In this issue: YIN CEO honored as Urban Sprouts’ Icon; YIN celebrates staff at annual appreciation event; and former staff member directs film based on work at YIN.

YIN CEO Honored as Urban Sprouts’ Icon

Urban Sprouts Child Development Center held its inaugural Icons Brunch on April 30 at Laumeier Sculpture Park, where they honored eight icons who make a difference in the lives of young children. Urban Sprouts is one of 11 early childhood education providers that Youth In Need partners with in St. Louis City and St. Louis County to deliver Head Start and Early Head Start services. The brunch raised funds for the Center’s scholarship fund, which provides 67 percent of financial assistance to its families.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees:

  • Pat Holterman-Hommes, Youth In Need’s President and CEO
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Gwen Pennington
  • Reverend Traci Blackmon
  • Gregory Glore
  • Bobby Norfolk
  • Jason Purnell
  • Maxine Waters

YINFest Celebrates Staff, Recognizes Service Anniversaries

Youth In Need held YINFest, its annual staff appreciation event, last week at 370 Lakeside Park, where hundreds of staff from all of our locations gathered to relax, dance, eat, visit, play and celebrate all that it means to be a YINner. Among the celebrations were 36 service anniversary awards, which recognized a collective 345 years of service to Youth In Need!

Staff also celebrated two Employee of the Year award winners! Each year, Youth In Need’s Board of Regents, a dedicated group of “retired” Board members, select the winners from staff nominations. This year, there were a record 37 nominations! The Board of Regents selected Angie Mueller, Early Learning Program Family Service Manager, as the Management Employee of the Year. Angie’s nominator describes her as someone who sees the best in everyone and supports staff to learn and grow. She’s known for her hard work, sincerity, caring and concern. Co-workers say she not only appreciates differences in people but celebrates them. She’s open and honest while inspiring and motivating others around her. Leading by example, Angie is widely trusted and models Youth In Need’s core values to create a culture of respect, integrity and accountability. Congratulations, Angie!

The Board of Regents selected Hannah Bayer, School Therapist, as the Direct Service Employee of the Year. Hannah’s nominators say she is very accepting of and supporting to her clients and colleagues. She’s known for her kindness, empathy, inclusion and creativity while being an incredible teammate, colleague and resources for kids and families. Modeling flexibility and organization, Hannah’s co-workers say she keeps her clients at the forefront of all decisions and is an exemplary employee who embodies Youth In Need’s mission and core values. Congratulations, Hannah!

A huge thanks to the amazing Human Resources Department who spends countless hours organizing, planning and executing a stellar event to make staff feel appreciated!

Former Staffer Writes and Directs Short Film Based on Work at YIN

Kevin Coleman-Cohen, former Youth In Need Street Outreach Manager, will be screening his award-winning short film Pretty Boy this Saturday, May 27, at 6 p.m. at 24:1 Cinema. Based on the outreach work Kevin did while at Youth In Need, Pretty Boy is the story of a homeless Black teenager who suffers years of abuse and navigates the dangerous world of survival sex on the streets of St. Louis. Saturday’s screening is a fundraiser to assist with future film festival entries. Kevin ultimately would like to make Pretty Boy into a feature-length film. To purchase tickets to Saturday’s screening, contact Kevin at 314-307-5275. Learn more about Pretty Boy at