Meet Shauna from our Intercept program in Salem, OR!

spotlightWhat is your education background/what school did you attend?

I received my Bachelors of Arts in Communications from Western Oregon University and then attended the Master’s in Social Work program at Portland State University.

 What is the most rewarding part of your role? Most challenging?

Watching families, in whatever form, learn how to interact differently and support each other in a healthy way is one of the most rewarding parts of my role. The most rewarding part is seeing a child and parent feel whole with each other and relief that they were able to gain the skills needed to be successful in the community. The most challenging is working within a broken mental health system, the lack of resources, an underfunded school system, and lack of education or support for mental health needs.

Why did you choose to come work at YV?

I feel like YV chose me. I looked into many different job opportunities, YV sounded daunting at first, but I wanted a challenge. It is the work, the values, and the support of children and families that makes me stay.

What have you learned most since coming to YV? How have you seen yourself grow?

I have learned what kind of therapist that I want to be, how to look adversity in the eye and move forward, how to push my belief systems, and I have grown in my ability to handle different communication styles.

Any fun facts about yourself?

I used to want to be a journalist, then I became a Special Olympics Coach, and then I became a Social Worker. Being the difference means more than reporting the difference. I also love Zombies and watching zombie or action movies to unwind.

What’s your favorite part about living in Salem?

The interesting and diverse people that can be found throughout town, the growth, and the amount of independent business owners. My favorite thing to do is take a walk downtown with my 2 year old and then take her to play at Riverfront.

Anything else we should know?

Many of us do this work because we recognize ourselves in these children or they may represent a piece of our lives that we wish we could have changed. Making the difference now is helping to rewrite someone’s story. Every action makes a difference.


Residential Employee Spotlight: Meet Brittany!

 In a leadership role for the last couple years, Brittany Davis reflects on her start as a Behavioral Youth Counselor and what she’s learned along the way.

Brittany Davis

“I was born in Memphis but was traveled a lot due to being an army brat,” Brittany shares. She lived in Germany as a child, but ended up back in Memphis where she attended the University of Memphis and obtained a degree in Criminal Justice – a major that provides skills and experiences that can apply in a lot of settings.

“When I graduated I was looking for a place to start my career, unsure of what I wanted to do. I came to Youth Villages because I knew it was a place where I could grow and to discover if I wanted to use my degree to work with children or in other ways. Once I got here I realized that I enjoyed working with the youth and was pretty good at it!” Brittany explains.

She started off working as a Behavioral Youth Counselor, a bachelor’s level role working 4 days on, 3 days off in one of our residential treatment programs for youth with severe behavioral and mental health needs. Behavioral Youth Counselors build a strong therapeutic rapport with 10-15 youth and help them learn life skills, develop coping skills, and process through trauma by walking through daily treatment with them.

Youth are only placed in residential treatment when they need more intensive care then they can receive in the community, so Behavioral Youth Counselors provide very needed support and gain a wide range of experience with at-risk youth very quickly.

“Working in residential has taught me that there is nothing that I cannot handle. I have learned a lot about myself like the fact that I can have patience and I am really good at working with children and I really enjoyed being around the youth and seeing their progression.”

Brittany’s commitment to the staff and youth on campus is very evident to everyone that interacts with her. Her skills and dedication eventually opened up doors for her to transition into a leadership role, and she now serves as the campus’s residential coordinator. She facilitates the hiring and training of new residential staff while also providing on-call crisis support and additional leadership.

While her role has changed, it’s just as critical. “The most rewarding part of my role now is to see the new staff come in and find their love for working with children. The most challenging part of my role is not working with the youth directly as often as I used to. I have to remind myself that I am helping the youth in other ways by ensuring they have quality staff to work with them.”

Some reading her story might connect with Brittany’s commitment to working with at-risk youth and supporting the team and may also be interested in the variety of internal growth opportunities that Youth Villages provides. Her advice?

“The advice I would give to someone who is considering to work in residential would be to have a great work life balance. As long as you take breaks and make the most out of your three off days, you will definitely love this role and position.”

Brittany’s’ developed some of her own personal “coping skills” for her days off, including getting outside, enjoying the river in downtown Memphis, and walking through Shelby Farms. And giving us all the travel bug, Brittany shares about her love of travel. “I’ve been to several beaches within the US and the West Coast is my favorite! The beach is my coping skill!”

memphis bridge

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If you’re looking for a way to use your criminal justice, social work, or psychology degree and grow professionally with the guidance of experienced staff and mentors like Brittany, consider applying for the Behavioral Youth Counselor position in Memphis, TN!

We recently increased the pay and are now offering $2,000 relocation assistance for anyone relocating 100+ miles!






Join us for an online info session this fall!

