Meet Joey! YV 360 Behavioral Youth Counselor!

Q: Please tell me your name, where you are from, what school you graduated from and what you studied?

A: My name is Joey Sterba, I’m from Sterling, VA just outside Washington D.C. I studied psychology at Christopher Newport University 

Q: What drew you to the YV 360 program?

A: What drew me most was the opportunity to relocate and work for a strong non-profit as part of a development team that believed in me. 

Q: What have you enjoyed most about the program?

A: What I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to meet and talk with some of the higher-up leadership in the organization. I think it is a great chance to try to learn from very successful people. 

Q: What do you hope to gain from this program?

A: I hope to gain as much information and advice as I can from people with valuable experience, and opportunities to connect with those more experienced than I. I hope to continue to grow in the organization and eventually move on to residential leadership. 

Q: Have your career goals changed from when you entered the program?

A: Yes! When I first joined YV360 I was very interested in the research department for a career in research. As I have learned more, I am more interested in residential leadership. 

Q: Do you have any advice for future YV 360 participants?

A: Make sure you have some hobbies and self-care routines for outside of work. The work you do as a Teacher Counselor can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself so you can give your all when you’re with the youth.

Mark your calendars to apply for our YV360 Career Development Program on January 18th!

To learn more about our current job opportunities click here:

12 Years and Counting

Meet Tamara Williams!

Tamara has worked with Youth Villages for 12 1/2 years. She originally started as a clinic nurse, was promoted to Nurse Manager, and now serves as the Regional Nurse Manager for Bill’s Place and the Rose Center.

Why did you decide to work at Youth Villages compared another setting?

I’ve always had the desire to work with pediatrics/adolescence, but I was instantly drawn to Youth Villages during my clinical rotation in nursing school. I felt like the youth served were those counted out and often forgotten about. To be able to develop a more in depth relationship and and assist them along this journey brings much satisfaction.

What is your favorite holiday memory in Memphis?

I love to see the tree lighting at The Peabody Hotel as well as viewing the lights at Shelby Farms.

What has been the toughest part of your job?

One of the toughest parts of my job, which took awhile to master, was using empathy vs sympathy with our youth. Many have experience unimaginable traumatic events.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to see the progress of our kiddos from admission to discharge. I love to get updates from past youth on how well they have transitioned, and to hear them they “Thank You” is icing on the cake. Knowing that you’ve left a positive impression speaks volumes.

Is there someone who has helped you through your time at Youth Villages?

Nicole Fannin – she has always been supportive and honest in my development even prior to me moving into leadership. Mrs. Fannin has pushed me personally and professionally to focus on the “bigger picture.” I appreciate that she not only champions you, but challenges you as well!

What’s one thing you wish you would have known before you started working with Youth Villages?

Prior to working at Youth Villages I don’t know this population existed in this multitude. After 6 months I knew there was work to be done in our communities and I’m grateful to be apart of this amazing organization that continues to enhance services provided to our youth and families.

What is the best self-care activity you would recommend to a new employee?

Eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Do whatever helps promote not only your physical, but mental well being as well.

Click here to apply and join our team of nurses this holiday season!

Our Spotlight is Shining on . . .

Ashley Tucker!

Ashley Tucker currently works as a nurse at our Dogwood campus.

She will celebrate her one-year anniversary with Youth Villages in January 2021.

Why did you decide to work at Youth Villages compared another setting?

I chose to work at Youth Villages instead of another setting because I love working with kids and I wanted the opportunity to be a pat of a team that makes a difference in these kids lives.

Describe a typical work day.

My typical day consist of interacting with the youth during morning meds and working with the other nurses to prepare for a busy day of assisting physicians in the clinic.

What is your favorite holiday memory in Memphis?

My favorite holiday memory would be driving around the city looking at Christmas lights with my parents and then choosing one special gift to open on Christmas Eve.

What has been the toughest part of your job? What’s the best part of your job?

