06 Jun Transforming the lives of children

2016-2017 left a lasting impression on the Youth Opportunity Center, its board and staff. The YOC successfully completed its first capital campaign and as a result, the transformation of children and treatment facilities are taking place across the campus as a result of the generosity of so many individuals, corporations, and foundations.

The capital campaign has enabled the YOC to strategically address the short and long-term treatment needs and facility enhancements needed to ensure sustainability of the YOC’s mission. Rick Rowray CEO stated, “We are honored by the investment of so many individuals to help children in our community. We are in the initial stages of implementing key priorities across campus as a result of the campaign. This campaign has enabled the YOC to renovate some existing residential cottages, implement state-of-the-art treatment modalities by our therapists, execute new training initiatives and strategically plan for other key organizational initiatives that will improve outcomes for children. We are grateful and appreciative of this opportunity to alter the course for thousands of children.

One aspect of the campaign was investment in infrastructure and capital programs. The YOC has implemented capital improvement projects across campus to address the treatment needs of youth with more complex psychological and behavioral challenges. Touring campus you will see a new playground for youth with sensory needs, a new kitchen and living space for independent living programs, and remodeled living spaces and bedrooms in residential cottages to improve overall safety and security. Additionally, the YOC invested resources in the renovation of a former youth facility in New Castle to treat female victims of sex and human trafficking which will open late spring.

However, not all aspects of the campaign are easy to see or measurable. The new training classes for staff implemented, the more than 40 frontline supervisors’ completion of leadership training, credentialed clinicians implementing evidence-based counseling techniques with youth, the focused efforts to onboard and retain of quality personnel, and new technology systems. Ultimately the “behind the scenes” impact of the campaign is just as important as the physical renovations made across campus – all will enhance the overall safety and security of children and improve outcomes for kids.

“The kids we serve today exhibit more high-risk behaviors than the kids we served 25 years ago. The investment in cottage renovations, training resources and staff development will enhance the experiences our kids have and improve outcomes. We are very thankful for all who have supported the YOC through the capital campaign,” stated Lynn Doppler, Chief Operations Officer.

This story is an excerpt, as it appears in the 2016 – 2017 Annual Report. To view the full report click here.