  • Are you a recent bachelor’s or master’s level grad looking to start off your career in the mental health field?
  • Are you an experienced therapist or social worker?
  • Are you a teacher looking to provide more individualized education for at-risk youth?

We have meaningful career opportunities for all of you at Youth Villages!

Sign up for a brief online info session (with extra time for questions) to learn how we are a force for families and a force for our employees!

To join the meeting:

For audio:

  • Toll free access number: 1-855-240-2575
  • Participant pin code:70386071

With behavioral & mental health treatment programs across 13 states, Youth Villages provides ample training and growth opportunities

  • Tuition & Licensure Supervision Reimbursement
  • Promotion from Within
  • Relocation & Sign-On Payment Incentives

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In the meantime, check out our current openings!

We look forward to connecting with you soon.



Youth Villages recognized for bringing mental health treatment access to rural Tennessee – join our team!

Check out the Tennesean’s article on how Youth Villages is helping to bring mental health treatment programs to rural Tennessee.

If you are passionate about making sure that all families have access to preventative care as well as support in times of crisis, check out our careers page for a complete list of openings &  see how you can start a meaningful counseling role today!

Featured Tennessee Jobs Include:



Summer Intern Spotlight: Meet Nancy!

We celebrated our summer interns this week with a minute-to-win-it style game night and an intern bash complete with canoe games and a cookout – a great time to come together as a YV family!

intern bash 2018

With two weeks left to go in the summer, we checked in with Nancy, one of our interns from Tennessee Tech University, who currently works at our Boys’ Center for Intensive Residential Treatment here in Memphis, TN.

Before she joined YV, Nancy had some previous experience interning and volunteering with several Child Life programs at children’s hospitals across the country, where she interacted with youth with behavioral & psychosocial needs.

“I found I had difficulty working with male adolescents who were noncompliant to their medical treatment. They also had behavioral and psychological issues which I found to be influenced by their home setting and family. I felt like I had lacked specific skills to help them be compliant —I needed to figure out what to do to better understand the home setting of nancy caldwelleach child.”

In her search to continue to build on those skills, she found the summer internship program with Youth Villages, and set a goal to work on building rapport and developing care plans to prepare for her career after graduation.

Internships can be really valuable experiences for students to connect with professionals in the field, gain exposure to different population, and open new doors. Our interns this summer have had a chance to connect with and learn from staff working in Youth Villages’ residential, in-home, transitional living, research, and performance improvement departments.

Nancy shared more about what she’s learned specifically from the direct care staff  who she works with on a daily basis:

“I have learned that being a Behavioral Youth Counselor isn’t easy. Their work and influence does not go unnoticed even though there are days when they may feel discouraged when working with the youth at times. It takes hardworking and caring hearts to continue to persevere knowing that the little things they do makes an impact on each youth’s lives.”

Our interns also make an impact with our youth (and our full-time staff often enjoy some of the creativity and passion that our summer interns bring to the team!) Nancy brings her previous experience with youth, her compassion and drive to learn, as well as leadership & teamwork skills she’s gained from her various involvements at Tennessee Tech. She’s a part of the BCM International, the Child Life Association, and the Omicron Delta Kappa honors program, just to name a few.

Throughout the summer, Nancy has been learning and giving back, but also has made some time for fun! While she was born & raised in Isaan, Thailand, she’s lived in Cookeville, TN for school (where we also have a YV office!) She enjoys hiking, climbing, camping, and tennis, and found that Memphis also has some great outdoor spaces to explore too – particularly Shelby Farms!  “I really enjoyed Shelby Farms because it was my first time seeing wild buffalo!” she shared.

Thanks for spending your summer with our kids, Nancy! We are thankful for you and all of our summer interns!

Interested in full-time opportunities with YV? Calling all Tennessee Tech alumni and anyone else interested in working in Cookeville, TN in one of our in-home treatment programs.

Interested in summer internships? We will start accepting applications next year starting October 1 at

Meet Lindsey, Dyersburg Family Intervention Specialst

Face NOLA trip

In a society with so many hurting young people, we need people like Lindsey to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of the youth and families we serve.

Lindsey is a Family Intervention Specialist in our YVIntercept program in Dyersburg, TN. Those who work closely with Lindsey describe her as mature, invested in the success of her families, a joy to work with and a person that everyone would want on their team. I’d say Lindsey really rocks as a staff! AND she agreed to talk with me today about her work here at Youth Villages.

Tarekia: Lindsey, thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me today. I know you’re preparing for a trip to Haiti so it’s much appreciated that you rearranged your schedule to chat! We will start off with a simple ice breaker to warm you up for the tough questions. Kidding, these are very simple and easy.

Let’s see, since I love food, the ice breaker will be food related. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

Lindsey: Probably pasta or a salad because they are each pretty versatile!