The toughest part of my job has been trying to find a healthy work and home life balance. The best parts of my job are seeing the kids with smiles on their faces and waving and participating in campus activities to boost morale.

Is there someone who has helped you through your time at Youth Villages?

The entire nursing department has helped me through my time with Youth Villages. I did not realize how much I needed these women during this time in my life. I truly love it here and consider them more than co-workers, they’re my friends!

What’s one thing you wish you would have known before you started working with Youth Villages?

One thing I wish I would have known before I started is you cannot wear your feelings on your sleeve.

What is the best self-care activity you would recommend to a new employee?

The best self-care activity I would recommend to a new employee is to learn a new hobby – mine is arts and crafts, especially painting!

Click here to apply and join our team of nurses this holiday season!

Meet Evan Hudson, Family Intervention Specialist in Oklahoma City, OK

Evan joined the Youth Villages Family in March 2020. He is a Family Intervention Specialist in our Oklahoma City office!

Why did you choose to work at YV?

The reason I chose YV is because I wanted to truly make an impact working with youth and families. A friend of mine suggested I look into YV. As I did, I found that YV was the perfect fit for me.

What do you enjoy most in your current role?

Being able to see the youth and family build a healthy relationship as well as see the youth develop skills that will allow them to be successful in life.

What are you most thankful for this year? 

I am most thankful for my family. Especially for my grandparents who celebrated their 60th anniversary.

I am also thankful for my fiancé and our two doggos. Lastly I am thankful for gaining my health back and getting into something I really enjoy which is Jiu Jitsu!

What are some Thanksgiving traditions you celebrate?

One family tradition we have is making concord grape pie. We also take walks around car lots to walk off all of the food!

Meet Nurse Reed, a Licensed Practical Nurse at our Inner Harbor Campus!

At Youth Villages, we love our nurses!  They play a critical role in serving our youth in residential treatment.  Learn more about Nurse Reed’s story…

Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?

My biggest influences, hands down, are my own 2 children. I learn from them as much as they from me!

What is your role at Youth Villages ?

I have the pleasure of being a nurse at the Inner Harbour Campus.

What drew you into Youth Villages?

The job security brought me here. The overall atmosphere, people I get to work with, including our youth, the experiences, and the opportunities to grow keep me here.

What is the most rewarding part of your role here and why?

I am so much more than a nurse! I get to offer my support and be a resource in many different areas on campus and each area offers its own reward.  The personal and professional growth I have experienced since working here is priceless.

What is it like to work at Youth Villages?

Every day is truly like a box of mixed chocolates! You never know exactly what you’re biting into! The family atmosphere and support here gives me strength and courage to begin every day anew. I know that regardless of any situation we are a resilient team and will push through together.

Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.

Dag Hammarskjold

Watch now for an inside look into our Inner Harbour Campus.   If you are interested in joining our nursing team in Douglasville, GA, apply now.  Don’t forget to ask about our $3,000 sign-on payment for LPNs and $5,000 sign-on payment for RNs!

Meet Jennifer! MST Clinical Supervisor

Jennifer has been working with Youth Villages since August 2019 as a Family Counselor in the Knoxville, TN MST program.  Jennifer was recently promoted to Clinical Supervisor for the Knoxville and Morristown MST teams.  She attended Lincoln Memorial for her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, later obtaining her Master’s in Forensic Psychology and now is attending Capella to obtain her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health.  I had the opportunity to talk with her briefly about her experience at Youth Villages, and why she chooses to continue to work in the MST program.  I also got the chance to find out Jennifer LOVES Halloween and everything that comes with it.

Read below to learn more about this spook-tacular employee in our Knoxville/ Morristown office!

Q: Tell me a little bit about how you got involved with Youth Villages?

I first heard of Youth Villages while attending Lincoln Memorial for my undergraduate degree. Later I was working as a therapist in KY when my husband mentioned something about relocating.  I had always wanted to work at YV and saw an opening so I applied.

