University of Memphis Tigers Athletics teamed up with Youth Villages’ Holiday Heroes to host their Tigers student-athletes gift-wrapping party.
In Central Oregon, Youth Villages, a nationwide nonprofit, offers various emotional and behavioral support services to kids and families, and sees the need for its programs on the rise.
Life Coach Florence “Flo” Brooks brings some much-needed light and support to participants in the Memphis Allies SWITCH program in Raleigh/Frayser.
Plans can change in a variety of ways. That was the case for Amy Abbott. Amy was looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, and she found that in fostering.
Several years ago, Mia Flowers felt moved to research fostering kids, but it wasn’t until she was reading the Bible with her husband, Ben, that the idea solidified for them both.
Red Kite Nite, hosted by the Youth Villages of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Leadership Council, was featured in Boston Magazine. The event raised $60,000 to support our LifeSet program.
On a rainy spring day, an Intercept specialist received a voicemail from Jade, a 23-year-old mother whose son, Caiden, was in our Intercept program. “Thank you so much for coming here today and always supporting me through this whole thing.
From the first moment I heard of Youth Villages, I was hooked. Two Youth Villages employees came to my company’s office five years ago for an informal ‘lunch and learn’ about the organization. They took us through the LifeSet program from its start in Massachusetts in 2009 to its current state and their hope for the program’s growth.
The High-Fidelity Wraparound Program is a personalized model of mental and behavioral health care that breaks the traditional mold. It aims to help youth and their families set and achieve goals for their lives
LifeSet participants and staff from New Hampshire recently spoke about the needs of transition-age youth at a meeting of the American Public Human Services Association’s Economic Mobility & Well-Being Conference in Savannah, Georgia.
Andreia had a rough start. Her mother had a substance abuse problem and went to jail, sending Andreia and her older siblings to kinship care. One after another her siblings left home.
Youth Villages, a national nonprofit organization and a leader in the field of children’s mental and behavioral health, has partnered with the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to offer LifeSet, a program that serves as a bridge from foster care to adulthood.
The Youth Villages 5K—known as the YV5K—turns the big 4-0 this October, and there is no slowing down for this annual event. Held in the spring its first 37 years, the City of Memphis’ “longest-running” 5K returns to the fall for a second straight year on Oct. 22
Moving company helps give back with backpacks filled with school supplies for Massachusetts children
Brett Houle was in the Youth Villages LifeSet program in 2009. Eleven years later, he was reunited with Youth Villages when the moving company he works for, Two Men & a Truck,
When she was only 9 years old, Emely was abused by someone she thought she could trust. She was forced to do and see things no child should have to experience. For eight years, the abuse was constant and ongoing.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. For more than two years, we’ve seen study after study proving the declining mental health of kids and teens. There has also been an uptick in crisis calls received by Youth Villages across the state of Tennessee.
Meet Keshawna, a bright, intelligent, independent college freshman ready to take on the world. Looking at her, you would think her life was picture perfect, but it wasn’t.
As children head back into the classroom, it’s important that Youth Villages equips the communities we serve with information that can help kids, and their families, have a successful school year. According to the CDC: 1 in 6 children in school have one or more mental impairments.
Moving to a college can be an exciting yet anxious experience for many young people. For those aging out of foster care, applying to and even getting enrolled in a college can be a monumental task. That’s where LifeSet comes in.
In high school, 17-year-old Lexi struggled with disordered eating. Her anorexia led to body-image issues, suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviors. She was in a residential facility to receive treatment for her anorexia
At times, the hurt is too unbearable to return. When ties are cut, it can affect more than immediate family. It can reverberate through the community and sever bonds with friends, acquaintances and extended relatives. For Clarita, the pattern of hurt took a turn for the worse when she was 8 years old.
For many college students, the campus becomes like home. For LifeSet participant Zephaniah, college is literally providing him a home.
A new mental health service is expanding in Eastern North Carolina. The program is part of Youth Villages, a private non-profit group that helps children and families.
James Kirkwood grew up wanting to be a pastor – and a police officer. He did both. Kirkwood served for more than 30 years with the Memphis Police Department, rising to the rank of colonel, leading two of the city’s police precincts.
Nineteen-year-old Trinity has learned many life skills through the Youth Villages LifeSet program, which serves as a bridge from foster care to successful adulthood and helps young adults build the skills they need to live independently and successfully.
How do you kick off the official start of summer? For the Youth Villages Leadership Council, the answer was a sailboat cruise around Boston Harbor with 75 of their friends.
