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Positive Youth Development on a National Scale

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by Becky Westerfelt, Executive Director

At Huck House we have a couple of concepts that drive our work, but the one that drives all of our work is Positive Youth Development.  This approach says that what we say to youth is not as effective as what we do with youth.  We know that experience is a tough and persistent teacher so we work hard to make sure its lessons support traits and skills that will be a positive influence for teens.  We think about the unique qualities and skills of each youth as an opportunity to nurture characteristics that will be life-long assets.  We know that the best way to accomplish this development is within positive, supportive adult and community relationships.

We are currently witnessing Positive Youth Development on a national scale, and I am thrilled to be here in this moment.  The thousands of participating youth and supporting adults have created a spectacle of adolescent development at its very best.

People often ask me, “what can we do about all of these young people who are problems?”  Let’s take our lessons from the March For Our Lives.  First listen without the patronizing filter of knowing what’s best.  If we let go of our adult expertise, we just might learn something.  Next, ask what they need and want from us.  Maybe that means buying the pizza after the meeting instead of running the show.  Finally, don’t lose sight of the point.  Our task is to help the young people in our lives become their best selves – even if that means letting them come to a different conclusion.  In the end we will all be better for it.

PSD nominees

The Paul S. Davis Service Award

PSD nominees

The Paul S. Davis Service Award is given to a Huck House employee who exemplifies the core values of our agency and demonstrates practice distinction. A committee of peers looks for workers whose practice rises well above expectations and reflects Huck House’s commitment to youth and their families. The award was named for Paul Davis, a current Huck House worker who routinely demonstrates best practice. His response to a crisis, his consistency with his clients, and his support of his co-workers were chosen as the standards of Huck House excellence.

The words and phrases used to describe a Paul S. Davis award winner include authenticity, setting a good example, follow through, patience, positive attitude, well rounded, mature, flexible, creative, attention to detail, good boundaries, seeing the big picture, team-oriented, high character, sincere, empathetic, supportive, and in tune with surroundings.

Quarterly award winners are recognized at All Staff meetings. Of the quarterly recipients, one award winner is selected for recognition at the annual Huck House Youth Awards Dinner.

This month, 12 staff members were nominated and recognized at our quarterly all staff meeting. As we hear so often, these individuals go ABOVE AND BEYOND to serve youth. We thought we’d tell you about each of the nominees.

  • Kenosha Hines, Parenting Mentor – “She gives our young people insight to help them understand the bigger picture; she gives them the tools to increase parenting skills.”
  • Amanda Glauer, Manager Transitional Living Program – “She always approaches me in a sincere and supportive manner and offers authentic guidance.”
  • Chinoso Ogojiaku, Crisis Intervention Specialist – “He brings a positive and welcoming vibe to the house. He has quality engagements with the youth. When it comes to conflict resolution, Chinoso approaches the situation calmly and patiently.”
  • Tiffany Hazlett, Transitional Living Apartment Manager – “Her approach with clients to help them thrive is perfect. She helps them to see their gains but pushes them in a way that makes them want to keep pushing.”
  • Andie Ruggles, Family Support Counselor – “Andie is compassionate, a team player, and makes young people feel comfortable. I am thankful that he is flexible and puts our youth first.”
  • Tiffany Ramos, Community Support Assistant – “Tiffany is great at following through and setting good examples for our young people. She always has a smile and a sincere approach to staff and youth.”
  • Erica Schnitz, Family Support Counselor – “Erica communicates effectively with staff and always sees the bigger picture of our young people. She has created good rapport with young people.”
  • Michelle Jordan, Family Support Counselor – “Michelle is so genuine in her approach; she is able to keep her clients engaged in the healing process so they can feel better.”
  • Dalia Gheith, Crisis Intervention Specialist – “Dalia is consistently, infectiously positive. She holds genuine caring conversations with staff and youth about how they are doing. She is an incredible influence in the house.”
  • David Parish, Community Support Assistant – “He consistently provides positive support even with super active toddlers! He sees how this plays a role in the clients’ growth and healing. He brings a sens of calm to the Transitional Living Program.”
  • Donald Gore, Community Support Assistant – “Donald can often be found with a baby in his arms talking to someone about current stressors or progress toward their goals. I admire his compassion and comfortable approach to supporting young people.”
  • Shawmeen Hendersion, administration – “Shawmeen is one of the most patient people at Huck House. She is the definition of “attention to detail.” Much of what she does can easily go unnoticed but I know many of us appreciate her contributions.”

