YSS Let’s Talk!

YSS Let’s Talk! Facebook Live Series airs every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. on @weareYSS Facebook page.

With a viral pandemic gripping our communities, YSS Let’s Talk! was started April 2020 to serve as a valuable resource to address community needs.

Please join us each week to learn about current issues related to:
• Prevention
• Treatment
• Transition
• Child Welfare

To give to the YSS Covid fund, go to www.yss.org/covid19fund


YSS Let’s Talk! and Mel in the Morning

Mel in the Morning, on KASI News Talk 1430, has long supported the YSS mission. Every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m., Mel welcomes a guest from YSS, usually to discuss the following day’s YSS Let’s Talk! topic.

We appreciate all the support Mel has given YSS over the years!

Click here to listen Live! and to past episodes of Mel in the Morning

 


YSS Prevention – Teen Dating Violence

Chelce Carter, YSS Prevention Specialist, joins Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.
Our focus will be on Teen Dating Violence.

According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 1 in 11 female teens and 1 in 15 male teens reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year, and signs are often subtle or overlooked. How do we stop this issue before it begins? Chelce Carter, YSS Prevention Specialist, shares what teen dating violence looks like from the actions of the perpetrators and survivors.


YSS Treatment – Integrated Health Services (IHS)

The increased need for health services due to the pandemic can feel overwhelming, especially for families with few resources leading them to wonder, “How do I navigate it all?” Through care coordination, Geri Derner and the YSS Integrated Health Services team connect families with resources to help them be successful at home, school, and in the community.

Geri Derner, YSS IHS Program Coordinator, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

For more information about IHS, go to www.yss.org/program/yss-family-counseling-clinic


YSS Prevention – AMP Day on the Hill 2021

Taylor Hardin, YSS Statewide Coordinator, and Amaris Albers, AMP Youth, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be a recap of our 2021 AMP DAY on the Hill!


YSS Transition – Street Outreach Program

Elizabeth Patten, YSS IHYC Youth Opportunity Centers Manager, and Teresa Bowlin, Lead Street Outreach Advocate, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.
Our focus will be on IHYC’s newly expanded Street Outreach program. The team travels the streets of Des Moines in the Mobile Outreach vans to locate and reach out to homeless youth, providing on the spot services and support such as shelter, food, clothing, “survival kits”, and more.

For more information about the Youth Opportunity Center and IHYC, go to www.yss.org/locations/iowa-homeless-youth-centers


YSS Update – Holiday Giving Celebration of thanks.

Amy Hutter, YSS Director Of Marketing And Communications, and Geri Derner, YSS IHS Program Coordinator, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Impact of Holiday Giving. 2020 was difficult and sadly 2021 is off to a rough start. And yet, people in communities across the state came together in December and gave generously to the youth and families served by YSS. Holiday Giving was a huge success this year, despite the pandemic, and we want to share the impact of this program with the community.


YSS Prevention – National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Ruth Buckels, YSS Community Prevention Program Manager and Heather Brown, Survivor and Advocate will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.
Our focus will be on Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Learn how you, as an individual, can help in the fight against human trafficking and slavery as we discuss the public signing of a proclamation by Governor Kim Reynolds, designating January 2021 Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.


YSS Prevention – National Mentoring Month

Mary Sheka, Iowa Mentoring Partnership Director, Kim Weeks, Ballard Schools Mentoring Facilitator and Ballard Mentor, and Sarina Flathers, YSS Volunteer Coordinator and Ames Middle School Mentor, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on National Mentoring Month! Launched in 2002, National Mentoring Month focuses on spreading awareness of the need for mentors. All across the country mentoring programs and their partners dedicate the month of January to recognizing the important role mentors play in our lives.


YSS Annual Campaign – Tom’s story

Toby O’Berry, YSS IHYC Community Based Center Director, and Tom Berry, Peterson Painting Crew Leader and YSS IHYC Alumni, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on Tom’s story and how YSS and IHYC changed his life. We will also talk about how your contribution helps YSS in our mission to provide Hope and Opportunity to those we serve.


YSS Recognition awards

Are you struggling to get into the spirit of the season?
This year has brought significant challenges but we wanted to take a moment to appreciate some of the heart warming stories that have us looking on the bright side. Join us for our virtual YSS Recognition awards where we will be highlighting the work of the community partners, staff, volunteers and youth that truly create the hope and opportunity we strive to create at YSS.


YSS Treatment – YSS Residential Addiction Treatment

Matthew Voorhees, YSS Residential Program Director, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on YSS Residential Addiction Treatment, which provides a successful, individualized and evidence-based recovery program for youth (ages 12-18) in a safe, homelike atmosphere. We understand substance abuse affects more than just the addict. Our comprehensive approach incorporates support for the youth’s family and others in their support network.