Leaders from all 20 implementing LifeSet partner agencies attended a convening in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to learn more about effectively implementing the program model and to share insights from implementations in their states and jurisdictions.
At 6 years old, Brett entered foster care. He spent 11 years in and out of group homes and different foster placements. Finding a permanent home felt like it was never going to happen for him.
LifeSet helps young people identify and achieve their goals, but it also does more. For Tresja, it was the intangible benefits the program provided that meant so much to her.
LifeSet is moving east in the Evergreen State. In mid-June, Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington was announced as the new partner to provide LifeSet in the area. The organization will serve youth in Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties with LifeSet under contract with the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
Helen Baker is the LifeSet program director at the Y Social Impact Center, a part of the YMCA of Greater Seattle that serves King and Pierce Counties in Washington. Baker, who started as a LifeSet specialist, has been with the YMCA’s program since it began in 2016. In this Q&A, she offers insight into the successes and challenges that LifeSet has experienced in Washington.
With the recent inflation and rise in costs of everyday items, families are experiencing financial strain/stress in recent months. That financial stress/strain has created a “domino effect” that reaches into the area of mental health for families and youth.
Ares Epps is a LifeSet participant, LifeSet Scholar and a North Carolina State University student athlete, who has accomplished many of his goals through track and field, and with the support of Youth Villages. The LifeSet program offers youth who are aging out of foster care tools to ease the transition from childhood to adulthood.
The man was shot and killed in front of his 2-year-old daughter. It was another senseless homicide in Memphis; another child traumatized by gun violence. To Brandon and Bryan Mathis and the Memphis Allies team, this man, this incident was more than just a statistic.
Backpack Heroes is an annual Youth Villages fundraiser focused on equipping children and young adults in each of the organization’s service regions with school supplies needed for the upcoming year. East Tennessee is one of those areas, and Youth Villages is grateful for the financial support Backpack Heroes receives from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors (KAAR) and its Birdies for Backpacks golf tournament.
Middle Tennessee native and donor, Meghan Markie, originally from Columbia, Tennessee, has been supporting Youth Villages after her father introduced her to the organization, where he volunteered as a Dell employee before his passing. Since getting involved, Meghan joined the Middle Tennessee Advisory Board, and for the last two years, she served as Board Chair.
A PBS NewsHour team followed staff in our Intercept and Specialized Crisis Services programs in East Tennessee for this powerful report on the children’s mental health crisis.
Dr. Jacque Cutillo is celebrating her 15th anniversary as an employee of Youth Villages. She joined the Youth Villages Massachusetts office in 2007 as the location’s second employee and has helped shape the landscape of mental health services for youth and families ever since.
On a given day in Massachusetts, more than 100 children and teenagers are brought to hospital emergency rooms because they’re facing a mental-health crisis and sometimes have to stay there for days or weeks.
The Youth Villages Massachusetts and New Hampshire Spring Celebration gala raised $830,000 to help young people live successfully. The annual event celebrated the organization’s milestone of 15 years of serving children, youth and families in New England.
When many teenagers enter their junior year of high school, their life pathways are somewhat charted. For some, the path leads to college. For others, a trade or technical school. For still others, finding employment. But often that path is set up starting with the freshman year.
Check out scenes from the Youth Villages Spring Celebration event at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.
LifeSet, a Youth Villages program for young adults who experienced foster care, meets young people where they are in life. Some need major support to help achieve goals as they enter adulthood. Others, though, already have the drive, but a little assistance is needed along the way.
Youth Villages Massachusetts and New Hampshire help their Spring Celebration gala in-person for the first time in three years and raised $830,000 for young people in our programs.
Balancing life’s many demands can be stressful for anyone, including children. Unexpected transitions at home like a parent losing a job, grieving a loved one or dealing with health issues…
This week, Royal Chatman will be in juvenile court supporting a young man who’s facing an aggravated assault charge. The court will be determining whether the young man will be transferred to adult court – or be assigned to the Memphis Allies SWITCH program.
June has long been recognized as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, observing the need for equality and inclusion across all sexual identity communities. The topic of sexual orientation and identification can be a tough one for adults to approach, so imagine being a teenager needing to have these conversations with your family and your community.
Two years ago, Reagan told her story of going into foster care with WBIR-TV in Knoxville. To highlight National Foster Care Awareness Month…
Sometimes, it takes knowing others are proud of what you’ve accomplished. Every day, Youth Villages teaches young adults how to be resilient, face challenges head on and take strides to accomplish goals through its LifeSet program.
