Nashville Group Home boys visit Tennessee Titans

Boys receiving help at the Youth Villages Tallwood and Binkley Group Homes in Nashville visited the Tennessee Titans during their training camp recently per an official invitation from the football team.

The boys enjoyed watching the players practice and were overjoyed to receive complimentary gear. They also loved the chance to meet several of the players and get autographs. Everyone was especially excited to meet Quarterback Marcus Mariota.

We’re thankful for the people committed to bringing joy to our youth in residential programs across the country – and just in time for football season!

Sonsehia Marshall #Gold Star Staff

Interviewed by Abigail Vander Laan

Did you know Youth Villages has fully-accredited schools on each of our residential campuses in Memphis?

This allows youth in our programs to stay on-track so they don’t fall behind when they transition back into their communities. The low teacher: student ratio and additional teacher assistants in the classroom also allows our students to receive more individualized instruction and support.

Meet Sonsehia Marshall, one of our Special Education Teachers, currently making a difference teaching math at our Girls’ Center for Intensive Residential Treatment in Bartlett.

She’s a Memphis native, born and raised.

In her free time she loves to read, spend quality time with her son, and travel!

What’s your education background?  Sonsehia

I have a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration – I attended the University of Memphis and finished my undergraduate studies at the University of Phoenix. I later earned my Master’s in Special Education, Modified K-12, Highly Qualified in all subject areas from Christian Brothers University.


Why did you decide to teach Special Education?

I’ve always been interested in teaching Special Education so that I can serve as a positive role for at-risk and underserved youth. I want to instill in them the necessary self-advocacy and coping skills so that they can be upstanding citizens in society, despite their disabilities.


You joined the team in June – what drew you to Youth Villages’ schools?

I’ve explored many different facets of Special Education, including all at an all-boys youth prison. I saw that there was a need for nurturing and firm Special Education Teachers for at-risk students and I knew that my talents would be appreciated and much needed at Youth Villages. Additionally, I am placed at GCIRT, so not only are my students enjoying Math, but I am fortunate to serve as a positive role model for these young ladies.

If you’re looking for a place where you can be an advocate for youth in our schools like Sonsehia, submit an application online at!


**Tuition Reimbursement**

**Internal Growth Opportunities**

**Training & Professional Development**

Our COOL Director showed appreciation for her Girls Center Residential Staff with Italian Ice

Summers can get hot in Memphis but Youth Villages Girls Center Staff stayed Ice Cold this year. They were all smiles when their director showed her appreciation for their hard work by having the Italian Ice truck visit campus. All staff, including our mentoring, support services, clinical and direct care employees were invited to partake.

Come join this fun team today by applying online at

GCIRT blog

Meet Sarah Cardullo, YV LifeSet and Family Intervention Specialist in Worcester, Mass.

pic for YV careersMeet Sarah Cardullo, YV LifeSet and Family Intervention Specialist in Worcester, Mass. Join our team in Worcester at

What is your educational background (college, major, etc.)?

I graduated from Union College with a B.S. in Psychology and from George Washington University with a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.

What did you do before coming to Youth Villages?

I worked at a therapeutic day school in Washington D.C.

What do you love about your city/what do you do for fun in your city?

There are a ton of great restaurants in Worcester, my favorite is MezCal, and there are also a lot of parks and trails that my dog and I love to go to.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

I love to watch sports, especially the Red Sox and soccer, spend time with friends and hang out with my dog.

What is your favorite part about your job/about working for Youth Villages?

My absolute favorite part is the people I work with, we have an awesome staff here in Worcester!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part is knowing that we can’t help everyone.

What is one fun fact about you?

I played soccer in college.

Meet Jessica Moore, LPC – Regional Supervisor in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jessica MooreMeet Jessica Moore, LPC, Youth Villages’ Regional Supervisor in Tulsa, Oklahoma – one of Youth Villages’ newest locations.

What is your educational background?

MA in Christian Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – Dissertation short of PhD in Counseling/Psychology from BH Carroll Theological Seminary

What did you do before coming to Youth Villages?

