February/March News

Introducing Introducing Our New Executive Director
Meet Kendee  Kolp, the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at Reach For Youth!

Kendee Kolp served 26 years with the YMCA beginning as a Program Director and most recently as the Sr. Vice President of Operations.  Previous responsibilities include serving as the District Executive Director of the Arthur Baxter YMCA on the south side of Indianapolis and providing oversight to the Ruth Lilly YMCA Outdoor Center.  She also served as the Associate Vice President of Youth Enrichment, responsible for centralizing all of the before and after school operations for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. She has previous experience in fundraising for both annual and capital campaigns and provided temporary assistance to the United Way of Johnson County as a campaign associate.  Kendee is a graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies.  

Welcome to the team, Kendee! We're lucky to have you!
 TeenTeen Dating Violence Awareness Month

This is a topic Reach For Youth addresses all year long. Our Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIP)  allows us to visit classrooms and community groups and lead an interactive discussion around this ever-pressing topic.  During the workshop, a staff member guides the group through activities where students must examine common scenarios within relationships and discuss whether it's a sign of a healthy relationship or a warning sign for abuse.  During their time together, students gain knowledge to help them identify signs of abuse and are equipped with the tools they need to seek help when they or someone they know are involved in an unhealthy relationship.


When offering this training, we have noticed one common observation: While physical violence is easy to identify, teens often have a hard time recognizing emotional, psychological and sexual abuse.  Unfortunately, youth generally agree that what happens behind closed doors is acceptable in a long-term, committed relationship.   Our program is built to inform them that if it does not feel right, they have a right to take action to end it, regardless of who that person is.  While the program generally focuses on romantic relationships, it also addresses friendships and relationships with parents and can be modified for all age groups.


If you are affiliated with or know of a group that could benefit from this program, we want to hear from you!  To learn more about our VIP Workshop, contact Mara Weiss, MSW, LSW at (317) 920-5900.

Roll For Youth logo
bowlIt's Time To Bowl!!

Did you know you can help the youth in our community by bowling?!  Our 6th annual Roll For Youth is quickly approaching.  This important event is crucial to helping us raise funds for at- risk, low-income youth ages 7-17 who need important counseling services and Teen Court programs.   It is an evening of family fun with bowling, snacks, a silent auction, some friendly competition and lots of fun!   
Woodland Bowl
3421 E. 96th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Sunday, April 26
Bowlers can begin throwing strikes (or gutter balls) at 5pm and festivities will wrap up at 7pm. 
Click here to join or create a team.  
Can't join us for the event? That's okay!  You can still contribute to the cause by choosing the donate option and/or supporting a team!  
Questions?  Contact us! (317) 920-5900 or rfy@reachforyouth.org 
maraMeet Mara, MSW, LSW, 
In-School Teen Court Coordinator and Youth Therapist!
Mara Weiss joined  Reach   For   Youth  as a full-time therapist in
May 2012.  She previously served as a work-study student in the Teen Court program and earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies.  She then earned her Master's of Social Work degree from Indiana University-Purdue University.  She recently appeared on local television representing Reach For Youth in a discussion about how parents can develop a healthy relationship with their child.  

Click here to watch the program!

"Through the In-School Teen Court program, I have the opportunity to work with passionate students and school staff  in identifying constructive consequences and developing positive supports for students as an alternative to suspension or expulsion. Reach For Youth is a small organization with a huge mission and each staff member, intern, volunteer and stakeholder works tirelessly to advance our mission to support youth and families in Central Indiana." 

In addition to coordinating the In-School Teen Court program and individual and family therapy, Mara also coordinates the Violence Intervention and Prevention program and serves as Vice-President of the Indiana Teen Court Association.  She  is a 2014 Journey New Professional Fellow, and coordinates Reach For Youth's internship program through the Indiana University School of Social Work BSW program.

Outside of social work practice, Mara is a volunteer for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control and enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, Riley.
DFJCThank You!
Reach For Youth was awarded a grant from Drug Free Johnson County.  We are thrilled to continue partnering with this wonderful organization to provide our Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) counseling program for youth struggling with substance abuse and addiction.