Thursday, May 19 is Mental Health Action Day. It’s a day to take action on one’s own mental health, as well as support those in the community.
Youth Villages celebrates an adoption story on National Foster Care Day. Even the best laid plans don’t go as planned, and that also goes for foster care and adoption. However, for Chinishe Ray, her plans to adopt have gone as expected not only once but twice.
Foster parenting sounds intimidating but with support, can be incredibly rewarding. Linzie Mullins, a Youth Villages foster-to-adopt parent in Memphis, was once in your shoes.
The first week of May is Child Mental Health Awareness Week and Youth Villages is sharing advice for parents and signs to look out for that could save lives.
In the spring sunshine of a recent Saturday, Sharika Carpenter remembered her darkest day – the day her 17-year-old son, Braylon Murray, was robbed, shot and killed at a Memphis carwash.
Dear Youth Villages, My name is Amber, and I am 23 years old. I lost my dad at a very young age and grew up with a mother who battled addiction and untreated trauma that led to many mental health problems leaving her incapable of caring for herself or for me.
Troy Dotson’s face tells part of his story… there’s a six-point star with a ‘G’ for Gangster Disciples on his cheek. Two other tattoos there signify the “work” he put in for the gang and his high rank in the organization.
Imagine this scenario: You’re a dormitory resident assistant (RA) on a college campus. A winter storm comes through, dumping several inches of snow and lowering temperatures below freezing. Then, the dorm’s pipes burst. Suddenly, your residents have no water—to drink, shower or even flush toilets. They all are looking to you for help and guidance.
Julie Lester, chief program officer for the Missouri Alliance for Children and Families (MACF), says the “Show-Me” State not only needed LifeSet but craved something like it. Initial implementation proceeded despite the pandemic, and now MACF is expanding LifeSet to a second location.
Nineteen-year-old Dallas, a young man in southwest Missouri, sees his LifeSet specialist as more than just a health professional working to help him. She’s more like a friend walking with him every step—something he hasn’t always had.
Darin Hudson is a Licensed Program Expert with Turning Points, a LifeSet implementing provider based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Darin joined Turning Points in 2014 and has grown his career with LifeSet. In this Q&A, Darin explores his journey from specialist to Licensed Program Expert with the hope of inspiring others to take the opportunity to grow with LifeSet.
Daily Memphian reporter Don Wade goes on a “ride-along” with the Youth Villages Intercept program, which recently received a “well-supported” rating from the Title IV-E Clearinghouse.
Dominique and Kevin Gill continue to change the lives of children in foster care—children like Andrew who was adopted by the Gills in 2020.
Lisa Small and Kim Lapidus served the Nashville chapter of the National Council for Jewish Women (NCJW) for several years. Their dedicated involvement with NCJW later brought them to Youth Villages…
K’laja is currently enrolled in Youth Villages’ LifeSet program, an intensive support program designed to help youth actualize their goals of self-sufficiency and independence as they prepare to age out of foster care. Without these supports, young people face far...
A program in Louisiana helps young adults who’ve aged out of the foster care system.
A crisis in mental health care has created a new program aimed at reducing the number of kids stuck in emergency rooms…
The non profit Youth Villages has announced the launch of a $60 million dollar program aimed at bringing targeted services to crime-ridden areas in the city, Memphis Allies.
Amid the gun violence epidemic in Memphis, Youth Villages stated it is starting an initiative called Memphis Allies which will work to curb gun violence.
For more than a year, we’ve been working with community leaders and national experts to build Memphis Allies to address one of our community’s greatest challenges: deadly gun violence.
The Youth Villages Intercept program model recently achieved an important milestone earning the “well-supported” rating from the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse.
Mia must have thought the world was crumbling around her. “It was hard, stressful,” said Mia, who was 16 years old at the time. “I was the oldest (child), so I had to keep pushing for everyone. I kept praying.”
Sometimes, the closest people to us—family and friends—don’t understand. They may think they know the situation better than anyone, even the person who is suffering. Instead of helping that person, it may lead to further issues.
When Cohen was born in an East Tennessee hospital in 2019, he didn’t get to go home with his mom and dad. Substance use had already broken his family, and the baby joined his five brothers and sisters in foster care.
Youth Villages CEO Pat Lawler was one of five named as CEO of the Year by Inside Memphis Business. The article notes some of the most significant accomplishments and highlights in the past year.
LifeSet interview with Linda Dixon, Ph.D., Administrator Transitional Supports and Success of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families
Youth Villages Intercept Program Model Receives Well-Supported Designation from Family First Clearinghouse
The Youth Villages Intercept program model has been rated as well-supported by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse.
