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.

https://careers-youthvillages.icims.com/jobs/6566/licensed-teaching-opportunities/job

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

Reference:

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

Sarah, Foster Care Counselor

Sarah, Foster Care Counselor, is able to still find fun things to do in Morristown, TN, in spite of the pandemic. I was completely shocked! I always assumed Morristown was a small town with nothing to do. She had to educate me. Even during a pandemic, Morristown has lots of parks and outdoor attractions. For a foodie, there are lots of good restaurants. After being there only 2 years, she is still finding new spots to enjoy, like malls, movie theatre (no worries, they are closed due to COVID) and gyms. Keep reading to learn more about Sarah and her experiences with Morristown Foster Care!

Tarekia: Tell me about you.
Sarah: I am from upstate New York. Born and raised in Rochester, NY. I moved to Knoxville while in undergrad. I obtained my BS in Psychology from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania before receiving a MS Clinical Counseling Psychology from Radford University in Virginia.

Before moving to Morristown for a career working with adults in Crisis, Sarah worked in Human Resources in Knoxville. It was then she realized working with children was a passion and learned about Youth Villages. Although I wasn’t able to use relocation assistance, I am currently utilizing tuition reimbursement to obtain a second Master’s degree.

Tarekia: What do you enjoy most about working with children?
Sarah: Most of my jobs prior to professional experience was working with children. I believe in mental health, if you give kids the help they need at a younger age, you can hopefully prevent bigger problems from happening later in life.

I love that thought! What we invest in them now potentially impacts their future.

Tarekia: What do you enjoy about working with YV and in the Foster Care program?
Sarah: So many things! YV is a great company and has employees’ best interest in mind. We work to be sure there is room for a work life balance. I also feel very supported. For Foster Care, I didn’t know anything about it before I was hired. I didn’t know I had the kind of love I have for the program that I have now. There are a lot of kids in foster care that don’t have the same opportunities as kids not in foster care. I enjoy being able to help then in any way I can.

Tarekia: What drives you to continue to do the work you do daily?
Sarah: It’s the kids. I don’t always enjoy the documentation but I enjoy seeing the kids. They always seem to put a smile on my face, no matter what I am doing.

Tarekia: Speaking of what you’re doing, what does a normal work week look like for you?
Sarah: There isn’t a normal work week! Every week looks different. I have sessions with kids every week but sometimes I meet with DCS. Other times I supervise visits with biological parents. There is no week that’s the same, which is what I enjoy.

Tarekia: What’s some advice you’d share with potential hires?
Sarah: I’d share the same advice I got: It takes about 6 months to really get the hang of things. I think that’s true. Once you get the basics, things are sort of smooth sailing after that.

Awesome! Thanks so much Sarah for taking time to speak with me today! It was such a pleasure.

If you’d like to learn more about the Foster Care Counselor in Morristown, TN click here. Once we have received your initial application, we will contact you regarding next steps.

It’s Time to Celebrate!!

Here at Youth Villages we celebrate amazing employees who have accomplished a major milestone! Even though many celebrations, including graduations, are looking a bit different this year – that doesn’t stop our team from cheering on one of our newest graduates.

We took a moment to learn more about one of our amazing Memphis staff who, after many months of hard work and dedication, just received her Master’s degrees. Below she shares advice, challenges, triumphs and motivation.

Meet Ni’Cole Studstill Ms. S

Ni’Cole is Program Manager at our Rose Center for Girls Treatment Facility. She has been with Youth Villages for six years and graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with her Master’s in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development.

Do you have any advice for someone pursuing their Master’s degree?

You can do it! If deciding to pursue your Master’s I would definitely suggest choosing a field of study you are interested in and can write several papers on. I would also suggest creating a schedule for work life balance and allowing time for yourself. Even if it’s only an hour a day where you are free from any obligations. Also, I found it easier to complete my Master’s degree by actually working in the field of my degree and being able to apply the lessons I learned from my courses to my work.

How did Youth Villages support you while working on your degree?