YSS continues to take new admits through these challenging times. If you have questions about treatment with us or how to find other treatment options, our team of professionals can help provide guidance for your family.


YSS Prevention – Youth Employment Program

Julie White, YSS Youth Employment Specialist, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Youth Employment Program that provides today’s youth with the skills, tools, and resources needed to obtain, keep, and flourish in the workplace. Personal and career exploration help youth to see what is the best fit for them.


November is National Adoption Month

Bambi Schrader, Family Connections Rec/Training Coordinator, and Pam Jones, Family Connections Rec/Training Coordinator, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

November is National Adoption Month. Our focus will be on the Celebration of Adoption by all different types of families. Unfortunately when foster families adopt they tend to drop their license, thus causing more of a need for foster/adoptive homes.


YSS Update – Holiday Giving

Blake Willadsen, IHYC Development Coordinator, Kalli Kennel, Specialized Prevention Services Coordinator, and Karen Wickert, YSS Foundation Board of Trustees, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on YSS holiday giving. We will discuss how providing holiday gifts to the hundreds of youth we serve at YSS shows them support over the holiday season.

For more information on YSS holiday giving go to www.yss.org/holidaygiving2020


YSS Treatment – Superheroes and Personal Growth

Samantha Kemp Carlin, MS, LMHC, NNCC, and YSS Mental Health Therapist, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on healing with superheroes! The superheroes from books, TV, and movies can be more than just cool characters. We’ll talk about how connecting with our favorite characters can be a catalyst for personal growth.


YSS Prevention – Red Ribbon Week

Ryan Doyle, YSS Prevention Specialist and Coordinator for YSS Substance Abuse Prevention programs, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on substance abuse and Red Ribbon Week. Youth face stresses and pressures all the time, but one of the most dangerous pressures that they can feel are those related to substance abuse. What can seem like a fun way to spend some free time or enjoy a party can actually lead them to a lifetime of addiction.


YSS Update – YSS of Marshall County and The Marshalltown Police Department Partnership

Andrew Allen, YSS president and CEO, David Hicks, YSS of Marshall County Community Based Center Director, and Chief Michael Tupper, Marshalltown Chief of Police will be Talking.

Our focus will be on the partnership between YSS of Marshall County and The Marshalltown Police Department. We plan to partner YSS social workers within their department to engage with the community in situations where a human service provider might be more appropriate than law enforcement contact.


YSS Prevention – Youth and Sexual Health

Taylor Nuehring, YSS Prevention Specialist will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on Talk-tober?
In the times of corona-virus we are constantly talking with our youth about how they can stay healthy at school, but do we talk about their sexual health? In this time of social distancing, we cannot forget about sexual health!


YSS Transition – IHYC Youth Opportunity Center Meal Program

Elizabeth Patten, YSS IHYC Youth Opportunity Center Program Manager,  andMichael Davis, YSS Rapid YSS Advocacy Program Coordinator, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Meal Program is based out of the IHYC Youth Opportunity Center.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Prevention – YSS Impact Teen Club

Kalli-Ann Kennel, YSS Specialized Prevention Services Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on YSS Impact Teen Club is a youth-driven program where participants are valued, develop positive relationships, and demonstrate social responsibility. We will focus on how the program equips teens with resources and tools to manage everyday life, as well as adjusting to social and emotional changes in the midst of COVID-19.


YSS Child Welfare – Child Welfare Services Workforce Appreciation Week

Kelli Noveshen, YSS Advocacy Program Coordinator, Emily Rebollozo, YSS Child Welfare Emergency Services Program Director, and Sarah Wiedenhoeft, YSS Family Connections Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

September 14-18 was Child Welfare Services Workforce Appreciation Week!
We will focus on various services and programs while highlighting the YSS champions and all their hard work supporting families and kids involved with the Iowa Child Welfare Services system.


YSS Treatment – National Recovery Month

Sarah Zollar, YSS Residential Clinical Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on National Recovery Month. September has been designated as National Recovery Month, where those who are in recovery from substance use or managing mental health concerns are honored and celebrated.


YSS Treatment – Mental Health

Geri Derner, YSS IHS Program Coordinator and Julie Saxton, Mental Health Advocate for the City of Ames will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on Mental Health and the Story Co. Mental Health Expo. It is a community event providing information and community resources to better understand and manage mental health issue, stress and substance abuse.


YSS Update – Andrew Allen and Volunteer Leadership

YSS CEO & President Andrew Allen will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.
YSS CEO Update: Tune in for the latest from YSS and some interviews of some dedicated volunteer leadership who champion the YSS mission.


YSS Prevention – Family Development and Self-Sufficiency, Healthy Futures, and Nest Programming

Peggy Ragner, YSS Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinator and Sadie Bohr, YSS Health Futures and Nest Programs Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency, Healthy Futures, and Nest programs that empower and nurture families toward economic and emotional self-sufficiency, and provide pregnancy, infant care, and parenting education.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Reggie’s Sleepout at Home

Toby O’Berry, YSS IHYC Community Based Center Director and Blake Willadson, YSS IHYC Development Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.


