Behind the Scenes Master Supervisor!!

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Meet Erica, she is out Clinical Supervisor over the Natchez, Vicksburg, Brookhaven MYPAC teams. As a clinical supervisor, Erica does a lot of her work behind the scenes supporting her staff who support the families of Mississippi! Erica is an extremely important part of Youth Villages Mississippi and we are excited to share some fun information about her!


What is your educational background and what school did you attend?

I attended William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS with a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology.

What is it like to work for Youth Villages in Mississippi?

Youth Villages is a fast pace environment and every day is different. You will learn how to be resilient and confident in your field of work.  Youth Villages staff receives adequate training and is offered Licensure Supervision. Youth Villages believes that children come first and we stand behind our mission and values. We work as a team and are supported by leadership. Youth Villages provides their employees with great benefit packages. We are given a laptop, which is called the “Dash”. The Dash allows us to sign monthly documentation, which eliminates the use of paper. At Youth Villages, our schedules are flexible and the job is rewarding.

What made you choose to come work for Youth Villages in Mississippi?

I chose to work at Youth Villages in Mississippi because their mission and values are aligned with my personal beliefs. Also, this job allows me to work flexible hours and have time to care for my family.

How have you seen yourself grow while working here?

My therapeutic skills has improved over time with the support from our treatment team and trainings. After working as a therapist for three years, I was promoted to Clinical Supervisor. Youth Villages provides staff development trainings to prepare you for future opportunities and advancement.

Tell me some Fun facts about yourself!

I enjoy spending time in my daily devotionals. I love being a mom, fishing, shopping and traveling.

What advice would you give to someone starting out at Youth Village?

I would recommend they spend time learning their job efficiently, organize their work schedule in order to have time to spend with their family to develop a healthy work life balance. Self-care is important as well as seeking support from your immediate supervisor and team members. Most importantly keep an open mind when working with children and families.


We are currently hiring Mental Health Therapists in the Natchez, Vicksburg, Brookhaven area. If you would like to join the team please visit !!

The Employee Spotlight Shines Bright on Courtney

Courtney Lowery

Meet Courtney Lowery, a Youth Villages Behavioral Youth Counselor. If you were to ask his family and friends to describe him in three words, they would say he is enthusiastic, genuine and honorable.

Courtney has worked with Youth Villages for four years now. During those four years, he has worked as a Behavioral Youth Counselor at Bartlett, a supervisor at Bartlett, and now works as a Behavioral Youth Counselor at our Coteswood Group Home. When we asked why he accepted the offer from YV four years ago he stated, “I felt I had what it took to impact youth on a positive level. I felt my life experiences could relate to what some of the youth have been through and they would be able to connect to my story.”

We asked Courtney for one lesson he wished he would have known before he started his role; he explained he wish he knew how many hours he would invest in his work once he joined the company. But the best piece of advice he received throughout his four years at Youth Villages was to address the concern with the youth first before trying to solve any problem.

In every career there will be tough days, but Courtney makes his self-care a priority by spending time with his kids and riding his horses. His best advice for self-care to a new employee would be to go downtown and make sure to enjoy your day off by unplugging from work.

Throughout his time at Youth Villages he has enjoyed being someone the kids can count on. One of his proudest moments while working at YV was when a youth discharged from Youth Villages, but called the program to give a positive update on how they were doing in life and saying, ‘thank you’ to Courtney for always being there despite the youth trying to push him away.

We asked Courtney if there was someone who has helped him throughout his career at YV, he stated Mr. Webster had made a tremendous impact on him and his career. He explained, “Mr. Webster has helped me develop over the last few years. We started out on the Bartlett campus and over the years he has been my go to for advice on how to perform my job better.”

To all future staff, here is a little piece of advice from Courtney: “This job requires a lot of dedication and understanding. You will need to make sure that you know when you accept a position here, you join a family. These kids will show you who you really are on the inside. So, if you’re up to the test, welcome to Youth Villages.”

Thank you Courtney for all the hard work and dedication you have given to Youth Villages over the past four years. We look forward to seeing the impact you continue to make on these youth’s lives.

The mountains are calling…a quick questionnaire with MST Counselor Mary Catherine Shoemaker

  1. What is your education background/what school did you attend? I received my Masters in Social Work from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. Sic ‘em bears!MCpic
  2. How long have you been with Youth Villages? 10 months (August 2018)
  3. Since starting with YV, what has your development and growth looked like? Where did you start and where are you now?  When I started Youth Villages I was fresh out of graduate school and lacked the professional confidence I have now. Since starting my role, my supervisors have poured time and effort into weekly meetings to promote development of my clinical skills, ethical practice, and self-care routines. Due to the wealth of experience I have encountered in my role, I have developed my own style and approach as a counselor that feels authentic and strengths-based. I am looking forward to pursuing leadership opportunities in the future as they unfold.
  4. We all know working in the mental health field can be tough, what keeps you going on those rough days? On rough days, I remind myself that the difficulties are making me stronger and sharper as a clinician and that the families I serve are learning new skills to apply to future problems. Going to lunch with my team mate always helps, too!
  5. Any fun facts about yourself? (Hobbies, interests, skills, etc.?) I have three dogs and two goldfish. I love to swim, hike, and camp. I keep everyone on their toes by changing my hair color and style often and love to practice self-expression through fashion and art.
  6. Are you originally from Asheville, NC? What’s the best part about living there?  I moved from Texas for my position with Youth Villages. My favorite parts of living in Western North Carolina are the beautiful mountain views, the delicious local food, and the new friendships I am developing.
  7. Any advice for someone starting within the field? Give yourself lots of grace, ask for help when you need it, and find your own ways to stay self-aware.