My peers and leadership were very supportive of me pursing my degree. My peers would frequently check in on me and assist with minor tasks to help alleviate any added stress. My leadership was always encouraging and allowing me to flex my schedule when needed. Youth Villages also provided great assistance with tuition reimbursement that helped relieve some financial burdens.

Grad 20What were some challenges of getting your degree while working full time?

The challenges I faced while getting my degree and working full time were not finding time to practice self-care. I also found it challenging working a full day and going home to write papers, which kept me from spending time with my daughter. I also faced the challenge of wanting to give up just to get back a peace of mind.

What kept you motivated?

What kept me motivated was the encouragement from my daughter and others admiring me for working full time, being a single mother, and pursing my master’s degree. Being others motivation, continued to motivated me through the process.

What is life like after graduation? 

“Life after graduating feels amazing! I feel like I got my life back. I have so much more time to devote to other passions and life interest. More importantly it feels amazing to be able to have accomplished such an achievement with all odds counting against me. It feels great to know that I have a team that supports me in all my endeavors. My leadership team also threw me a graduation celebration in the gym due to me not being ale to attend because of COVID-19

Grad Pic Leadership

We want to share a huge congratulations to this wonderful team member on her accomplishments. We can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and develop at Youth Villages!

If you are looking for a rewarding position that will support your with you educational goals (including tuition reimbursement and licensure supervision), you can learn more about joining our team by visiting our careers page. You can also reach out to your regional recruiter – McKayla, Mark, and Casey mckayla.coleman@youthvillages.org or mark.goss@youthvillages.org or casey.falk@youthvillages.org for more information!

Meet some of our amazing grads!

May is a month of milestones – and here at Youth Villages we are celebrating a few amazing ones! Even though many celebrations, including graduations, are looking a bit different this year – that doesn’t stop our team from cheering on our newest graduates.

We took a moment to learn more about four amazing New England staff members who, after many months of hard work and dedication, just received their Master’s degrees. Below they share their advice, challenges, triumphs and motivation.

Meet Nicole McDonald

Nicole is a Family Intervention Specialist in our Springfield, MA office. She has been with Youth Villages for four years and is graduating from Cambridge College in Springfield with her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling!

NM

“Some advice that I have for people looking to continue their education is to learn to balance work, school and personal life! And to lean on your support system. My supervisor and regional supervisor were great with supporting me with making plans to achieve my masters especially around my internship schedule, which was very demanding and requesting 20+ hours a week, on top of taking classes! They were able to help calm my nerves by working out a schedule and ensuring that my clients were more local than before. My largest motivator, even though it sometimes seemed school lasted forever, was having that end date! I rewarded myself with a nice vacation as soon as internship ended, and that was enough drive to make it another year of classes!”

Danielle Pendelton

Daneille is a clinical supervisor for our Intercept program in Raynham, MA. She is has been with YV for over four years and is graduating from Simmons Master’s in Social Work online program.

DP “Make sure to prioritize self-care (whatever that means to you), advocate for your internship placements, and don’t leave everything until the last minute. My team was super supportive in covering things when I was in my internship, particularly when I needed to be out of the office two days a week. The experience allowed me to apply so much of my education to the youth and families I was working with.

Being out of the office twice a week during my internship was the hardest thing to balance, despite the incredible support from my team. The online program allowed more flexibility to complete the program while working full time, though it could be challenging to ensure prioritizing the needs between work and school needs.

My motivation comes from my father, who was pursuing higher education my entire life, and impressed in me that regardless of how old you get or how long it takes, it will be worth it. My partner has been my rock, I truly couldn’t have gotten through it without his support and continued push to follow my dreams!

I actually don’t finish classes until June 21, so I don’t have any sense of relief just yet! But I can’t wait to be able to plan activities & vacations without worrying about a school schedule, spend more time with my partner & our pup, and just watch TV without worrying about my school responsibilities!”

Giulia Leite

Giulia recently joined our team as a LifeSet Specialist serving youth on Cape Cod, MA. Giulia is getting ready to graduate from Suffolk University with her Master’s in Crime and Justice Studies with a focus on Victim Advocacy.