YSS Transition – Rapid Rehousing

Kate Polush, YSS Transitional Housing Program Director and Kevin Ludwig, YSS Rapid Rehousing Youth Advocate, will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on Rapid Rehousing. Rapid Rehousing is a program that helps get participants into an apartment that’s affordable, having their name on the lease, and for that year regular monthly, if not weekly, case management is provided to help the participant not go back to homelessness.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Treatment – Resiliency

Samantha Kemp Carlin, MSms, LMHC, NCC, YSS Mental Health Therapist will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be Resilience: Adapting & Coping with Stress The challenges we are facing in these uncertain times can be stressful and overwhelming. We will discuss ways to cope with stressors and how to “bounce back” from difficult experiences.


YSS Child Welfare – Emergency Services

YSS offers a variety of emergency services to youth and their families, providing 24/7 assistance to promote family safety and well-being. This array of services assists children who are part of the child welfare system, as well as those who are community-based with no system involvement.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Prevention – Youth Tobacco Use

John Rochford, YSS Prevention Specialist will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be Tobacco use, mainly through vaping, is on the rise in teens and young adults and schools have struggled to provide much needed education about the real dangers of vaping. Fueling concerns is the threat of COVID-19 and how it impacts the lungs, particularly those of regular tobacco users.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Transition – Post-Secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP)

Michael Hammond, YSS PSERP Advocate and Kelli Noveshen, YSS Advocacy Program, Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be about young adults in Post-secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP), receive guidance and support in navigating higher education systems. COVID-19 resulted in additional challenges for the youth in our program as they have fewer at-home resources to fall back on.

Post-secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP), a program that assists young adults (ages 18-25) in successfully completing their post-secondary education goals. This includes an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate of completion from a trade program.

For information on Post-secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP) go to www.yss.org/program/post-secondary-education-retention-program-pserp/

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Reggie’s Sleepout – New 2020 Format

Blake Willadsen, YSS IHYC Development Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

The focus will be on the new format of Reggie’s Sleepout and how we have changed the event because of COVID-19.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Treatment – Adolescent Addiction and Recovery 

Youth are experiencing an increase in substance use, especially due to some of the circumstances surrounding Covid-19. Now more than ever, there are adolescents who need treatment and recovery services.

Throughout Covid-19, YSS has continued to offer Adolescent Addiction and Recovery Treatment in both Ames and Mason City (for youth ages 12-18). Andrew Allen, President and CEO of YSS, is an alumni of this program and credits it for saving his life.

In this YSS Let’s Talk!, Andrew along with Timothy Martinez, YSS Lead Youth Recovery Specialist, will share insights about the community need for their program, their personal experiences, and specifically what components of treatment help make it successful. The conversation is moderated by host Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

For information on our Residential Adolescent Addiction Treatment Program go to www.yss.org/programs/addiction

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Prevention – Human Trafficking 

Ruth Buckels, YSS Community Prevention Program Manager will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be Human trafficking and Prevention. Many Americans view human trafficking as a problem faced by the global community, but no community is free from the effects of human trafficking, even in Iowa. While human trafficking can involve individuals being moved across cities and states, many victims are sold in their homes, school or community.

For information about Human Trafficking go to www.yss.org/program/teens-against-human-trafficking/

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Treatment & Child Welfare – Crisis Stabilization Program

Shanda Hansen, YSS Francis Lauer Community-Based Center Director, Nicolas Determann, YSS Francis Lauer CWES Program Manager, and Dr. Jen Hansen, YSS Francis Lauer and YSS of Hamilton County Clinical Coordinator will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Crisis Stabilization Program, which is a partnership between YSS Francis Lauer’s Child Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) Shelter and Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. The program provides short-term interventions and support for families and youth (ages 12 to 18) who are non-system involved (no formal involvement with DHS or JCS), not currently suicidal or homicidal, and are experiencing a crisis.

For more information about the YSS Francis Lauer services go to www.yss.org/locations/francis-lauer

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Transition – Youth Opportunity Center

Jaime Yowler, IHYC Emergency Bed Program Coordinator and Elizabeth Patten, IHYC Youth Opportunity Center Program Manager will join Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist.

Our focus will be on the Youth Opportunity Center at IHYC in Des Moines. It serves as a hub for basic needs for youth experiencing homelessness. We will also discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the Youth Opportunity Center.

For more information about the Youth Opportunity Center and IHYC, go to www.yss.org/locations/iowa-homeless-youth-centers

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Treatment – Integrated Health Services (IHS)

Growing up, youth require a variety of different health and lifestyle services. Through care coordination, the Integrated Health Services (HIS) program connects families with resources to help their child be successful at home, school, and in the community. Families are partnered with a team of professionals to ensure their child is receiving the necessary care for their physical, behavioral, and mental health needs.