Thanks for popping in to learn about one of our very own Family Counselors in Asheville, NC! Ready to take the plunge (or hike!) and join the team? Apply online…our recruiters are excited to talk to you! 

A Special Thanks To Kristopher

Meet Kristopher Hoskins, a Youth Villages Night Monitor Supervisor Assistant. His favorite part about his position is he, “gets to help the youth as well as the staff.” If you were to ask his family and friends to describe him in three words they would say he is energetic, motivated and persistent.

Kristopher has worked with Youth Villages for four years now. During those four years he has worked as a Night Monitor and a Night Monitor Supervisor Assistant. When we asked why he accepted the offer from YV four years ago he stated, “I worked in law enforcement and corrections and I wanted to make a change in a child’s life before they made a terrible decision.”

Part of Kristopher’s role is to ensure the safety and security of the youth on his campus.  Kristopher explained this job can be more demanding than he realized at times, but the best piece of advice he received throughout his career was, “listen to the kids and always make time for yourself when you’re not working.”  In every career there will be tough days, but Kristopher makes his self-care a priority by spending time with his daughter and traveling when he can. His best advice for self-care to a new employee would be to explore Memphis and do fun activities to learn more about the history of the city.

Throughout his time at Youth Villages he has enjoyed seeing the youth discharge and seeing the difference Youth Villages and the staff can make in a youth’s life. One of his proudest moments while working at YV is watching the youth graduate every year.

We ask Kristopher if there was someone who has helped him throughout his career but he didn’t just give one person. He explained, “The entire Bartlett Campus is a family and throughout your career you will meet people. Though people may leave, you remain in contact with them and it’s an understanding of trading stories and getting tips on how to make it through.”

To all future staff, here is a little piece of advice from Kristopher: “It’s not a job it’s a passion.” Though his position can be difficult at times, he feels as though he, “he still has help to do with the youth.”

Thank you Kristopher for all the hard work and dedication for Youth Villages.

Happy Nurses Week! Spotlight on Kelli Stegall

As we wrap up nurses week, we want to highlight the good work of one of our nurses at our Bartlett Campus in Memphis, TN – Kelli Stegall!

She attended the Tennessee Tech LPN program, finishing 3rd in her class, and joined Youth Villages nursing team 14 years ago as a way to support kids who have experienced trauma. kelli nurse

“My heart has always been with special need kids,” Kelli says. “I started volunteering in the Comprehensive Developmental Classes at my school when I was in 5th grade. There I was first introduced to autism. It was there that I also first encountered the effects of abuse and neglect and realized even as young as I was that these kids needed an advocate.”

In addition to helping our kids, she has found a home here at YV.

“During my 14 years here I have met some amazing people and have cultivated some lifelong friendships. I am thankful to work with an amazing team of nurses. YV really does have a great nursing staff!”

We checked in with Kelli to learn more about her and her experience as a nurse: 

What drew you to the nursing field?

I’ve been interested in healthcare for as long as I can remember. I think it all started with watching shows like Rescue 911 and ER as a kid (yes, I am that old).  With my friends and family I have always been the nurse willing to bandage any wound and care for any sickness.  During high school I took every health occupation course offered.

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your role?

I really enjoy seeing kids make a positive change. The most challenging part for me is when a kid continues to struggle and sabotage their own treatment.

When you’re not caring for our youth on campus, what do you like to do?

I am a mom to 2 great kids ages 9 and 14 months. Most of my time is spent with my family going on bicycle rides, fishing trips, etc… I do, however, know every word to Baby Shark, the Paw Patrol theme song, and almost every Sesame Street song. There really is no shortage of things to do here [in Memphis] – I am a big fan of the zoo and Pink Palace!

A huge THANK YOU to Kelli for her commitment and service at Youth Villages!

If you’re interested in joining a nursing team that makes a difference in the Memphis community, we would love to talk! We are hiring for PRN and full- time LPNs and RNs to work at our residential treatment programs in the greater Memphis area – submit an application today!

Happy National Nurses Week! Spotlight on Tenicha Watkins

It’s National Nurses Week, and we want to take this opportunity to thank our staff of 80 nurses who support the important needs of children served in our programs!