I had a private practice at a local church in Ft. Worth, Texas, then started with Intercept in Dallas in 2004-2007. Took a break and had children…came back to YV in 2010 at the Boys’ Center for Intensive Resiential Treatment, then the Dogwood campus, then as a clinical consultant for residential programs in Memphis, Tenn. prior to relocating to Oklahoma as Regional Supervisor of the Intercept program.

What do you love about your city/what do you do for fun in your city? Read more of this post

Meet Jennifer Wilson, Clinical Liaison in Morristown

Jennifer at her family's farm

Jennifer at her family’s farm

Meet Jennifer Wilson, Clinical Liaison in the Morristown, Tennessee office.

What is your educational background?

I attended East Tennessee State University, where I majored in Human Services, with a minor in Family Studies. I graduated Cum Laude in December 2013, while being a member of various Honors Societies as well.

What did you do before coming to Youth Villages?

While a student at East Tennessee State University, I volunteered multiple times weekly for several years at Coalition for Kids, Inc. During the last year of my undergraduate education, I was fortunate enough to receive an internship at the same facility. This internship allowed me to work with underprivileged youth between the ages of six and twelve. Originally, I was brought in and hired to fill a pilot position for the Intercept program at Youth Villages. After a couple of months in the field, I received a promotion to a full time Family Intervention Specialist. In November, I received a new position as Clinical Liaison at the Morristown office, where I began conducting Pre-Placement Assessments.

What do you love about your city/what do you do for fun in your city?

I believe the aspect that I love most about my city is the sense of community between the residents. I have lived in the same city since I was about three years old, and over the course of my lifetime, my family and I have made numerous lifelong friendships. Upon my return from college, these friendships held strong as each person expressed strong care for me still, requesting updates on my time away. The best aspect about my city is that the residents here are more than simply neighbors or friends; these people are extended members of my family.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

When I am not working, I spend the majority of my time with my friends and family. I strongly believe that in order to effectively assist the families in our programs, we have to be able to maintain adequate self-care. In order for me to re-charge my batteries, if you will, I spend time watching movies with friends and family; being outside on our family farm; cozying up with a good book and a glass of sweet tea; or going on walks with my dog (weather permitting). My desire to help others also continues to play a role in my daily life outside of work. Very recently, I became a sponsor for a child living in severe poverty in Vietnam. Closer to home, my family and I also donate time and resources to charities such as Habitat for Humanity regularly.

What is your favorite part about your job/about working for Youth Villages?

My favorite part of my job at Youth Villages is the overwhelming joy I receive once I have successfully helped a family. Whether it is my own case or I’m providing assistance to another counselor on their case, the joy I feel knowing that I am helping make a difference, no matter how big or small, is what motivates me every day to continue giving my all to Youth Villages. Not only do I attempt to help others with my educational services, but I also give a portion of my paycheck to Our Family Campaign in order to assist those needing financial support.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of this job for me is the realization that not every case can be a “success story” on an equally large scale. For instance, when helping one family, I might begin to notice significant improvements in their interactions and behaviors right away; however, with another family, I might not notice any significant improvements at all. However, despite the fact that “significant” changes are not being made, it is vitally important to note even the smallest of improvements. Ultimately, each one of our cases are unique and different; therefore, we can’t say any case is less successful than another. Maybe the child doesn’t exude his/her improvements visually, through external means; however, as counselors, we are looking for internal changes as well. Most often, it is difficult to feel as if we are making effective changes when they cannot be visually measured; however, each and every therapeutic interaction with our families is vitally important, and I strongly believe the key to success is remembering that as such.

What is one fun/interesting fact about you?

I think the most fun/interesting fact about me is that I live on a farm. We moved to my current residence when I was about three years old; therefore, this has always been home to me. The greatest part about it, is that over the years, various other family members have migrated to the “family farm” as well. Not only do my parents live on the farm, but also my grandparents, as well as two aunts and their families. When the weather is perfect out, we all get together and go four-wheel riding, have bonfires, or have dinner all together. In my mind, there is nothing better than spending quality time with friends and family; therefore, having all of us live so close together makes family gatherings almost a weekly occurrence. Having such as close-knit family helps me keep the Youth Villages motto “The Force For Families” close to my heart.

