Page 1

Youth Villages charts success in Georgia...3

Angela White lives her mission to help families...6

Family Victories  from  Youth  Villages  Georgia

SHARODNEY LIKES BEING AT HOME Teen reconnects with family

page 3

Inner Harbour tour

Director of 21st Century Schools recounts tour of Inner Harbour Campus page 4

Explorer Society partners corporations with youth...3

Spring 2011

A message  from

Atlanta Douglasville


Our directors

Growing, helping more children

Emily Acker and Kate Cantrell

GEORGIA LEADERSHIP COUNCIL Ira Blumenthal Kenneth A. Campbell * Robert F. Clayton Lewis Holland Sr. * John Hutchins * Lynn Merrill Jennifer S. Queen*

It’s a great time to be helping children in Georgia! Youth Villages recently began offering a service in the state that has a demonstrated record of success in Tennessee. The transitional living program helps young people aging out of state custody transition successfully to independent adulthood. Sometimes they need help getting an apartment, getting insurance or purchasing a car. Some need help with parenting, preparing for college or continuing education or finding employment. Young people who have been in state care often haven’t been taught many of these skills other young people take for granted. Transitional living gives these youth a person to go to for help with these and other issues we all face with independent living. We have 24 young people in the program and it continues to grow. In addition, TL is being provided at no cost to the state - the program is financially supported through donations from individuals, organizations and Youth Villages employees. One of our family intervention specialists, Angela White, is profiled in this newsletter. Her story is one we can all imagine happening, and it’s inspiring to see how she truly lives out her mission of helping families. White also worked with Sharodney and his family. Sharodney learned to overcome his personal issues and is living successfully at home. Sharodney’s mother also learned what it takes sometimes to be a family, and they are closer than ever before. Anne Shaw, director of 21st Century Schools, recently toured our Inner

Robert L. Rearden III Matthew F. Tarkenton * David Tyler * *member of Youth Villages’ national board of directors

YOUTH VILLAGES GEORGIA OFFICES Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus 4685 Dorsett Shoals Road Douglasville, GA 30135 phone: 770-852-6300 toll-free: 800-255-8657 fax: 770-942-2391 Atlanta (In-Home Services) 1777 Northeast Expressway NE Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30329 phone: 404-320-2920 fax: 404-320-2921

Harbour residential campus and recorded her thoughts of the visit. Read her column and how youth at Inner Harbour are learning through experience and service on page 4. Thank you for supporting Youth Villages.

Emily Acker Director, Inner Harbour Campus 4685 Dorsett Shoals Road Douglasville, GA 30135 770-852-6298 2

Kate Cantrell Director of Programs, Georgia and Alabama 1777 Northeast Expressway NE, Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30329 404-320-2957




Program Success

(ZHUH[PVUHSSLHKLYPU[OLÄLSKVMILOH]PVYHSOLHS[O@V\[O=PSSHNLZOHZTLHZ\YLK outcomes of children and families participating in its programs since 1994.



The Explorer Society is a new opportunity for corporations to get their employees out of the office for one day a year and into the wilderness for teambuilding and personal reflection time at Youth Villages’ beautiful Inner Harbour Campus. Mary Norman, Youth Villages’ director of development for Georgia, answers a few common questions about getting started. Who can become a member? Any corporation that has an interest in getting their staff involved in a day of off-site experiential learning is eligible to participate. What are the benefits in joining? Employees have time for bonding out of the office and get to see the work of Youth Villages through the eyes of the children we serve. After such exercises as the ropes course, African drumming, rock The graph above represents where children are six months after being discharged from Youth Villages’ Intercept intensive in-home services. Graph reflects response rate of 63 percent and includes only youth who received at least 60 days of service. Thirteen percent of admissions end prior to 60 days.

stacking or animal-assisted therapy, the group will hear from our Youth Villages kids. Participants will learn firsthand how these experiential therapies are having a profound impact on helping some of Georgia’s most troubled children heal. What can groups expect to do during their day at Inner Harbour? Each event is customized. We work with the companies to identify their goals and design a day best-suited for continued on page 7

