Youth First, Inc. is celebrating the receipt of a $281,000 grant from the Youth Program Resilience Fund of Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will help Youth First boost the mental health and well-being of thousands of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This much-needed grant will support multiple initiatives designed to lower the risks and lengthen the reach of Youth First during these extraordinary times,” said Parri O. Black, President & CEO of Youth First. “The grant will ensure over 42,000 young people, along with their parents and teachers, have access to Youth First’s social work services and prevention programs no matter what happens in the months to come.”
Among other things, the grant will extend Youth First’s services into next summer after the school year ends, so that stressed and vulnerable youth and families continue to have the social and emotional support they need. It will also fund staff trainings, protective equipment, and other improvements that will increase the organization’s capacity to weather the pandemic.
Youth First’s mission is to strengthen youth and families by providing evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success. Youth First provides services and programs in 90 schools and communities in 11 Indiana counties: Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Pike, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.
Youth First’s project is one of 297 grants awarded by Lilly Endowment’s Youth Program Resilience Fund to help youth- serving organizations across Indiana adapt to the challenges caused by COVID-19. The full list of grantees can be found here: https://lillyendowment.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/yprf-recipients.pdf. Grants from this fund are part of more than $170 million awarded by Lilly Endowment to help organizations service individuals and communities amid the pandemic.