Meet Rebecca O’Malley, Intercept Clinical Supervisor in Knoxville and former intern

Rebecca O'Malley at Knoxville's Biscuit Festival

Rebecca O’Malley at Knoxville’s Biscuit Festival

Take a peek at Rebecca O’Malley’s insightful look at her career with Youth Villages – her challenges and successes, love for Knoxville, and fun fact guaranteed to entertain on any car trip!

Meet Rebecca O’Malley, Clinical Supervisor with the Knoxville, TN Intercept program. Before becoming supervisor, Rebecca worked as a Family Intervention Specialist within Intercept and as a Clinical Assessor for the families the Intercept program serves. In college, she interned with Youth Villages’ Jackson, TN office, working with the Intercept, Transitional Living, and Foster Care programs.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Union University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Bachelor’s in English Literature.

What did you do before coming to Youth Villages?

Before coming to Youth Villages, I was very active as a college student in my community. I served with local relief organizations, the Salvation Army, and within my church, working predominantly with children and families in poverty. In addition, I completed my internship with Youth Villages (see above).

What do you love about your city? What do you do for fun?

Knoxville is full of culture and excitement, while not being so massive that I feel I’m lost within a crowd. There are always festivals, and every first Friday of the month, artists congregate downtown and display their works to the public. While Knoxville is known for its football, the University of Tennessee is not the only excitement it has going for it. My husband and I love living so close to the Smokies that we can take a day trip to hike up the mountains. Market Square is my favorite place to shop on a Saturday morning, perusing the Farmer’s Market and walking down Gay Street. And at night, the Square becomes a venue for live music, great food, and seasonal outdoor fare. Ijams Nature Center is another one of my favorites in the Spring and Summer. There are beautiful woody trails that take you to old caves, pass over the river, and even lead to a giant quarry where you can rent kayaks and canoes and make a day of it.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

When I’m not lazy, I love to run and hike. I am a voracious reader when I make the time to do so, especially when it comes to Harry Potter. I love baking treats for my loved ones and firmly believe that chocolate can cure almost any ailment or calamity. I generally just love to be around people after work, if that means making dinner with friends or binge-watching Netflix on the couch.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I am a relational person by nature, so I love making connections with people in the field. I’ve discovered that my best moments in this job occur when I can reflect someone else’s importance to them. Whether that be a despondent parent that needs to recognize the value of the role they play in their kid’s life, a child that has been told that they are a failure beyond repair, a co-worker disparaged by the toll of the job, or a key player whose input is essential for the success of a case, I have the opportunity to let those individuals know that what they do every day is important. Many times, we meet families who are in the darkest seasons of their lives, and we have the honor of coming alongside them in those lowest points to bring interventions and support. It is an honor to be a part of a person’s life when they are ready to make changes and progress. Our mission is to help children and families live successfully, and while that looks different in every home, that starts with sharing stories and building bridges across the brokenness these families have experienced.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I could name very few jobs that are more challenging than serving children and families who have experienced trauma, poverty, and the pain of having their families ripped apart. But within the job, the most challenging part for me is learning how to walk away from a situation, acknowledging that I have done everything possible and still accept the outcomes in spite of that. While I know that if I dwell on an outcome that was not ideal, I cannot best serve the other families and counselors on my load, it can still be very challenging to walk away confide

ntly when a child is removed or a family does not follow recommendations and feel that I have exhibited best practice.

What is one fun fact about you?

I entertain myself on car trips and in waiting rooms by counting up all the numbers I see on signs, books, and license plates and cast out nines. Casting out nines is the dumbest way to check if your math answers are correct, but the skill has not left me since I learned it in the fifth grade. Don’t ever learn it; it’s useless but will follow you everywhere.

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