FAMILY’S GETTING TO WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK Sharodney’s a typical teenager. He enjoys spending time with friends, participating in school activities and keeping his Facebook page current. He also struggles with the same issues many teens have – self-confidence and self-esteem. In Sharodney’s case, his issues became more serious. “I was very disrespectful to my mom and we didn’t get along,” he said. “I didn’t want to be at home. I didn’t like myself and I didn’t have any self-esteem.” Sharodney was referred to a residential center for runaway and self-harming behaviors. He threw temper tantrums and didn’t continued on page 5

Family Intervention Specialist Angela White, left, visits with Sharodney and his mother, Shiray.


DIRECTOR OF 21ST CENTURY SCHOOLS TOURS INNER HARBOUR “The most  incredible  on-­site  visit  of  my  career”

Anne Shaw Director, 21st Century Schools

Anne Shaw recently toured Youth Villages’ Inner Harbour Campus. Here, she writes about her visit.

It was a perfect fall day. I

seriously emotionally dis-

stood on the narrow paved

turbed children and youth.

road that threaded its way

It is situated on 1,200 acres

around the campus.

covered with trees; there

It created a tunnel

are two small lakes where

through the thousands of

students learn canoeing

trees covering the property.

and conduct environmental

The ground was carpeted in

water studies. The students

a thick layer of leaves, and

also enjoy equine therapy

the treetops were ablaze

and work with the residen-

with intense reds, yellows

tial therapy dogs. And they

and oranges. When the sun

enjoy hiking, camping and

shone on them they almost

going “caving.” They also

looked as though they were

have a wonderful sports

on fire. The silence was bro-

field, running track, play-

ken only by the quiet con-

grounds and hiking trails.

Pictured above is one of several bridges built by the students. Below are examples of student work of rock balancing as part of their quite rigorous interdisciplinary units.

versations of an occasional

I spent time visiting

small group of students and

classrooms, talking with

teachers traveling from one

teachers and students. Sev-

African Drumming training

things happening in the

building to another. During

eral students were eager to

- and I learned how to play!

classrooms and around the

my three days there, you

show me their PowerPoint

One of the teachers took me

campus, there were also pe-

could often hear Ameri-

presentations from an inter-

to see the labyrinth that the

riodic incidents. The coun-

Corps volunteers training in

disciplinary project on a fa-

students built; it was next

selors and teachers handled

the West African Drumming

mous artist they would soon

to a beautiful stream which

these situations calmly

class. Just behind me was

be presenting to classes at

had a student-built bridge

and professionally, always

the magnificent yurt where

the University of Georgia.

across it. The school uti-

demonstrating great care

the drumming classes are

Their presentations also

lizes the Leonard Bernstein

and respect. The culture at

held. Nearby were the stu-

included identification of

Artful Learning Program

Inner Harbour is incred-

dents’ vegetable garden and

the state of Georgia content

— evidence of their studies

ible – very positive, caring,

the pens for the residential

standards - as does every

in art was everywhere, from

high energy and with high


student project.

life-size wooden sculptures

levels of trust and creativity.

of horses to rock-balancing

The teachers credit their


principal, Dr. Penny Hon-

I was privileged to spend

So many features of this

three days at Youth Villages’

school were incredible.