GL“You definitely need to put in a lot of effort when it comes to graduate school but also make sure that you make enough time for yourself because time to relax and distress is super important! With my two last classes this summer, YV allowed me to have a flexible schedule to get to finish my degree

What kept me motivated the most was mainly my fiancé, I faced many personal and family issues this past year and without his support I do not think I could have finished. I feel so relieved that all the work I did counted for something! It is a big weight lifted off my shoulders and I could not be happier!”

Sofia Noguer 

Sofia just joined our team as a Family Intervention Specialist based in our Raynham office. She also just completed her Masters in Public Administration from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

SNI think that with more education, there are so many more opportunities open to me. I’m not sure what career I’ll end up with, but I feel I have so many choices!

For anyone pursuing a Masters degree, my advice would be to stay with it! There will be times when you get too tired and dropping out may feel easier. In the end, pushing through feels amazing and life after will feel much easier than if you hadn’t gone through the program!

We want to share a huge congratulations to these wonderful team members on their accomplishments. We can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and develop at Youth Villages!

If you are looking for a rewarding position that will support your with you educational goals (including tuition reimbursemnt and licensure supervision), you can learn more about joining our team by visiting our careers page. You can also reach out to your regional recruiters – Coryn and Isabelle at coryn.roberts@youthvillages.org or isabelle.thibault@youthvillages.org for more information!

New England’s Staying Positive – you’ve got a friend in us!

Spring in New England can be unpredictable – sunshine & snow showers, winter coats & shorts and usually lots and lots of rain. This spring we are experiencing another level of unpredictability, but our New England staff isn’t letting this get in the way of their positive attitudes.

In March, when we started transitioning out of our regular routine and began trying to create a new normal, there was confusion and a whirlwind of changes but also an amazing amount of flexibility and determination to serve youth and families (and staff) in the best way. To lift everyone spirits, the Intercept team in Manchester, NH created a video full of singing, dancing and cheer. They sent it out to the entire New England team and nominated our team in Springfield, MA to do the same. So far, we’ve seen songs, dances and remixes like You’ve Got a Friend in Me, Raynham Rocks, We Are Family, Springfield Full House, Can’t Stop the YV, and YVContinuum being produced from our offices Manchester, Springfield, Raynham and Woburn.

Check out the video that started it all!

We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Even though we aren’t together in the same way, we are still finding ways to connect and have fun, which reminds us how special it is to be a part of the Youth Villages community.

If you are interested in learning more about joining our team, visit our careers site or reach out to your regional New England Recruiters – Coryn and Isabelle. They can be reached at coryn.roberts@youthvillages.org or isabelle.thibault@youthvillages.org

Meet Tony Willis, Regional Supervisor in Tulsa, OK

Tony2

Tony started out with Youth Villages back in 2015 as a Family Intervention Specialist in Clarksville, TN. Tony has taken advantage of the many growth opportunities offered at Youth Villages which is what eventually led him to Tulsa. Today, Tony is the Regional Supervisor over the Tulsa office and this is his journey!


Why did you choose to work at YV?

What appealed to me the most was the opportunity for a full time position and getting experience working with kids and families. Another thing that I liked about Youth Villages when I was going through the hiring process was learning about their mission and values, and feeling like it was something that I could get behind and uphold. It’s difficult to comprehend in the beginning just how intense this position can be, or how rewarding it will be, but the opportunities are endless which is why I have remained with YV.

How have you seen yourself grow while working at YV?

It’s a personal mission and a personal value to always be growing. I’d say the biggest area of growth is confidence. At the time of my being hired I was not very confident at all, not with clinical decisions, and certainly not with the prospect of managing all of the documentation. In the time that I’ve been here I’ve received boatloads of clinical training, leadership training, and an immense amount of support from my Youth Villages family. Also, there’s been an exponential increase in the number of dad jokes that I share each day, so I’d say that’s another area of growth!  

Are you from Tulsa? If not, why did you relocate? 

I am not from Tulsa. In March of 2015 YV recruiters reached out to me to see if I was interested in applying for a position as a Family Intervention Specialist with our Clarksville, TN office, and by May I was hired on. I relocated to Tulsa for a Regional Supervisor position where I’ve been for almost two years.