Young people who experience foster care are resilient and capable. Still, they need support as they move toward adulthood.
January is National Mentor Appreciation Month, and we are immensely grateful for all our Georgia mentors! Mentoring is a calling to be of service to a young person during a pivotal time in their development. Our mentors commit to spending time with mentees for four to six hours a month…
Youth Villages is excited to welcome Amanda Matthews as the new supervisor for LifeSet in Oregon. We are so grateful to have Amanda lead LifeSet as we begin 2022, a year with ambitious growth goals for the program.
Kiara is a busy young lady. A single mother, Kiara takes care of her 8-year-old daughter, Kyra. She also attends college full time, taking prerequisites to pursue a nursing degree. Additionally, she works full time in an overnight job with Memphis-based FedEx.
When twins Jordan and Devan Brown were in the LifeSet program, Youth Villages paired them with mentors. Instead of just sending someone their way, the twins were allowed to list some qualities they wanted in their mentors.
In 2019, 16-year-old Cassidy was in an in-patient mental health center. She struggled for years with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. In just one year, Cassidy was hospitalized for her mental health nine times…
Just in time for Christmas, 40 Memphis children who share a bed, sleep on a couch or on the floor will soon have new beds to call their own, thanks to…
Youth Villages’ Holiday Heroes receives $5,000 grant from East Tennessee Foundation’s Kress Angel Tree Fund
Youth Villages received an early gift that will be used to forward many presents to others this holiday season. The East Tennessee Foundation…
It was early December and final exams week was on the horizon for the University of Memphis student-athletes. However, they took time out…
The pandemic has made life much more difficult for young adults aging out of foster care and they need help. Matt Stone, executive director in Massachusetts…
Remember, Jonathan and Jaywanna Neal adopting Christopher in 2019, well the family celebrated another adoption this past year adopting Maliki in May of 2021, in the middle of the pandemic. The family wasted no time adopting Maliki as soon as he became available for adoption.
In September, 175 walkers virtually traveled across America to raise awareness and funds to support the Youth Villages LifeSet program in the Walk for Independence.
Long waits for emergency psychiatric care at hospitals have become the norm in Massachusetts.
Becoming a foster parent is a special opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child, both as a short-term commitment to their health, safety and well-being, but also with a lifelong impact
Richard and Alvin Lewis had been married for five years before Richard began looking into fostering and adopting.
The Mullins family was drawn to the idea of fostering and adopting in late 2019 after being married for 10 years.
Everyone looks for a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth.
After years of praying and contemplating how to have children, Kellie and Jared Anderson decided in early 2020 to consider foster care and adoption.
Kids are suffering more than ever and there are not enough resources…
The Youth Villages Inner Harbour campus encountered a pirate “invasion” in early August. But it was a friendly one…
Every child needs a permanent, nurturing family to give them the opportunity and support…
As emergency department boarding and the youth mental health crisis continue to rise…
High school is difficult for any teenager, but for a teen facing issues at home…
September is Suicide Prevention Month, a time to end the stigma around suicides and offer help to those experiencing a mental health crisis. Tennessee had a total of 1,219 suicides last year, an 11% increase since 2015. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death by...
Teamwork is at its best when all are in together to achieve a common goal…
As Mikki approached their 18th birthday, they were about to age out of foster care…
Jaq-cari is 12 years old and in the Youth Villages Intercept program…
Youth Villages brings stability to the lives of young adults…
New school year brings new anxieties. Doctor helps parents ease fears as COVID-19 pandemic continues
The new school year can already be nerve-wracking for kids…
By Elina MorrisonYouth Villages Advisory Council Dear 17-year-old Elina, At this time in your life, you are angry and sad, and things feel beyond repair. It’s October of 2017, and you have been placed in the foster care system for the second time in your life. While...
Many children enter foster care because of a lack of support in a time of family crisis. Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services program, Intercept, provides support and help for children and parents that can make a difference. At 16, Gloria had already experienced...
For Middle Tennessee-based Jaywanna Neal, fostering is second nature. Growing up, her mom opened her home to foster children and adopted a pair of siblings. When Jaywanna was single and in her 20s, she took in her first foster child. She said it was a great...
It’s been a big year for Justin.
A participant in the Pressley Ridge LifeSet program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Justin was turning 21 this year and needed to finish high school, find a place to live that gave him more independence, and learn life and social skills. He and LifeSet Specialist Ryan King kept a list and began checking things off.
During Parent’s Weekend in her freshman year of college, Hannah attempted suicide…