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!






Work Best Friends representing their schools! #nationalbffday


Today is National Best Friday Day! You know what they say: You meet your lifelong best friend during college!

Have you and your best friend graduated? After years of studying together, you can now apply to work together! After all, working with people you like makes work much better! Youth Villages is located in 13 states so take your pick and join our team! Go to our website and apply now! Studied together! Work together! Get paid together! Vacation together! It’s a no brainer!




#bestfriendgoals #uofm #universityofcornell #universityofoklahoma


Addressing critical mental health needs for youth in Oregon: hear from our Crisis Support program!

Helping young people with mental health issues is critically important to their future and our community. KATU News focused on solutions in its recent Town Hall for Mental Health. Kandi Shearer, who heads up our Crisis Support program with Providence St.Vincent Medical Center, represented Youth Villages Oregon at the event. Watch the forum online at

We’re currently hiring for full-time, PRN, and leadership roles in our Oregon crisis program in Bend and Portland. If you’re looking to help fill a role that makes a critical difference in the life of youth, submit an application today!

town hall


Meet Emily from our Intercept program in Columbus, IN!

 Emily Stayer is a Force for Families in Columbus, IN where she enjoys fishing, checking out local diners and bike trails. We checked in with her to discuss her journey since joining the team in January.


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

I have my Bachelors of the Arts from Franklin College. I majored in Sociology and minored in Psychology and Nonprofit Leadership.

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

The most rewarding part of being a Family Intervention Specialist at Youth Villages is getting close with the families I work with to the point they treat me like part of their family. It’s the little moments where a family shares a success they had in getting a job, getting the child to school that morning, or finding a house. Seeing their excitement to tell me the great news is very rewarding for me. The most challenging thing for me is separating my home and work life. I feel so invested in their lives, it is hard not to worry about the families I work with, or spend the night thinking of more I could do to best help them.

Why did you choose to come work at YV?

I chose to work for YV because the mission statement and values lined up well with my own values. I have always had a passion for helping families live successfully, and meeting the families where they are at is so important. The staff I work with make me love working for YV even more because of how helpful they are and passionate they are towards helping families. My mother teaches 4th grade, and growing up I would listen to her talk about some of the kids in her class and their backgrounds and struggles in and out of the classroom, I wanted to help in any way I could. That was what drove me to the degree and job I have now.

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

Since I started working for YV, I have learned a lot about different community resources and how to utilize therapeutic interventions in different ways to different age groups, different families with varying family dynamics, and in different settings. I have learned a lot from my families themselves with their persistency, patience with children, and strength in hard times. I have grown so much in the few short months I have been at YV. I have grown stronger in my own faith, patience, and understanding. I feel like everything I have learned in YV has trickled into helping me grow into a better person with my friends and family as well. I will say, since I have been working at YV, I have also learned to be okay with using public bathrooms between session and to pack food to eat in my car between session.

Any fun facts about yourself? (Hobbies, interests, skills, etc.?)

I played soccer from the time I was 4 years old to the time I was 22, playing for Franklin College. I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, hunting, fishing, running, swimming, camping, and napping in a hammock. I love to cook and bake anything and everything I can think of and find a recipe for.

Why did you choose to stay in Columbus after completing your Bachelor degree and be a part of our program there? What’s your favorite part about living in Columbus/what’s your favorite thing to do in the area?

After completing my bachelors at Franklin College, I decided to stay in Franklin and look for jobs around the area. This was a hard decision because I am originally from Ohio and all of my family is in Ohio. I became engaged and my fiancé’s family is in Illinois. Franklin seemed perfect for us because it is right in the middle, and it is where we met! I saw other opportunities in Indianapolis and Columbus Ohio, but Columbus Indiana felt right. I am not too familiar with Columbus still, but in Franklin there are little shops and diners to eat at and bike trails and parks all around. My favorite thing to do is go for walks around town and fish different local spots. I love how friendly everyone is in Franklin. It is a small town, but close by to bigger cities like Greenwood, Columbus, and Indianapolis.

Anything else we should know?

I have a twin sister who is also engaged and just moved from Franklin back to Ohio!


We are glad she is a part of our team. If you are looking for a place to grow check out our openings in Columbus, IN!



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