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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youth First Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Youth Development

Mission: To strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success.

Target demographics: children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 15,000 students and over 10,000 parents and teachers

Geographic areas served: Indiana

Programs: Family First, Family First Foundation, Family Connections, Reconnecting Youth, Al's Pals, Lifeskills Training, Why Try, In It To Win It, Talk - They Hear You, and Camp Memories

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Yadilka M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth First is a powerful organization that has made a significant difference and impact in the lives of many kids and their families. I’m proud to be part of this organization that operates with the highest levels of ethical behaviors and demonstrates their core values with CARE- Caring, Accountability, Relationships and Empowerment. Their caring “army” of well prepared Social Workers and staff provides the youth with essential tools and support through a variety of evidence-based programs to build resilience and maximize their success in this journey called Life! YF helps to lighten the heavy emotional backpack that kids are carrying nowadays and may be putting them at risk for negative and damaging behaviors. This organization works very hard on prevention, which is one of their key assets!

1 Debra White B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Youth First. They do so much much to make the lives of children better, more resilient and better prepared to cope with the many challenges our children face these days. From their leadership to the front line social workers, they are doing all they can to make our communities a better place.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth First is an incredible organization that is making a big difference in our community and with our children. They offer many programs to our students to do everything from building life skills to helping young families strengthen their skills. They place very educated and skilled social workers in our schools which is need that continues to grow. They are a model for how to use dollars wisely to improve lives.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Youth First sets the standard for A successful non-profit. Expectations are set high, starting at the top, and everyone wants to work hard to achieve the best possible results for the children and families they serve. Any community with the privilege of Youth First services is going to see countless benefits.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth First is an essential part of our community, transforming the lives of youth and families.
Providing Masters level social workers in area schools and prevention programs, Youth First is helping make stronger families and a stronger community.

2 Kate Mercer M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth First is a critical organization for our community’s youth.

2 Juney J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The counselors that I have come across are all genuine.I am glad that they are a part of this community.

3 Ethan B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They’re a true loving caring people who care about the youth and family’s of communities. They saved my life I am a true walking testimony of their work.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kids carry heavy emotional and social loads — invisible backpacks. Youth First gives kids the confidence, the skills, the tools, and the support to handle life’s toughest challenges ... lightening those invisible backpacks so they can focus on academic success and the future. Youth First’s masters’ level, clinically-trained social workers are available free of charge to students in school who need that extra ear and shoulder. There is no more important work!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth First is improving & saving lives in our communities. The Youth First Social Workers placed in schools are master-level Social Workers who are able to provide assistance and guidance to students. They encourage and teach healthy habits like prevention of substance abuse, time management and coping skills, and are a listening ear to all kinds of students in need. We've heard countless testimonies from both students and parents on how Youth First changed their lives for the better. It's an inspiring organization that every community needs!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Supporting Outreach at our Church practically since the inception of Youth First, I can vouch that the need for their services is great. Youth First is to be commended for its efforts to keep up with that need while we note that the organization is unmatched. Thank you Youth First for all you do.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is so heartwarming to hear the success stories of students whose lives have been touched by our Youth First Social Workers. It's great to know that the students in these schools have a resource that they can share their feelings with when they need an adults opinion.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization that impacts so many youth throughout southern Indiana and growing. One of the best nonprofits I have been associated with!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Youth First for over 20 years. From the very beginning Yourh First has demanded excellence. They research everything by an outside agency. They now provide 57 Masters level social workers to 70 schools in 10 counties. The services are free to students, parents, and educators. Youth First is reaching young people with early intervention and prevention on their many issues. YF empowers children with hope and resiliency. YF does 16 life saving interventions a week. I am very proud of Youth First.

2 Delana W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my daughter Leah was starting the fourth grade, she was overcome with debilitating anxiety. Several days over the first weeks of the new school year she had panic attacks so severe that she was either absent or had to be picked up early.

It was heart-breaking to see her in such despair and be so powerless to reach her. Her teacher, the school counselor, and the principal shared my concern and informed me about a clinical social worker with Youth First, Christine Hayden, onsite at her school who could work with Leah.

It was to be a watershed period in both my daughter and my lives. Finally someone was able to reach my daughter. She began to see that she was not alone. She met with Christine daily and soon gained the tools and the confidence to work through her anxiety.

The changes in Leah were seemingly instantaneous. She was no longer missing school. She was able to concentrate in class. She wasn’t crying in the evenings, dreading the idea of school the next day.

Youth First filled a void that I nor Leah’s teacher, the school counselor, or principal, despite our sincere dedication, had the professional expertise to fill.

Leah and my journey with Youth First was only just beginning. During eighth grade, Leah would become an advocate for Youth First, eager to share her story with other youth. It became her mission to help other kids like her know that they weren’t alone either. I had a similar mission to reach parents.

Leah is excelling, now a sophomore studying public health at IU. And I am so proud. Both of us are grateful to Youth First and our advocacy for this organization continues. Because every child deserves the same opportunities that Leah had.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dr. William Wooten (Founder) said, "when you find an organization that you are passionate about, it gives back to you more than you could ever give to the organization." His words resonated with me because it is impossible to be part of this organization and not feel that way. Youth First breeds excellence and goodness! I've seen first hand the work that Youth First has done in our communities with our youth and spoken to the Master level Social Workers in our community schools about some of the ways they've helped students that are struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and self harm to name a few. Healing the hearts and minds of youth - that's the mission. I can't think of a better reason to get behind an organization than that!

2 Lance K.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth First has been instrumental in my life and my success. I started volunteering with YF when I was 16 years old and still volunteer and work with them today 12 years later. From experiencing having a Youth First social worker in High School, to now being able to help guide the organization gives testament to the impact Youth First is having in school systems they reach. I truly appreciate the work the are doing for our students and young people in our communities and the positive impact that they have. If you are considering donating or are looking for a non-profit that is trying to expand to have an impact on more children, please look to donate towards Youth First, inc.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter probably would not have graduated high school if her Youth First Social Worker hadn't been there to help her in so many ways that neither I nor the school staff would have been able to. The social worker helped her to develop coping skills to get through the rough parts of being at school so she could focus on learning. These skills, along with the social worker's encouragement, has led my daughter to great success in furthering her education and in dealing with many of life's challenges. As a parent, I have supported my child in every way I possibly could. I'm thankful for the Youth First Social Worker who could be there in ways that I couldn't.