ll march in the PrideFest Parade in St. Louis. If you’re interested in walking in the PrideFest Parade with us, please e-mail Erin McCormick.

Please join me in standing up for young people and showing we care! 

“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”

― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember


Tee Off for a Great Cause

Golf with us! It’s one of the St. Louis region’s largest charity golf tournaments, and you won’t want to miss it! Youth In Need’s 21st annual McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Golfing for Youth Benefit Tournament, presented by Centene Charitable Foundation, is Monday, August 6 at Whitmoor Country Club and the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles.

For more information about any of these opportunities, visit online or contact Alicia Rosier, Annual Fund Director, at 636-757-9346 or


Get Your Chance to Win a Great Getaway

The Winner’s Choice Raffle is back at this year’s Golfing for Youth Benefit Tournament! Tickets are $100 each, and only 100 tickets will be sold. The grand prize winner will choose between $3,000 cash and one of five amazing getaways: a golf adventure in Ireland, a tour of Kentucky’s bourbon trail, a wine tasting escape in Napa, a sunny getaway in Puntacana and a concert experience for music lovers. There are cash prizes for second and third place as well.

Learn more about your amazing getaways and purchase your chance to win today!
Posted in: | Tags: Jeannetta Wallace , Natasha Jackson , Benson , Danielle Harper , CHAMP , LGBTQ , McCarthy Building Companies Inc. , Head Start East , LUME Institute , Counseling , Pat's Chat , Golf Tournament , Golfing for Youth , Centene Charitable Foundation , Winner's Choice Raffle | Comments (0) | View Count: (1872)
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