Q: What is your favorite part about working in MST? Why?

I love Youth Villages and MST!  I love helping families and witnessing them get to a better place.  I do not ever see a challenge.  The goal is to work towards getting families to where they need to be.

Q: Any fun facts about yourself?

I sing at weddings and in church.  I play on a co-ed softball team and me and my husband just joined a kickball team in Knoxville.  We also enjoy camping and go every year on my birthday.  I love anything outdoors.

I also love Halloween.

Q: What are some of your favorite traditions of Halloween?

I love to decorate and go all out.  We dress up every year and either we have a get together or attend one.  This year we are having it at our home and will be having a costume contest for best dressed couples and individuals.  We will do candy bags, a chili dip and a Chex mix with candy.  There will be a bonfire, s’mores and karaoke. 

When we first moved into our subdivision, we were the first ones to really decorate and now everyone decorates.  There is a haunted house not far from me that my husband got to try out last year and I am looking forward to trying it out. 

We really celebrate all month long by watching Halloween movies including: all the Halloween movies, Hocus Pocus and Casper (to name a few). On Halloween night, we will celebrate with family.

Q: What will you be dressing up as this year?

It is still a mystery!  I am planning on getting that together this weekend.  Me and my husband usually do a couples costume of some sort.

My dogs and cat will more than likely dress up as well.

Q: What makes you proud to be part of the YV family?

We do so much for people in the community and YV always goes above and beyond.  Our CEO is pretty awesome!

Q: What is some advice you would give to future employees or new hires?

The same advice I was given… Do not get discouraged!  Hang in there, ask for help and take things one step at a time.  There is help all around you!

Jennifer, it was so FUN getting to talk to you especially about your LOVE for Halloween.  We are so glad you are a part of YV.

Have a fang-tastic Halloween!

Consider joining our MST team in Morristown or Knoxville! Click the following link to learn more and apply at either location:

Spotlight’s Shining Bright!

Meet Rachel Brown!

Rachel Brown began her journey at Youth Villages a little over a year ago. She currently works as a Behavioral Youth Counselor at Janie’s House on our Bartlett Campus in Memphis, TN.

She recently graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelors degree in child development and family studies.

What do you love most about Memphis? What is your favorite thing to do in Memphis?

I love the different events that are always going on somewhere in the city. My favorite thing to do in Memphis is have brunch and girl’s nights.

Describe a typical work day.

A typical work day for me includes a fun schedule of high and low activities for the youth and staff to enjoy; combined with coping skills, processing, and lots of observation.

What has been the toughest part of your job?

The toughest part of my job was definitely learning balance. I had to teach myself that it was okay to disconnect from work when I was done for the day so that I could fully recharge.

What is one thing you wish you would have known before you started?

One thing I wish I would have known before I started working at Youth Villages was the wide variety of job opportunities throughout the company. I was truly amazed by LifeSet, Residential Treatment Setting, and many other programs throughout the company.

Is there someone who has helped you through your time at YV? Who and how did they help you?

Yes, one person that has helped me throughout this year is Capria Tyson, my supervisor. She is extremely patient with all of the staff and the children. She is definitely a leader and role model. She always has a listening ear and wise words to get me through the next step of being a great staff, friend, and employee.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is the love and support from the entire campus. We are very open and always uplifting each other. The outpouring of love from the Janie’s House team never goes unnoticed.

What is the best self-care activity you would recommend to a new employee?

The best self-care activity I would recommend to a new employee is to create a cozy place where they can do what they love such as reading, writing, singing, or even sleeping!

Meet Nurse Tubbs, a Registered Nurse at our Inner Harbor Campus!

At Youth Villages, we love our nurses!  They play a critical role in serving our youth in residential treatment.  Learn more about Nurse Tubbs’ story…

What impact do you feel like Youth Villages has made on families?

Youth Villages makes a major impact on families by giving aspirations and a second chance to families who are presented with challenges.

