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

Trick or treat! Youth visit the YV Operations Center

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More than 50 kids from the Memphis-area campuses visited the Operations Center for the annual Halloween Celebration. Dressed in costumes and armed with empty treat bags ready for goodies, the kids strolled through various departments, decorated in themes ranging from Rock Band, Super Mario Brothers and Pac-Man to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Christmas and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the Operations Center staff held a costume competition where groups and individuals competed for bragging rights for the best costume. With appearances from Ms. Pac-Man, Jack Sparrow, Lady Gaga and the annual Thanksgiving Day turkey, a good time was had by all.

Knoxville Hosting Interview Days to Hire Family Intervention Specialists

Our Knoxville office will be holding multiple interview days this month to hire Family Intervention Specialists for our Intercept program.

Our Intercept program serves a broad population of youth, including those involved with multiple child-serving systems and those at high risk of removal from their families. The program specializes in diverting youth from out-of-home placements by helping their families safely maintain youth in their home environment. This position is responsible for providing intensive home-based therapy to a caseload of four to six families.

In order to be invited to an interview day, candidates must apply online and receive an invitation. Please apply as soon possible. Our interview openings are filling up quickly!

To learn more about this position and to be considered, please submit an application here.  

View our previous blog post to learn the ins-and-outs of living and working in Knoxville as a Family Intervention Specialist.

Lessons from YV Summer Interns

As the 2011 YV summer internship comes to a close, we asked 2 interns to share about what they learned working in our residenial programs this summer.

Kevin Rios spent the summer on our Dogwood Campus:

“My summer with Youth Villages has been amazing! Not only was it a great experience, but I learned so much from my staff, the youth, and other interns. Processing with my residents and helping them grow into mature, responsible, young adults is a very rewarding feeling. At first, I did not know what to expect. In fact, I was a little nervous during the first week.  The butterflies quickly disappeared after my staff showed me the ropes. My residents were also welcoming of me. A great way to earn their respect and trust is to interact with them as much as possible. Joining in on their conversations, playing sports, and participating in activities are excellent ways to get them to open up to you. What is also great about this internship is that you are able to counsel kids while you are working on your undergraduate degree.  I will miss my residents dearly, seeing the improvements they have made will make leaving them hard. Interning for Youth Villages has helped prepare me for a career in counseling or psychology. I plan on applying again for next summer. I recommend anyone interested in helping troubled youth to do the same, you will not regret it!”

Patrick Allen worked in our Recreational Therapy Department:

“Working at Youth Villages truly informed me of how tolerant you must be to work with at-risk youth as well as working with anyone with Mental Health issues. One piece of advice that I really took to heart during orientation is that I should not take anything the kids do or say personally. Inappropriate comments or any kind of rudeness from the children was faced with stern spontaneity from me. Anything bizarre or odd enough might get them to laugh or puzzle them into silence. Of course you have to use mature discretion with how far your topics go, but this has worked every time I have used it. The kids may get frustrated with your unusual responses, but any initiative they take into thinking about what you tell them is a positive thing and means they’re listening.”

Thank you to all the 2011 Summer Staff for sharing your summer with Youth Villages!

YV Staff: Work Hard and Play Hard

Here at YV, kids come first. We do all that we can to help children and families live successfully. And still manage to fit in time for shaving cream beards, diving for Spam and a family fishing rodeo. This is one great organization to be a part of.

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