Inner Harbour Campus. It

On the first day, I partici-

is one of Georgia’s larg-

pated in a yoga class. Later

because they are behavior-

est psychiatric residential

I joined 20 new AmeriCorps

ally and emotionally chal-

treatment programs for

volunteers in their West

lenged. While I saw great


The students are here

eycutt; and Penny credits the teachers. continued on page 5

INNER HARBOUR from page 4 The faculty and staff were not only very caring and passionate about their work; they also were some of the very best teachers I had ever met. Most of the teachers have master’s degrees; they have the highest levels of certification in several areas, in special education, in their respective discipline or specialization, and every teacher is

have performed for former

the faculty and staff were

consistently across the

certified as a Highly Quali-

President Jimmy Carter,

energetic, intelligent and

seven states in which it

fied Teacher.

as well as at the John F.

creative. They gave their all


Kennedy Center for the

in every activity and were

grated, project-based and

Performing Arts in Wash-

extremely enthusiastic

least, the people at Inner

focused on authentic prob-

ington, D.C., and they have

about everything presented

Harbour treated me to

lems. They utilize an experi-

been invited to perform at

to them. This faculty would

several days of the most

ential model that integrates

the Summer Olympics in

be any principal’s dream!

gracious hospitality. I didn’t

service-learning, artful

London in 2012.

The curriculum is inte-

It is easy to see why the

Last, but certainly not

stay with any one person

expression, environmental

Other programs include

awareness and opportuni-

animal-assisted therapy, in

reported Youth Villages’

talking with students and

ties for personal growth.

which students work with

“programs have a success

teachers – but there was

The West African Drum-

therapy dogs or participate

rate three times greater

always someone to ensure

ming is one of the most

in the equine therapy pro-

than those of state-run

I had every little thing I

popular classes, and the

gram, and ropes courses.

programs, achieved at one-


During the professional

students perform publicly in and around Atlanta. They

development workshop,

SHARODNEY from page 3

Harvard Business Review

as I was touring the school,

third of the cost. It delivers this nine-fold advantage

traordinary school.

cialists provide family services, meet-

planned to quit school and enter a

ing with youth and their family at least

GED program, is back at school. He’s

three times each week and remaining

participating in school activities and

on call around the clock. Services are

has plans for a positive future.

know how to cope effectively with frus-

customized to each family to meet

tration. His residential stay went well,

individual needs best.

and after returning home, Sharodney

Inner Harbour is an ex-

“Angela helped me out tremendous-

“I love my mom,” Sharodney said. “Youth Villages helped us a lot.” Angela insists the family did the

and his family received Youth Villages’

ly,” Shiray said. “I could call her at any

work on their own, she simply pointed

Intercept intensive in-home services.

time, day or night, and she would help

out those times when events could

me out. She was awesome.”

turn one way or the other and showed

Family Intervention Specialist Angela White was their counselor. She

Angela helped Sharodney under-

them how to turn it into a positive.

worked individually with Sharodney

stand his behavior and what caused

and also with Shiray, his mother.

it. She worked with the family to

Angela said. “Mom is empowered in

“Shiray didn’t feel empowered to

establish rewards and consequences,

the home. They’re a family, and it’s

help,” Angela said. “She needed tools

and, most importantly, she worked to

natural now. Sharodney’s gone from

to manage those difficult times.”

foster those innate bonds a mother

A to Z with his behavior and they are

and son have. Sharodney, who initially


Intercept family intervention spe-

“They don’t have to work at it now,”



White lives  YV  mission  and  values

Angela White, family intervention specialist in Youth Villages’ Atlanta, Ga., office, recounts a life-changing event as if it happened yesterday: “Have you ever come home from an outing to find a 14-year-old girl sitting on the curb outside your home in the pouring rain, crying, with nowhere to go?” she said. “She was homeless, helpless and hopeless, and had no one to turn to? I have.” That girl recently graduated high school and calls Angela mom. Now grown and out on her own, she regularly visits and claims Angela’s biological children as sisters and brothers. So this girl, Chiquita, is sitting in the rain because her mother was an addict and she’d lost a place to stay. Angela invited her in and promised to get help. “The fear on her face left an impression on me that I have never forgot-

Angela White, left, with Donald, Antoinette and Khadijah, one of the families who were in the Intercept intensive in-home services program in Georgia. The family was featured during Youth Villages’ national employee conference, and has been profiled in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Angela united family members and

Atlanta, it was only a glimpse of what

Angela tried for weeks to get help,

other survivors, and helped them

she does every day.

and finding none, decided her home

transition to a new community. It

was the best place for Chiquita.

established a framework for her work

passionate individual,” said Jewell

“I believed turning my back on this

with families through Youth Villages’

Gooding, clinical supervisor in Youth

situation would have made me part of

Intercept intensive in-home services

Villages’ Atlanta Intercept office. “She

the problem,” she said. “I decided to


goes above and beyond for her fami-

ten,” she said.

be a part of the solution.”

