By Mark Ambrogi
The Carmel Youth Assistance Program has taken its first major step in launching the program.
Maggie Figge has been named the early intervention advocate and started on July 20, said Tricia Akers, Hamilton County Youth Assistance Program executive director. Figge left her job as Creekside Middle School’s student services coordinator.
“She comes to us highly recommended from the Carmel schools to watch this program in Carmel so we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her join on our team,” Akers said. “She is our first step in launching the program. It will take her a little time to get up and running. I would hope by September we can start taking referrals from the Carmel community.”
Akers said that Dr. Nicholas Wahl, Carmel Clay Schools superintendent, has provided tremendous support.
The City of Carmel announced on April 20 that the CYAP would focus on at-risk youth referred to the program.
The program is designed to assist those referred youth ages 3 to 17 years old and their families. The youth will be evaluated and referred to programs based on their specific needs. According to the release, some examples are mentoring, tutoring, camp and recreational opportunities, counseling and anger management classes.
According to the release, the program is focusing on bringing local governmental, juvenile courts and the community, including citizens, school, business, church and service organizations so that there is a comprehensive approach for the children and families.
“I look forward to this program adding another positive option for tutoring, mentoring and coordination of services for at-risk youth. It is a great addition to our strong community of volunteers who already work with the youth of our community,” Mayor Jim Brainard stated.
Westfield launched the first Youth Assistance Program in 2009, followed by Noblesville in 2013, Fishers and Hamilton Heights in 2014 and Sheridan in April of 2015.
“Our next big step is to form our first board,” said Akers, who said there have been meetings to determine the makeup.