25 Jul A Chance at a Brighter Future

When kids arrive at the Youth Opportunity Center, often they are significantly behind in their academics. Whether it’s their history of complex trauma, a lack of proper resources, or undiagnosed disabilities that have gotten these kids off track, for many college seems like a remote possibility. And for most, it’s one of the last things on their mind.

Through a concerted joint-effort between Muncie Community Schools (who operates our on-campus school), our Education Assistants and the entire staff of the YOC, school becomes an integral part of treatment for each of our residents. The mission of the YOC is not just to treat and modify the behaviors that resulted in a resident’s placement at the YOC, but rather to provide a bright, positive future for kids—one that involves productive participation in their home communities. In addition to traditional schooling and academic activities, this is accomplished through specialized learning opportunities and support for post-secondary education.

To that end, whenever possible, the YOC encourages a wide variety of educational activities, and has made these activities a priority—regardless of government funding. From field trips and Independent Living classes to vocational training, SAT prep and Lego Robotics classes, the YOC is committed to providing whatever academic tools are necessary for success.

Through the generosity of donors, there are two endowment funds that are specifically geared towards specialized learning and supporting continuing education.

The Laura Stanley Keppler Fund is a recent endowment that was created by Kelly and Donna Stanley in loving memory of their daughter Laura Keppler, a Muncie Community School teacher who taught on the YOC campus for many years. Laura was an inspiring teacher dedicated to empowering even the most challenging kids through learning. Tragically, Laura passed in October of 2018. To preserve her legacy and continue her passion for using education to engage and empower kids, the Laura Stanley Keppler Fund was founded to support specialized learning opportunities for residents at the YOC. It is in Laura’s memory that this fund will give YOC residents the chance to experience educational activities that will set them on the path to a brighter future.

The Anna Ullom Scholarship Fund was established to provide scholarship monies for former YOC residents pursuing post-secondary education. To date, tens of thousands of dollars have been distributed in support of dozens of former residents as they work towards degrees in IT, social work, dentistry, and engineering just to name a few. The success of these former residents highlights the very bright future that is possible for each and every kid at the YOC. Sharing these success stories, and providing these supportive resources gives hope to the current residents, driving them to continue striving for more.

The goal of the YOC is to see the number of residents attending 2- and 4-year colleges and universities consistently grow, never letting resources or funding become a barrier to that growth. The YOC’s intense focus on education is what sets it apart from other residential treatment centers, and is what will continue to make a difference in the futures of the kids we serve.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Laura Stanley Keppler Fund, please contact YOC Foundation Executive Director, Laura Retter. lretter@yocinc.org or 765-289-5437 x. 3331

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