What is your favorite part about living in and/or favorite things to do in the area?

There is no shortage of pizzerias, donut shops, or cafes here which is great because those are my main food staples. Oklahoma also has a rich history to explore in both big cities and small towns. The best part of Oklahoma has to be our sunsets, especially at some of the more scenic locations. 

Meet Cameron aka Mr. Reed! YV 360 Behavioral Youth Counselor at Bill’s Place!

1Q: Please tell me your name, where you are from, what school you graduated from and what you studied? 

A: My name is Cameron Reed Padgett, or Mr. Reed as the youth I work with call me. I graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in History.

Q:What drew you to the YV 360 program?

A: The opportunities to grow as a leader, to learn from a mentor, to learn Collaborative Problem Solving, and being able to work with youth in a residential environment initially drew me to the YV 360 program. This program gives you a unique chance to work with youth in an intimate environment that you would not otherwise have.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about the program?

A: I have enjoyed having opportunities to grow as a leader and the trainings that you receive to help you do that. Learning Collaborative Problem solving has been one of the highlights of YV 360 for me because it has allowed me to be able to communicate with my peers and the youth I work with more effectively. I have also enjoyed getting to work and grow with my peers in the YV 360 program.

Q: Tell us about your mentor- what lessons have you learned from you mentor?

A: My mentor, Malcolm Crawford Assistant Director of the Dogwood Campus, has helped me plan the path that I need to take in order to better prepare for going back to school to get my masters in counselling psychology and what jobs in Youth Villages would best help me for that path.

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

A: I hope to gain the knowledge I need to grow as a leader and to grow in my professional career.

Q: Do you plan to continue to your future plans?

A: I do plan to continue my future plans of getting a masters in clinical psychology and this program has helped me to better understand the steps that I need to do that.

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

A: My career goals have not changed, however, YV 360 has helped nurture my love for psychology and working with youth. This program has reminded me of my passion to help people. I hope to stay with Youth Villages as I move into the future.

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

A: My advice for future YV 360 participants would be to ask as many questions as possible. This program is unique because of the leadership opportunities you receive and the opportunity to work with some amazing youth. This program will provide for you as much as you put into it.

“I could see myself working there, and was excited about the move.” Kelsey Crabtree, Asheville Clinical Sup

In a continuing our series highlighting the wonderful area that is Asheville, NC we meet Kelsey Crabtree, Intercept Clinical Supervisor. She started with YV in Chattanooga, TN, and was drawn in by the locale, the feel, and the local staff!KCrabtree1

  1. Tell us a bit about your educational background/ what school(s) you attended: 

I did both graduate school and undergraduate at the University of TN at Chattanooga and finished in 2016. Chattanooga, TN is my hometown.

  1. What drew you to our organization?

When I finished undergraduate school I applied to Youth Villages, but was told that I wouldn’t be able to do graduate school while working full-time, and to apply again after I got my master’s. Throughout graduate school I thought I would eventually want to work with adults even though I knew I loved kids. I’d worked with kids on the autism spectrum at a summer camp, and I had also been teaching violin for years and really preferred teaching my kiddos as opposed to adults. It was just more fun to get creative in ways to help them learn. When looking at open positions I saw Youth Villages and decided to give it another go. I can honestly say I had no idea what was in store for me, but I’m so thankful that I applied and got the job!

  1. What has your career path looked like so far at Youth Villages? How have you seen yourself grow while working at YV?  

I started as a family intervention specialist in the Intercept program. Throughout that time, I grew and developed as a counselor, aided by tons of opportunities to learn and practice using evidence-based practices. I also was able to participate in the leadership preparatory course, leading to a promotion to clinical supervisor after working here for almost 2.5 years. This June, I will have worked for YV for 4 years, which is hard to believe! I feel like I’ve learned more than I ever imagined in my time at Youth Villages so far, and I still feel like I’m learning more every day. That’s one of the main things I love about working here. There will always be opportunities to grow, develop, and hone clinical and leadership skills. It’s fun to think back to where I was when I first started vs where I am now, and I love that it’s now a part of my job to support the development of new counselors.