Huck House is an amazing place because of the incredible people who are committed to helping youth get to the lives they picture for themselves.

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Happenings in March

Huck House SLEEP OUT
Friday, April 20, 2018 – Saturday April 21, 2018
9:30 pm – 5:30 am
rain or shine, cold or warm
COSI Outdoor Plaza

An overnight event designed to raise awareness and funds for homeless youth in our community

When you commit to SLEEP OUT, you help at-risk young people gain access to safe homes they can sleep in. 
If you have a sleeping bag, then you can help support homeless youth by joining our SLEEP OUT. You’ll spend one night sleeping outside – something too many troubled young people in our communities have to do on too many cold nights. Your goal is to raise money to support Huck House programs that help youth overcome homelessness. Ask your friends and family to support your effort by donating to your SLEEP OUT fundraising effort. We’ll give you all the fundraising tools you need to succeed.

Registration closes April 1. Registration fee of $25 per participant.
Click here to register today!


Get in the Game!

Beginning March 19, Huckleberry House will be participating in the United Way of Central Ohio’s Knock Out Poverty, an online, competitive giving tournament. Huck House will receive 100% of the donations we raise through the tournament. Round One is from Monday, March 19 to Sunday, March 26. If Huck House is one of the top four fundraisers, we will advance to the second round.

On March 19, visit www.KnockOutPoverty.org and make a donation to Huckleberry House.

If you are participating in a bracket during March Madness, please consider donating a portion of your bracket group’s pool to Huck House!


2018 Huck House Youth Awards
The Huckleberry House Youth Awards recognize and celebrate youth who have dealt with some of the most difficult problems imaginable. Issues like abuse, violence, neglect, poverty, and homelessness. Community organizations who work with youth across central Ohio are invited to nominate young people. The Youth Awards winners are recognized as outstanding individuals who are moving toward the future they want. Join us for an inspiring night as we honor these incredible young people.

$50 per person
$500 per table of ten
Your kind donation of $300 allows an award winner and his/her guests to attend at no cost.
Tickets may be purchased online, or by check, with “HHYA” in the memo line, mailed to Huckleberry House, 1421 Hamlet Street, Columbus, OH 43201. Questions? Call Huck House at (614) 294-8097.

Triple P comes to TLP

The Positive Parenting Program comes to the Transitional Living Program

About 70% of the young people in Huck House’s Transitional Living Program (TLP) have young children of their own. The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) is an evidence-based program that provides several levels of intervention to meet families’ needs.

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund has partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Syntero, Inc. to provide parent support programming to help decrease parenting stress and improve the well-being of children throughout central Ohio.  Last month, a group of TLP moms participated in a Triple P session.

One of the greatest benefits of participation is the opportunity to talk other moms, learn that everyone has parenting struggles, and find ways to support one another. Other benefits include an improved sense of parental competence, enjoyment of parenting, and improved child behaviors.

“The Triple P parenting class focused on the normalcy of discipline problems in the household,” said Lindsey Buzek, TLP Parenting Mentor. “Parents were able to walk through frustrating situations, as well as hear experts give examples to curb unwanted or disruptive behaviors.”

TLP Parenting mentor Kenosha Hines added that learning effective ways to praise children was also helpful for her TLP clients.

Healthy Eating

Mealtimes as a Single Parent: Easy Tips You Can Start Today

Healthy Eating

Photo By: Pixabay

 

We might be able to skip naptime or even a bath, but when it comes to meal times, kids are constantly growing, and nutritious food is the fuel they need to do so. However, as a single parent, time is rare, and you might find yourself heading for the drive-thru rather than the kitchen. Eating right is not only an important part of taking care of yourself, but it could be the foundation you need to start making healthier choices. Before you place your order, check out these simple tips to make mealtimes easier and stress-free.

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