During the spring, I find it hard not to reflect back on my high school days. With graduation announcements filling mailboxes and photos from prom, Baccalaureate, senior portraits and awards banquets all over social media, I bet much of you are the same way. 

Many of the high school seniors in these photos most likely had their plans set since entering high school, if not before. These boys and girls knew they would go to college – it wasn’t ever an ‘if’, but a ‘where’ that some were trying to finalize. 

However, there are many kids in our community that their ‘future’ is in the now – where am I sleeping tonight; will I eat tomorrow; do I have clean clothes to wear; will I have a ride to school to take my test; and can I do this on my own? It is difficult for these kids to envision a future outside of their immediate circumstance. They are facing situations that no one their age should have to encounter which causes them to have to grow up much faster than their counterparts. The potential of these kids is hindered, suppressed even, impacting not only them, but our community.

This is where Youth Services for Oklahoma County comes in and plays a major role. With your support, we are able to meet the basic needs of food, clothing and safe shelter of young people ages 12 to 21. We work with these kids to ensure they have the life skills they need to successfully transition into adulthood and become self-sustaining. All of our programs focus on these five important areas: stable housing, education, vocation, permanent relationships and overall wellbeing. 

It takes time, communication and emotional investment – but the kids, the future of our state, are worth it. When these resilient kids find their footing, and see a different future –we all truly benefit. Lives are changed every day because of your support and the talented staff at Youth Services. 

Thank you for “Changing Young Lives” with us.

Kami N. Kuykendall
President and CEO


Through the years, tens of thousands of kids have walked through the doors of Youth Services for Oklahoma County and found a safe, warm place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear. Mentors and advocates empowered them to be more than their circumstance. Counselors and therapists helped these kids overcome scars or barriers invisible to the naked eye.

Listen here to what Michael, Sparkle and Rachel have to say about how their lives were changed with the support of Youth Services for Oklahoma County and friends like you.


Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Reach for the Stars! This year’s event, A Reunion – 45 Years of Changing Young Lives, was a blast and truly a night for the yearbook. Because of the support of generous friends like you, this year’s event raised $30,000 more than last year’s event! This generous support will allow Youth Services to continue providing critical services and resources to our young clients!

The Criterion was rocking with music through the decades, delicious food, festive drinks and fun photos from the past. We had lots of great activities like a photobooth, live and silent auctions and the entertaining game of Brains vs. Brawn. Guests also heard from three young people whose lives were forever changed because of the services and care provided by Youth Services. 

“We are so excited about the success of this year’s Reach for the Stars!,” said Amber Thompson, Youth Services board member and event chair. “The funds raised from this event will allow us to provide life-changing services to the teens we work with – services we could not provide without the support of our wonderful donors and sponsors!”

We’d like to give a special thanks to our Champion and Hero Sponsors for this year’s Reach for the Stars! Champion Sponsors: Birchall and Hampton, Jeff and Lori Blumenthal, Ken and Jimi Davidson, Mark and Weneva Edge and SONIC, America’s Drive-In. Hero Sponsors: BancFirst, Cooper Auto Group, Foundation Management Inc., McAfee & Taft PC, G. David Neff and Susan Peck, OGE Energy Corp., Oklahoma Cogeneration LLC and Tinker Federal Credit Union. 

If you were unable to attend this year’s event, but would like to support the life changing work of Youth Services, you may donate online or call us at 405-235-7537 for more information.

Take a look at photos from Reach for the Stars! here and see what fun we had in the photobooth here


Glitter, sequins and smiles filled Youth Services on Saturday, March 25, as 20 young ladies were treated to mini-makeovers at our annual prom event. The teenagers had the opportunity to select from a variety of elegant dresses from generous community donors, Pomp and Pageantry in Oklahoma City or the Youth Services’ prom closet. No formal is complete without a few fantastic accessories, so the young ladies also selected from a lovely array of jewelry and shoes to top off their outfits. Nearly a dozen volunteers happily assisted with hair, makeup and nails.

The makeup was provided by Mary Kay consultants and representatives from the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma spoke to the teenagers about loving themselves, healthy identities and building self-esteem. As with any event, the young ladies had a nice meal to enjoy while they were getting ready. The teenage boys we work with also had an opportunity to stop by in a one-on-one setting to ensure they had everything they needed for a memorable prom.

Thank you for investing in these teens and their high school experience.

In 1972, our own Carl Albert was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Women were allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon for the first time and the Home Box Office (HBO) channel became the first subscription cable TV channel.

The year 1972 was also noteworthy for us, too. In February, Youth Services for Oklahoma County opened its doors for the first time. This February, we celebrated 45 years of Changing Young Lives during an open house at our headquarters. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who stopped by and joined us in ringing in 45 years. More than 50 people toured our facility and had an opportunity to talk to staff members and hear more about all of the lives we have helped change.

Last year alone, we served more than 2,200 teens and families in our community. While a lot has changed over the nearly five decades since our founding, there is one thing that hasn’t changed at all: Changing Young Lives remains the core of all we do.

We've come a long way, and we are already at work ensuring that we positively impact more youth in our community during our next 45 years!
Copyright © 2017 Youth Services for Oklahoma County, Inc.
201 NE 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-1811
Phone: 405-235-7537