What is your role in that impact?

My role is to provide support not only from a medical perspective but in any way that I can.

What are you most proud of from your time at Youth Villages?

During my time here at Youth Villages, I am most proud of being a positive role model for the youth. Having several youth ask me questions about “Why I became a nurse?” and “Was it hard?” lets me know that the youth here are looking up to me.

What was it that attracted you to Youth Villages as a nurse?

What attracted me to Youth Villages is my desire and passion to work in a mental/behavioral health setting.

How has Youth Villages added value to your career as a nurse?

Youth Villages has added value to my career as a nurse by making me a more complete nurse. I am now more equipped to provide total nursing care and a more holistic approach to nursing care that is often missed in a clinical setting.

“The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge they possess.”

—Carolyn Jarvis

Watch now for an inside look into our Inner Harbour Campus.   If you are interested in joining our nursing team in Douglasville, GA, apply now.  Don’t forget to ask about our $3,000 sign-on payment for LPNs and $5,000 sign-on payment for RNs!

Meet Kaneeshia

Kaneeshia Wade began her journey with with Youth Villages back in 2013 as a Behavioral Youth Counselor in Memphis, TN. Kaneeshia has taken advantage of the many growth opportunities offered at Youth Villages and will be our new Lead Counselor on our Bartlett Campus soon!

How long have you been with Youth Villages? What positions did you have before moving to your current role?

What appealed to me the most was the opportunity for a full time position and getting experience working with kids. My journey at Youth Villages started in January of 2013 where I worked as a Behavioral Youth Counselor at the Rose Center for Residential Treatment. In February of 2014, I left Youth Villages to work as an Early Childcare lead teacher. In July of 2014, I was laid off from my position and was offered a position as an Overnight Teacher Counselor at Bartlett Campus. In September of 2014, I was promoted to Bartlett Campus Unit Team. I was accepted into Graduate School at Clark Atlanta University during the fall of 2014, but didn’t transition to the city of Atlanta until spring of 2015 where I was able to transfer to the Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville, GA. I transferred as a Night Staff and eventually transitioned back to Behavioral Youth Counselor. As my graduation approach in May of 2017, I prepared my transition back to Memphis, TN where I then became a Lead Teacher Counselor. Shortly after I became a Residential Supervisor. During the winter of 2017, I started working in a clinical role as a Master’s Level Clinical Liaison at the Rose Center for Residential Treatment. During the summer of 2018, I returned to Bartlett Campus as a Residential Supervisor. During the spring of 2019, I was offered the position as a Masters Level Clinical Liaison at Bartlett Campus and in July of 2019, I became a Residential Counselor and I will begin my journey as a Lead Counselor on Bartlett Campus in September,

Why did you originally accept the offer from Youth Villages?

It’s a personal mission and personal value of mine to always be growing. I’d say the biggest area of growth is confidence. My mother was a foster parent when I was growing up and having many different youth in our home and knowing their situations is what really pushed me to do the work that I do at Youth Villages.

What is the best piece of advice you have received throughout your time at YV? 

The best piece of advice would be: 1. Remember the reason you started your journey at Youth Villages. 2. Your team is your ally, use them. 3. You are the change agent for our youth and families. 4. Patience is a virtue.

What has been the toughest part of your job?

The toughest part would probably be seeing my teammates leave or move around. Your team is so vital to your work here and it can be hard to let them go. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to a current job seeker when applying to YV?

Be grounded in your specific steps to reaching your goals. Know what you are looking for.

Is there someone who has helped you through your time at YV? Who and how did they help you?

There are many individuals who have positively impacted my growth here at Youth Villages. One person I want to shout out would be Sabrina Payne. Sabrina was my Residential Coordinator during my time at the Rose Center in 2013. She is the one who hired me as a Behavioral Youth Counselor for Courtyard 3. Sabrina was not only a residential Coordinator, she was/is a mentor, a change agent for other employees at Youth Villages. She has been there every step of the way in my career at Youth Villages. She is always encouraging and transparent. Sabrina is phenomenal.