  1. How long have you been living in Asheville? What’s been your favorite part about living in the area?

I started working at the Chattanooga office and about 6 months in, I got married and we did our honeymoon in Asheville, NC. My husband is a musician and we saw a lot more opportunity here for his career than in our hometown. When I saw there was an open position, it was a no brainer! I applied and transferred, and we’ve loved living in Asheville. I’d have to say one of my favorite parts about living in this area is the access to live music. We get a lot of great acts coming through Asheville and it seems like there’s always something fun to do! People in this area really support live music and local artists as well, which creates a beautiful culture and atmosphere.

  1. What was it about YV in Asheville that motivated you to move?

When I came to Asheville for my face to face interview, I could tell that the office had a nice atmosphere and everyone seemed on top of things. I could see myself working there and was excited about the move. I remember being pleasantly surprised to see a “Welcome to Asheville, Kelsey!” sign in the entrance when I walked in on the first day. At that point, I knew I’d probably made a good choice.

  1. KCrabtree2Any favorite hobbies or fun facts about you?

I have a little boy who is 6 months old named Jasper, so he’s kind of my hobby at the moment! Some other interests I have are reading (particularly Harry Potter), going to concerts, and touring around downtown.

  1. Any words of advice for folks looking into relocating to Asheville?

It’s definitely more affordable if you look for housing on the outskirts of town, Asheville is very dog friendly, and you’ll love it here!

Meet Kathleen Ramage: An Enhanced Follow-Up Specialist in Oregon striving to make an impact

RamageHeadshot

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

Youth Villages has helped countless families in communities across the country stay together and work through past trauma, or a current difficult situation, in a productive way.  Employees here strive to meet families where they’re at and provide hope when systems have continually failed them.

What is your role in that impact?

Recently, my role has been to provide a clear path towards healing after a crisis, typically a suicide attempt or overdose.  For most families, this is the scariest moment they have yet to experience with their child.  I provide support for a few weeks afterwards over the phone, in the homes and schools, and by ensuring they have all the referrals and appointments necessary in order to keep them out of the ED in the future.

What has been one of your biggest successes at Youth Villages?

I’ve played a key role in the success and growth of the Portland Crisis Support program.  It’s only a few years old, and we are seeing a steady increase of kids coming into our hospital for primarily suicide attempts.  Most hospitals either admit a kid to an inpatient facility or discharge home with little to no resources or follow-up. Our model is unique, in that we ‘follow-up’ with kids and families for a minimum of two-weeks to provide crisis stabilization support and intense care-coordination.  This past month, we saw 53 kids and logged 838 ‘follow-up’ notes, despite having a team of just myself and four full-time clinicians.  In January 2019, my role was created in order to keep providing the best quality of care to families, and to build in an extra layer of support to Crisis staff.  I’m proud to say that I’ve taken my role and ran with it, looking for new ways daily to improve our quality of care and presence in the community.

What motivated you to want to help families?

I have four younger sisters and have always felt a sense of pride in having a small part in raising them.  It inspired me to want to work with kids and then I quickly learned that in order to be successful with kids, you have to have the whole family involved.  I want kids to be excited to live their lives and in order to do that I try to give families the tools necessary to foster that.

Why did you choose Youth Villages?

When I graduated college, I knew I wanted to be in the non-profit world and I decided applying to be an AmeriCorps member was the best way to get experience.  The Youth Villages Inner Harbour AmeriCorps program was the most unique direct service program I applied to.  I knew I would be working for almost a year with kids at a residential treatment facility.  However, the magical spirit of that campus, tight nit work families, and ability to give kids a platform to use their voice for maybe the first time in their lives is what made me want to stay with Youth Villages as a full-time staff member.

What is one of your favorite things about Oregon?

It’s easily one of the most beautiful states in the country.  I love taking drives through the Columbia River Gorge on my days off and exploring the waterfalls.

 

 

If you are interested in applying and getting a chance to work with Kathleen on a team, or elsewhere, follow this link: https://careers-youthvillages.icims.com/jobs/intro?hashed=-435621526&mobile=false&width=1223&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-360&jun1offset=-300

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