“Angela is a very dedicated coun-

“Angela is a strong counselor and

lies as well as the counselors on her

selor and mentor in the office,” said

team. Angela’s very involved with the

staying with Angela’s family until she

Megan Nelson, clinical supervisor in

key players on each of her cases and

was 19. But just as she was helped,

Youth Villages’ Atlanta, Ga., office.

ensures safety as well as success for

Chiquita also inspired Angela.

“Her passion for her work at Youth

each of our families at Youth Villages.”

Chiquita enlisted in the Army after

“The experience motivated me to

Villages is evident in her tireless

Angela’s in the right place. She be-

pursue a career in social work,” she

hours and commitment to her fami-

lieves she was born to help children

said. “It showed me how much dedi-

lies. Angela’s personality is larger

and families. At home and at work,

cated people were needed who could

than life. It makes everyone want to

she lives her mission, and she can’t

commit to the preservation of life,

get to know her.”

imagine doing anything else.

family, children and human services.”

Angela recently participated in

“When working with families, you

Angela joined Youth Villages in

Youth Villages’ national employee

have to take empathy to a whole new

2009, after spending time in Atlanta

conference as family intervention

level,” she said. “I would do this for

helping displaced survivors of Hur-

specialist to one of the families fea-

free. Being able to help children re-

ricane Katrina find resources. Work-

tured as a success story. There, the

unify with their family and live togeth-

ing for a program sponsored by such

family and she recounted months of

er successfully, and get paid, is more

agencies as The United Way of At-

work required to reunite a father with

than I could ever hope for in a job.”

lanta, The American Red Cross and

his two daughters. But for Angela’s

the Pleasant Hill Community Center, 6

peers and families she works with in


Thanks to  our  many  supporters YV Builder ($10,000 - $24,999)

The Coca-Cola Foundation

YV Family Champion ($5,000 - $9,999)

Stacey Ann Boe Memorial Fund Whitehead Children’s Christmas Fund Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Campbell Kiwanis Foundation of Atlanta Inc. Mr. John Smith

YV Champion for Children ($1,000- $4,999) Ms. Jennifer Queen Zachariah Foundation Mr. Lewis Holland Kroger Earning Plus Learning Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Dodson Comcast Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Tarkenton Druid Hills Presbyterian Church Dan and Merrie Boone Foundation Don and Celia Scarbrough

YV Leader ($500 - $999)

Mr. Thomas Brooks Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Arts Center Target - Take Charge of Education Program Tull Charitable Foundation LGE Community Credit Union Crime Awareness and Prevention Education Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hunter KAPPA Foundation of Georgia Inc. Ms. Linda Ramsey Rotary Club of Douglas County Smyrna Optimist Club Zoo Atlanta/Group Sales

YV Friend (Gifts up to $499)

Atlanta Women’s Club Atlanta Botanical Gardens Stan Jones and Barbara Cleveland Mt. Zion United Methodist Women Mrs. Judith Myers Publix Partners Ms. Jane Davenport Mr. Barry McWhirter


