Supervisor earns Regional Suicide Prevention Award

Deanna%20YVCDeanna Doran, program supervisor for Youth Villages’ Specialized Crisis Services program in Chattanooga, has received the 2014 Southeast Regional Suicide Prevention Award from the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

Doran was honored along with the other regional award winners at the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s statewide Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on September 10 in Nashville.

Doran began working for Youth Villages in 2010 as a specialized crisis counselor and was promoted to program supervisor in 2012. She holds a master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Andrews University. She is a licensed master social worker and is pursuing certification as a licensed clinical social worker.

Join the Crisis team at Youth Villages by applying at

Specialized Crisis Services at Youth Villages

While many might be familiar with our in-home and residential services, not as many people know that Youth Villages is the primary provider of psychiatric emergency services to youth in the state of Tennessee. We have the unique opportunity of providing assessment and evaluation and follow-up services to youth in extreme crisis. This all is possible because of our Triage Counselors and mobilized Specialized Crisis Counselors. Our Triage counselors are experts at de-escalating and assessing situations over the phone. Our mobilized Crisis Counselors can respond to emergencies across the entire state and help youth by assessing and de-escalating their situation, and providing recommendations to best serve the youth and their family. We have a number of opportunities to join this program. Our Specialized Crisis Counselor positions do require a Master’s degree and experience working with at-risk youth.

updated crisis map

Youth Villages Crisis program serves the colored areas above.

We have part-time positions as well as full-time positions in this program throughout the state!
To learn more or apply, visit

Wellness Spotlight – Brendan McNassar

Brendan McNassarBrendan McNassar has worked for Youth Villages/Christie Care in Oregon for four years. He worked for two years as a teacher counselor and has worked for the past two years as maintenance technician. Read his story to find out why he is our wellness spotlight this month.

“Since losing both my father and my oldest son to cancer, I’ve started working on building a quiet mind and a healthy body. My first step was quitting my 17-year smoking habit for the very last time. I succeeded and have been smoke-free for nearly two years. I began looking for opportunities to motivate myself toward positive change. I learned about the YV Wellness Log while attending the 2013 Employee Conference. I came back to Oregon enthusiastic and ready to go. Oregon has had teams participate in each of the challenges thus far and my co-workers participating alongside of me have been sources of great inspiration. My fitness goals for this first year have been moderate weight loss, but more importantly to work on heart health and diet. The YV Wellness Log has helped me pay closer attention to what I put into my body and the benefits of my workouts as well. The 2014 YV Satellite Race was my launch point into running. After completing the race in pretty good time and using the 10k pedometer challenge as a daily motivation to move and exercise, I decided to join YV Oregon’s first ever Hood To Coast team. HTC is a 199-mile, 12-person relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast. That has been my latest motivator to get up and run every (well, almost every) morning. I have worked hard to get here but there is a long way to go. My running gives my time to sort my thoughts and give myself a little pat on the back as well. We all need that. My new motto: No shortcuts.”


North Carolina Emerging Leaders celebrate another successful year

NC Emerging LeadersFifteen North Carolina Emerging Leaders united at Beach Music in the Park in Greensboro to celebrate the completion of the nine month leadership development program. After each staff was recognized for his or her unique talents, the group relaxed to the soothing sounds of The Magnificents Band and enjoyed savory snacks from local food trucks.

Participants reflected on their overall experience in the Emerging Leaders program. The Emerging Leaders program includes monthly interactive leadership webinars, several leadership classroom courses and a behind-the-scenes look at senior leadership roles. The program provided them with a wide variety of trainings that equipped them for many potential leadership scenarios. Additionally, the personalized job shadowing allowed for unique adaptations for each individual’s desired path for growth.

Beverly Watson celebrates retirement from Inner Harbour Campus

beverly watson eventBeverly Watson recently celebrated her retirement from the Inner Harbour Campus after serving Youth Villages for 36 years. She has worked in various roles and departments, including switch board operator, medical records, administrative assistant, intake/social service coordinator, director of admissions, managed care contracting and marketing/agency relations. She most recently served as a regional representative in the marketing department at Inner Harbour.

Beverly’s family, former and current co-workers, board members and referral sources attended a retirement party at the Inner Harbour Campus to celebrate Watson’s career. Some referral sources traveled from as far as four hours away to attend. Judge Peggy Walker, Ron Scroggy, Cynthia Odom and others shared great stories and congratulatory words during the event. The Inner Harbour Campus dedicated one of the rocking chairs located on the Hewell Building porch in honor of Watson and she was showered with other gifts from staff and attendees.

“Beverly has traveled the entire state of Georgia and beyond marketing Inner Harbour programs and services and has played a key role in guiding hundreds of Georgia families to appropriate care for their youth,” Marsha Stewart, assistant director of managed care and referral sources, said. “She will most certainly be missed here on the campus and among referral source offices throughout the state of Georgia. We wish her plenty of relaxing days and a prosperous life as she transitions into retirement!”

Memphis Transitional Living Specialist Jaci Settje earns license

jaci settjeJaci Settje, transitional living specialist in Memphis, recently earned her LPC-MHSP (licensed professional counselor-mental health service provider) designation.

Licensure has always been the primary goal of Settje’s counseling career.

“I feel like I am promoting the professionalism of the counseling field by choosing to pursue my license as the field is still working toward being noticed in many areas of the country,” she said.

Youth Villages was able to help Settje reach her goal of earning her license. To earn her license, she needed to complete an accredited graduate program and complete a total of 60 graduate credits, including a 250-hour practicum and a 500-hour internship. She also needed to pass four exams and complete a minimum of 1,500 direct contact hours, 1,500 hours of other counseling-related work and 150 hours of licensure supervision. Clinical Services Supervisor Michelle Childs oversaw the licensure process for Settje.

“Jaci was very committed to the licensure process and very ambitious. Despite any work challenges she had, she always made sure she came to supervision and studied for all of the licensure exams,” Childs said. “She managed to get her license in a short time—just over two years. Sometimes it’s hard to add things into an already overbooked schedule, but she did it. She wanted the license and the extra clinical knowledge to be the best counselor possible to the youth she serves.”

Licensure will help Settje as she continues her dream of working with children and families.

“I love the difference I am able to make in the lives of the youth I have worked with and their families. While in graduate school, I was asked, ‘What do you want to do with your counseling career?’ My response was always that I wanted to work with youth and their families to make their lives better together,” she said. “When I found Youth Villages during my job search, I knew it was the right organization for me.”

Settje began working for Youth Villages in January 2011 on the Bartlett Campus. She has worked in her current role as transitional living specialist since March 2014.

“In the transitional living program, some of the young adults I work with have their own children. I guess in a way, I am promoting the relationship between parents and their children for the next generation,” she said.

Settje holds a master’s degree in counseling and psychology in education and bachelor’s degrees in alcohol and drug studies, psychology and American Indian studies from the University of South Dakota.

North Carolina office appreciates staff with games and scavenger hunt

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The Durham office recently held a staff appreciation day for the counselors who work so hard in the field. The Durham staff also invited the Greenville and Louisburg offices to join in on the fun. Staff members were split into groups and played three games. Everyone was able to compete with another team at least once. After the games, everyone participated in a photo scavenger hunt. At the end of the day, everyone enjoyed pizza and cake, and counselors and supervisors received awards. Despite the heat, everyone had a great time celebrating their hard work and bonding with one another.


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