Since its inception in 1971, the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau has served an estimated 55,000 children and saved families, children and taxpayers millions of dollars with its free and vital programs.
The local agency, which was formed thanks to the vision of Rex Henthorn and D.O. Dulin and continued support of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters, recently marked its 51st year with a celebration at Stone Creek Lodge.
Over the years YSB programming has changed, following data-based trends of what worked and did not work for youth. From drop-in programs to transcendental meditation to the current programming, the YSB has worked to identify and meet the needs of local youth.
The core mission continues to be to prevent delinquency. Like any complex social problem, there is not just one intervention that works for everyone. As a result, the YSB has 10 current programs to address delinquency. These include JUMP mentoring program, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Youth as Resources, Inspire group mentoring, Teen Court, the Montgomery County Alternative School for high school students, Drug Free Montgomery County, the Child Abuse Prevention Council, Nourish Backpack Food program and REINdear Christmas assistance program.
On Sept. 9 the YSB honored some of their many supporters who have made an impact with our youth. Awards given included recognition of staff, including Jane Christophersen, Jill Hampton and Gina Williams for more than 30 years of service each; service awards for CASA and JUMP volunteers; Key to our Success award winners, Montgomery County Community Foundation, United Way in Montgomery County, Crawfordsville Radio, Journal Review and The Paper of Montgomery County; Community Engagement awards to, Hoosier Heartland State Bank, Lisa Long and the Crawfordsville Fire Department; Champion of Children awards to, Banjo/IDEX Corporation, Crawfordsville Kiwanis and Tony Cosenza.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped the YSB provide services for over 51 years,” said Karen Branch, executive director. “None of what we have been able to accomplish could have been done without the tremendous community support that we have enjoyed. From staff, volunteers and donors, this has been a team effort and because of everyone on our team, so many youth have benefited. We love this community and are so happy to be able to give back by working with and improving the lives of our youth.”
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