Mr. and Mrs. W. Wright and Wade T. Mitchell 4Y=PYNPS:O\[aL Mr. Edward Croft 4Y(SVQa/YLU Mr. Frank Winn Ms. Lynn Merrill Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Bacon Mr. Wayne Bradley Mr. Stockton Croft Ms. Jane Fahey Dog River Grading North Georgia Dollmakers Club Mr. David Pahl Mr. Gordon Sherman Mrs. Judy Turnell Mr. Thomas Wardell 4Y1HZVU)PSa Mr. Armstead Brown Mr. Joe Bruckner Mr. Jimmy Fluker William Levine Household Mr. John McCollum Ms. Harriet Sessoms Ms. Elaine Tarkenton 4Z:\aHUUL>HSSHJL Fernbank Museum Mr. Clifton Goolsby Mr. Ryan Hilliard Lydia Circle of Christ United Methodist Church Mr. Spencer Preis Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Reid 4Z1VLSSL:[LYRV^PJa United Way of Metro Atlanta/Combined Federal Campaign (ongoing contributions) IBM Employee Services Center Phil Ringo Suntrust One Pledge Campaign Cynthia Whitaker Joy San Walker Brown

Gifts in Kind

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Mr. Thomas Brooks Ms. LaShawn Certain Federal Reserve Monetary Museum Fernbank Museum Ms. Linda G. Maddox Ms. Mona Russell Zoo Atlanta

What does the Explorer Society

with the kids and taking part in some of the experiential learning and the corporation as a whole. When employees experience our

mean to the kids? The children

mission on a personal level, they

share what they’re learning and

are more likely to volunteer and

witness the interest that corpora-

offer support.

tions and their employees have in our mission. What does the Explorer Society

There are numerous ways to help. Volunteer or donate such needed items as clothing, furniture and other supplies. Please call or e-mail me to find out how to help.

Mary Norman Director of Development 404-320-2969

THINKING ABOUT A PLANNED GIFT? There are as many different ways to support Youth Villages as there are needs for your support. If you are new to the concept of planned giving, please visit youthvillages. org/ and click Donate for information. We have information on wills and bequests, gifts of appreciated stock, real estate, charitable remainder trusts, gifts of retirement assets, life insurance and charitable lead trusts. There are definitions, wording for wills, stories of how instruments are created and much more. You may want to visit the planned giving calculator to see what a planned gift would mean in your unique circumstances. For information, contact Mary Norman at 404-320-2969 or e-mail

Spending time on the campus

programs help excite employees their needs.

How you  can  help!

Join our  networks

For information, please contact Norman at 404-320-2969 or

mean to Youth Villages? 7

@6<;/=033(.,: 1777 Northeast Expressway NE Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30329 (Address Service Requested)


(WYP]H[LUVUWYVÄ[VYNHUPaH[PVU@V\[O=PSSHNLZZLY]LZTVYL[OHU JOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZMYVTVMÄJLZPU[OLMVSSV^PUNJP[PLZ! Alabama: Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile Arkansas: Jonesboro, Little Rock Florida: Lakeland, Miami, Tampa Georgia: Atlanta, Douglasville Massachusetts:3H^YLUJL7S`TV\[O:WYPUNÄLSK>VI\YU>VYJLZ[LY Mississippi: Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Jackson, Tupelo New Hampshire: Manchester North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Concord, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Pinehurst, Raleigh-Durham, Wilmington Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dickson, Dyersburg, Jackson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Linden, Memphis, Morristown, Nashville, Paris Texas: Dallas Washington, D.C.

New Heights Georgia is published by Youth Villages Managing Editor: Mary Norman Associate Editor: Chris Pennington Please e-mail or call 404-320-2969 to have your name removed from our mailing list.

Founded in Memphis, Tenn., in 1986, Youth Villages has built a national reputation for offering the most effective proNYHTZHUKZLY]PJLZ[VOLSWLTV[PVUHSS`[YV\ISLKJOPSKYLUHUK[OLPYMHTPSPLZ;OLWYP]H[LUVUWYVÄ[VYNHUPaH[PVUWYV]PKLZ a fully integrated continuum of services, including residential treatment, in-home services, foster care and adoption, mentoring and a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care.


Teen reconnects with family Family  Victories  from  Youth  Villages  Georgia Spring 2011 Director of 21st Century Schools recounts tour of...