Why do you continue to work at YV?

I value the mission and culture of Youth Villages. I want to continue my journey growing and developing as a Social Worker and person within this company.

What is the best self-care activity you would recommend to a new employee?

Take time for yourself to breathe; meditate; take walks; anything to keep yourself whole.

Q: Please tell us your name, location where you work and how long you have been with Youth Villages?

A: I work at Bill’s Place in our education department. I’ve been with Youth Villages since August 2016.What is your educational background? I graduated Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in psychology from The University of Memphis. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching from The University of Memphis. Go Tigers!

Q: How have you experienced growth within Youth Villages?

A: When I came to Youth Villages in August of 2016, I began as a teacher’s assistant. Through varying circumstances within our program, an opportunity presented itself in 2018 for me to take the lead in our elementary classroom. Under new leadership in our educational department, Principal Baker encouraged professional development and academics. Our classroom was featured many times on YV Central and has been a leading force to establishing an academic culture of fun, engaging learning.

Q: How do you build rapport and engagement with our youth?

A: In our classroom, I talk about us as a unit. It is “our” classroom—not “mine”. Therefore, its success and failures rest on the responsibility of us all. We work as a team (both students and staff). We are the “Malone’s Marvels” which I created to give the classroom a theme that promotes individualism, strengths, as well as being aware of our “weaknesses” (all superheroes have a weakness you know). I promote classroom PROCEDURES (the way things are to be done) over rules. “Rules are driven by penalties and rewards.” (Wong & Wong, 2018). If the procedures are learned and followed, the rules will also be carried out. Most importantly, I try to create an environment, activities, and lessons where my boys WANT to learn!

Q: What is your process for creating lesson plans?

A: In creating lesson plans, I like to focus on having cross-curricular instruction. This means that whatever, we are talking about in Science will also come up within our English and Social Studies lesson as well. Sometimes, I am able to incorporate all four subjects, but I typically aim for at least 2-3 connecting subjects. It allows the learner to hear the information multiple times which reinforces the concepts/ideals being learned long-term. In my weekly teachings, I aim for activities that aren’t pencil and paper. I can do informal assessments by the engaging levels of the boys, as well as, their participation and feedback. Using simple tools like magnetic letters, can turn into an intense competition when there are six letters stuck to the closet door (magnetized) and you’re racing to create the strongest “Acrostic Sentence” before your classmate! They love competition. It helps breed positive social skills, enriched learning, and participation.

Q: How does the technology in the class (smart boards, laptops) impact how you teach?

 A: We are so fortunate to have a smart board in our classrooms. The kids enjoy having that huge screen before them, but we use it to extend lessons and travel places that we have yet to go. I like to use it to help expand the world beyond their knowledge. Most of our kids have not been out of state or have a global awareness of the places that are out there. So we enjoy taking virtual tours in Social Studies to the Leaning Tower of Pisa here recently. We all now know that it leans because it was built on soft soil! My laptop allows me to show them what I have on my screen and they can interact with reading, sharing discussions, as well as develop note-taking skills by what they see mirrored on the main screen. The technology helps remove the looming pencil and paper from some task and we create masterful replicas of The Golden Gate Bridge following art tutorials online. It’s just another way to effectively teach and reach our “at promise” kids. (Wong & Wong, 2018) Instead of calling our kids “at risk”, effective teachers more positively think of them as “at promise” kids.

Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching at Youth Villages?

A: I get to leave each day feeling like someone needed me and I was there. I matter!! We get kids who aren’t able to receive small group instruction due to behaviors and other circumstances, but here—we can give them that. I get to have moments when a middle school child looks at me and says, “I’ve never understood that until now.” It makes it worth it on every level. We matter! #Teachers


Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. (2018). The first days of school: How to be an effective teacher. Mountainview, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.

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