NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | November 19, 2018
Former Client Gets Car
Earlier this year, Youth In Need’s Board of Directors began a committee called LinkedYIN to find tangible ways to support youth as they transition into adulthood. Natasha is one of the youth who recently benefited from that support when the group secured a used car for her to take back to college in Ohio!
Natasha’s mom died when she was just 12. And for the next few years, she lived with a half-sister in Texas. Later, she returned to St Louis to live with her dad, but the situation was difficult. To cope, Natasha immersed herself in school, track and swim at McCluer High School. At the recommendation of her counselor and coaches, Natasha came to Youth In Need’s Transitional Living Program (TLP) group home. Shortly afterward, her father moved out of state and has had no contact with her since. At TLP, she was very disciplined about her school work and her health and fitness routine, and she was always willing to help out and encourage other youth to do their best and reach their goals.
After graduating from high school, Natasha went away to college in Ohio with the goal of becoming a youth minister. Like many parents do at the beginning of a school year, Youth In Need’s staff helped Natasha pack and move in to her dorm. And also like many parents, staff and a wonderful mentor from the Board of Directors stay in touch frequently, helping her navigate college life and giving her support when she’s feeling overwhelmed.
Natasha has a track scholarship as well as grants and student loans to pay her tuition and room and board. She also works year round to earn money for books and other living expenses. Because she has no family, Youth In Need is her home, and Natasha returns to Youth In Need on holidays and summers. As she continues her success in her junior year of college, Natasha was in need of a car so she could begin her internships and secure off-campus employment. Thanks to the work of the Board’s LinkedYIN group, Natasha recently returned to St. Louis to pick up her own car that she then drove back to school!
Help Spread the Magic of the Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us and many generous supporters in our community are gearing up to ensure every one of the more than 9,000 children, teens and families Youth In Need serves has a memorable holiday. Many local businesses, individuals, schools and community groups will participate in the agency’s annual holiday drive, collecting items from program wish lists through Dec. 10. To learn more about this year’s holiday drive, e-mail Autumn Shepherd, Community Engagement Coordinator, or view the general wish list. You also can support the drive by making a cash gift online.
Also back this year is the ninth annual Boatload of Toys drive with local radio station 93.7 The Bull. Radio personalities will spend Dec. 1 and 2 outside at Bass Pro Shops in St. Charles, filling boats with toys for Youth In Need. The station will wrap up the Boatload of Toys drive with its seventh annual Santa Jam concert on Friday, Dec. 7 at Stifel Theatre. You can buy tickets online here.
Pat’s Chat: Central Counseling Team
I recently had the privilege of attending a weekly meeting of one of our Counseling teams. It was humbling and awesome to get to know the therapists and hear about their challenges and successes. This team of therapists conducts individual, group and family counseling sessions in school and office settings. It’s apparent that each and every interaction is purposeful and focused. They are working with children and youth of all ages—from preschool through high school—helping them work through often complicated issues that are impacting their well-being, relationships, and school engagement and performance.
These talented and committed clinicians shared some of their clients’ progress and achievements, and I know that these types of stories are replicated hundreds of times throughout Youth In Need. Matt talked about a young man of color who took a two-hour bus ride for his sessions over the summer, and who is starting to build trust and be “the real me.” Nikki shared about a fourth grader she sees twice a week to deeply explore issues leading to oppositional behaviors at home and school. Miranda used a “worry cup” intervention with a fourth grader last year, and he reported that his cup, which was “full last year, now only has one thing!” They often use therapeutic toys and art in sessions, and Taylor shared about a “glitter moment” with a six year old who is now able to calm herself. Mallory helped a child “find a voice” in her family to express her emotions and assert her needs. Julia connected with a child and helped him open up after being told that “he won't talk to anyone.” Kat was gratified when a parent who had seemed reluctant to engage reached out. Amie is working with a middle schooler who is coping with social anxiety and was elected GSA president. And Dani shared about a bright yet bored second grader who, with the help of Dani and Benson, Youth In Need’s therapeutic support dog, is utilizing coping strategies to be more successful at school.
I am deeply grateful for the Central team, and ALL of our 50-plus counselors throughout the agency, for partnering with children, youth and families…often during incredibly difficult life circumstances…to be with them on a journey toward healing, growth, well-being and success. Thanks to each of you for your work, which is truly changing lives.
“When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” —Fred Rogers
Annual Donor Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy
Youth In Need held its annual “Thanks for Giving” donor appreciation dinner earlier this month at Oliva on the Hill. More than 70 donors attended the dinner, which is an opportunity for Youth In Need to extend its sincere thanks to guests for their support over the year. In addition, four special awards are given to supporters who have gone above and beyond in their advocacy for Youth In Need. And for the third year, Youth In Need recognized the members of its Fountain of Youth legacy society. This giving society is for members who have named Youth In Need in their will or estate.
Congratulations to this year’s honorees!
Outstanding Community Partner
Outstanding Corporate Partner
Outstanding Individual Partner
Tom and Missy Palitzsch
James A. Braun Champion of Children Award
Fountain of Youth Legacy Society
Jerry and Mary Beth Daniels
Rebeccah Bennett (left) with Presdient and CEO Pat Holterman-Hommes. Bennett is the 2018 recipient of the James A. Braun Champion of Children award.
Recital Honors Jim Braun
Family, friends and colleagues of Jim Braun gathered earlier this month at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood for the Jim Braun Memorial Recital to benefit Youth In Need. Beloved colleague, mentor and friend, Jim led Youth In Need as President and CEO for 25 years until his retirement in 2012. Jim passed away in 2017, and this recital, performed by Jim's son Joel, honored Jim’s love of music and the agency he helped grow.
Joel Braun, one of Jim's sons, performed a series of classical music pieces at the Jim Braun Memorial Recital earlier this month.
It takes many resources—whether it’s time, talent or treasure—to bring Youth In Need’s mission to life and keep programs running smoothly. And this work wouldn’t be possible without the amazing grantors who support programs throughout the agency. Here are a few highlights: Grants from Staples and the City of St. Charles supported our Transitional Living Program and the youth who are working on transitioning into adulthood. Toyota Bodine awarded a grant to our Lincoln County Head Start and Early Head Start program, while the Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded a grant to rebuild the playground at our Wentzville Head Start and Early Head Start Center from the ground up.