Tarekia: That’s a first! I assumed you’d say pizza or hot wings! Those are healthier options! I see YV’s wellness initiative has rubbed off on you! That’s awesome! Alright, here we go! Are you from Dyersburg?

Lindsey: No, I’m actually originally from Danville, IL.

Tarekia: Wow! Why did you choose to relocate?

Lindsey: Long story short, I honestly moved to Dyersburg out of blind faith, not knowing anyone or anything. I moved from my comfort zone to experience life and fulfill my purpose.

Tarekia: That sounds pretty brave and adventuristic! Since moving, what’s been your favorite part about living here or what’s your favorite thing to do in the area?

Lindsey: Since it is a rural area, I do travel a lot but I also love visiting the small mom & pop shops/restaurants/ etc.  Plus getting connected within the community was a major key.

Tarekia: Sounds like you just go looking for the fun! Next question, what school did you attend and what degree do you have?

Lindsey: I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) from Indiana State University. Proud Sycamore!

Tarekia: School pride still strong, I see! Love it! Ok, so why did you choose to work at YV?

Lindsey: Because we’re a great place to work! But really, because our organization’s mission and values align with my own personal mission and values. It was like a two in one special.

Tarekia: 2 for 1, can’t beat those! *laughs* what’s the most rewarding part of your role?

Lindsey: I would say the most rewarding part of my role is seeing families begin to have those small steps to their personal victories.

Tarekia: Little by little. Most challenging?

Lindsey: The most challenging would have to be since each family is different, having to find what exactly works to meet the needs and goals of each. What works for one family, may not work for the other with the same issue.  I hope that makes sense.

Tarekia: It definitely makes sense. You have to identify what works best for each individual family. How have you seen yourself grow while working at YV?

Lindsey: Well, I have grown tremendously since being with YV. From improving my time management, to learning different interventions, to my own internal growth.

Furr Babies

Tarekia: Awesome! Last question before I let you go. I’m sure the people want to know. Tell us some fun facts about you.

Lindsey: Oh how I love spending time with my little spoiled fur-babies. I have a cat and a dog who are both in their teens. I also love traveling adventures, reading and studying the Bible.

Tarekia: Well that’s it for today! Thank you so much for your time!

Interested in working with Lindsey in the Dyersburg office and visiting the mom and pop shops with her in the city? Visit our careers page and start your career with Youth Villages! We have great benefits to include sign-on payments and relocation assistance!



Meet Shelly: How Multi-Systemic Therapy and a committed counselor makes a difference in the lives of high-risk youth in East TN

Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is built on the principle and scientific evidence that….the serious behavior problems of a child typically stem from a combination of influences, including family factors, deviant peer groups, problems in school or the community, and individual characteristics. The MST model calls for simultaneously addressing all of those inter-related areas. Sixteen published outcome studies have documented positive, long-term behavioral change in youth who received MST.”

Youth Villages on MST

That’s what MST stands for. On a practical level, it means that Youth Villages MST Family Counselors are committed to providing proven, effective treatment for their youth.

Meet Shelly Moore – one of the family counselors who implements this model.

“The most rewarding part of my job in MST is watching youth and their families achieve goals by implementing intervention steps from our therapy sessions. It is also rewarding when clients complete the MST program successfully and are able to get off of probation. But, most challenging part of my role is knowing that the youth we work with are at imminent risk of going into custody.”Shelly Moore

Shelly notes how she’s learned how to successfully build engagement and alignment with families through in-home services – again – fulfilling YV’s overarching mission to help youth and families be successful.

Shelly shares about how she got to this point in helping families “achieve their goals and improve their circumstances”.

‘After high school, I moved to Johnson City to attend East Tennessee State University,” she says. “I fell in love with living in East Tennessee and haven’t had any reason to move!”

She also achieved her Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy from Liberty University which allowed her to obtain this clinical role.

“YV has an exceptional reputation in our region. Many YV employees encouraged me to apply because they love their job so much. I wanted to work for a company that treats their employees well and also allows opportunity for growth. YV has been a great place to work and I have enjoyed working with such helpful staff. My MST team is amazing. The support I have received since being a part of MST is outstanding.”

While a supportive work team is key (and makes the day-to-day much more enjoyable!), Shelly has also built some strong, meaningful, and fun connections outside of work.

“My favorite part about living in Johnson City is being surrounded by my friends and family. I’ve developed close relationships since living here and am able to visit with my family at any time. I enjoy attending the festivals each year downtown.

I recently moved into a farm house in Johnson City that is also used as an event and wedding venue. On the weekends, I help organize and plan weddings. I am also a dog mom to two very spoiled dogs (Tyson & Diesel). I enjoy anything outdoors and I like staying active. When I can find the extra time, I enjoy playing golf.”


Thank you, Shelly, for all that you bring to the team!

To join our MST team in Johnson City, apply today!






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