At Youth Villages, our nurses play a significant role, particularly with our residential programs and group homes. Led by Gail “Gigi” Franklin, the nursing staff does more than monitor health, administer medications and maintain records. They provide comfort and emotional support to the youth and their families.

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Today, we highlight one of our nurses, Tenicha Watkins who works as an licensed practical nurse (LPN) at our Inner Harbour campus in Douglasville, GA!

Tenicha attended college at Metropolitan Community College at the Penn Valley Campus in Kansas City, Missouri. She relocated to Atlanta, where she says she loves the hospitality, culture, and diversity.

We checked in to learn more about Tenicha and the crucial role she plays in our program.

What drew you to the nursing field?

During the second trimester of my pregnancy with my second child, I experienced complications related to my cervix. I was placed on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had a nurse named Marilyn, I will never forget her. She taught me to have compassion for strangers she encouraged me to be strong during my hospital stay and most of all she was a companion in my time of need. After giving birth to my daughter at 27 week gestation, I had a sense of gratitude I felt the need to help others in the way that Nurse Marilyn helped me. I decided, I wanted to be a nurse and pay it forward.

Why did you choose to work at YV?

I decided that YV was my new work home after my interview. During my interview I was greeted by the nurse manager, charge nurse and regional nurse. Everyone was so personable Kristie was sweet, Amie was funny and I learned that Gigi and I both have a background working with the DDHDD at ResCare of Atlanta. I left my interview thinking, I cannot wait to be a part of this team.

What is the most rewarding part of your current role?

Making sure youth have what they need to be successful during their stay and when they leave Youth Villages and re-enter the community. I also enjoy being able to help my fellow nurses, in an environment that feels like family.

Anything else we should know about you?

I love to laugh, play and be as physically active as possible. Sometimes when I walk on the courtyard and the girls are engaged in a game of volleyball in join in and play. The youth love it, they say “Nurse Watkins, come play with us!” On my days off, I’m usually hauling my children to soccer, football or cheerleading practices. On game days, I am that obnoxious parent on the sideline screaming and rooting for our team, typical soccer mom.

Thank you Tenicha, for giving your all to the youth in care at Youth Villages!

We are thankful for you!

If you’re interested in joining our amazing team of nurses, check out openings for LPNs and RNs in Douglasville, GA and Memphis, TN at our careers page, 

Read about the great work of In-Circle Biloxi!!!

Meet the Clinical Supervisor for our In-Circle Reunification Team in Biloxi!!


Victoria Smith has worked very hard to help the families in the Biloxi area struggling to keep their families together. Victoria works tirelessly with her staff to create an environment where parents can learn how to better care for the needs of their children returning to the home.

Thank you Victoria!!!

Read more about her experience with Youth Villages below!

What is your educational background and what school did you attend?

My educational background is very diverse in that I began my career in business administration and leadership and eventually, recognized my passion for social justice and began a career in social work. I received my master’s degree in social work from the University of Alabama and my bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, I obtained an associate’s degree in Business Management from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. In the near future, I will be enrolled at the University of Alabama to obtain my Doctorate of Social Work in Organizational Leadership

What is it like to work for Youth Villages in Mississippi?

Being an employee with Youth Villages in Mississippi has given me an opportunity to develop myself as a leader and to work with an amazing group of ladies that are committed to going above and beyond to serve our coastal families. It has also afforded me the opportunity to be a part of a premiere company that has been making great strides in the non-profit sector for at least 31 years. To be a part of a company with such a historic foundation, is a partnership in which I value and I am honored to be a part of the success of families.

What made you choose to come work for Youth Villages in Mississippi?

The mission and principles of Youth Villages align with my overall paradigms about serving families and I appreciate the helping process of this company. Since working here for a little over a year, I come to realize that this process not only extends to families, but also to their employees. Honestly, Youth Villages is a great place to work.

How have you seen yourself grow while working here?

My second interview with Tim Tolleson was the initial start of my growth process with Youth Villages. He gave me the opportunity to use my diverse skills as a “Clinical Supervisor” in the Biloxi Region. Since working in a leadership role, I have received countless hours of leadership training for career development, been given the needed tools to expand my knowledge base in the area of clinical mental health, have forged healthy relationships internally and externally throughout the company, and  have begun utilizing my strengths to help maximize and develop the strengths in others. Lastly, I have gained a greater sense of self and spiritual connectedness while working at Youth Villages. I know I am on the right path.

Tell me some Fun facts about yourself!

I enjoy gardening and vacationing with my husband Willie of 19 years. In addition, I love to walk, run, read the scriptures, and spoil my grandbabies.

What advice would you give to someone starting out at Youth Village?

If you enjoy working with families and have a passion to serve and want to see families live successful, Youth Villages is a great place to use your passion to serve and help families succeed. Take advantage of the development trainings that are continuously offered, utilize what you are learning in your day-to-day work performance, and remember that Youth Villages desires to see their employees live successful as well as the families in which we serve. Their commitment is proven and shown through the investments that they make in training their employees.

If you would like to be part of the Youth Villages team, please visit  for all open positions across the country!





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