In this YSS Let’s Talk! Live, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, hosts three YSS Integrated Health Services specialists: Geri Derner, Nicole Clay, and Marissa Spoo. Together they discuss the services they provide, eligibility requirements, and how to identify needs of youth.

For more information about IHS, go to www.yss.org/program/yss-family-counseling-clinic

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Prevention – Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP)

Youth who have been forced to live away from their biological parents face a unique set of challenges, whether it be mental/physical health issues, a lack of opportunity, or a lacking support system. YSS noticed this and created a program called Achieving Maximum Potential, also known as AMP, which is available to all Iowa foster and adoptive children ages 13-23.

In this YSS Let’s Talk! Live, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, discusses AMP with Terri Bailey, YSS Council Facilitator, and Taylor Hardin, YSS Statewide Coordinator. Tune in to also hear first-hand knowledge and experience of the program from Amaris Albers and Grace Kanioka, current AMP youth!

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Child Welfare – Support within the Foster System

Every year thousands of Iowa kids are placed in foster care for a multitude of reasons. Through a partnership with Four Oaks Family and Children Services, along with a variety of programs, YSS is able to get these youth into stable, healthy homes and connect them with caring adults.

In this YSS Let’s Talk! Live, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, Bambi Schrader, YSS Family Connections Recruitment and Engagement Manager, Foster Care/Adoption, and Sarah Buss, Foster and Adoptive Parent, discuss how to become a foster parent, how to provide support to foster/adoptive families, and how YSS plays a key role in it all.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Personal Focus – Sonya Heitshusen, WHO 13 Anchor

Coping with traumatic events is difficult, especially in the face of a global pandemic. Luckily, YSS has trained specialists to help individuals of all ages through these especially tough times. In this YSS Let’s Talk! Live, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, hosted Sonya Heitshusen, WHO TV Channel 13 News, who has seen first-hand the difficulties people face following natural disasters, horrible crimes, and awful situations. They, along with David Hicks, YSS of Marshall County Director, discuss coping mechanisms, recovery, and collecting accurate information in times of need.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Transition – Iowa Aftercare Services Network

When young people age out of the foster care system at eighteen years old, they lose resources previously provided to them. This means many youth end up in very difficult situations, whether lack of adequate housing or an inability to obtain funds.

YSS saw this need and partnered with the Iowa Aftercare Services Network in 2002 in order to help these young people with this difficult transition. This program takes in young people aged 18-23 and helps them with education, employment, housing, life skills, and much more.

In this YSS Let’s Talk!, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, Kelli Noveshen, YSS Advocacy Program Coordinator, Darcy Anderson, Lead Case Manager, Aftercare, and Elmer, Aftercare participant, discuss how YSS got involved with this program, how this program impacts young people in need, and how YOU can help young people in need! Tune in to hear Elmer share his first-hand experience of being a part of this Aftercare program!

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Treatment – Mental Health during COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused significant life changes, self-quarantining, and a loss of social activities. With this, individuals are struggling with mental health more than ever. YSS has taken action by offering continued counseling sessions through Skype and providing a multitude of resources with information on how to obtain help.

In the YSS Let’s Talk Live!,  Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, and Samantha Kemp Carlin, YSS Mental Health Therapist, discuss how to address mental health issues in depth. They explain Maslow’s Hierarchy, different techniques for self-help, and how to separate work from home, among other things.

For YSS updates on YSS and COVID-19, please go to www.yss.org/covid19. If you would like to give to our COVID-19 Fund go to www.yss.org/covid19fund.

If you would like more information about Telehealth Counseling, please go to www.yss.org/telehealth.

View slides from the presentation.


YSS Prevention – Adolescent Sexual Health

Youth are becoming exposed to sexual information at an increasingly young age through many different sources, whether it be the TV screen and the playground. Unfortunately, this information is not often medically based, accurate, and/or neutral.

As an organization, YSS is committed to dispelling these misconceptions regarding sexual health. We provide a variety of programming, such as our Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention program, to encourage youth to be informed about their sexuality.

In this YSS Let’s Talk!, Rusty Johnson, YSS Prevention Specialist, hosts Tina Palmer, Iowa Department of Public Health Community Health Consultant, and Lora Kracht, Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Manager. Together, the triad discusses various ways youth can gain education regarding sexual health and how adults can comfortably disperse accurate information regarding such topics. They emphasize the importance of open communication, creating a supportive environment, and taking advantage of available reliable resources.

View slides from the presentation


YSS Let’s Talk Launch

Andrew Allen, President & CEO of YSS gives an overview of the programs and services YSS offers, and shares his personal story, giving credit to YSS for saving his life.