Event Showcases Talent and Creativity of At-Risk Youth

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Adelphoi, a community-based organization providing therapeutic treatment and behavioral health services to at-risk youth and families, held a Showcase of Stars and Groundbreaking event on May 17 at its main campus in Latrobe, PA.  Attended by Adelphoi staff, board, donors and supporters, the event served two purposes:  celebrating the talent, creativity and achievement of its student stars and breaking ground on a new Youth and Family Center and Welcome Center.

The Showcase of Stars event featured youth from Adelphoi’s programs, which include group homes, foster care and adoption, educational services and mental health programs, to serve as “stars” for the evening, as they demonstrated their skills and accomplishments as part of Adephoi’s Career Readiness Program.  The event featured a special performance by theater students, artwork created by the STEAM students, demonstrations by Career Exploration students and hors-d’oeuvres provided by the culinary arts students.

According to Karyn Pratt, Director of Marketing and Development, “The Showcase of Stars was an opportunity for our youth to shine.  We were excited to show the community what our youth have learned and how they are preparing for their future.”

The event also featured a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of two new facilities on campus that are designed to improve the delivery of services within Adelphoi’s population of children and families, a Youth and Family Center and a Welcome Center.

Adelphoi recognizes that Family involvement is key to a youth’s success during and after treatment.  Visits from families currently take place inside each individual’s group home; however, the group home setting is simply not conducive to the private, quiet space needed to make the family visits and counseling sessions beneficial to all parties. The 7,000 square foot Youth and Family Center, which includes a coffee bar, small kitchen, lounge areas, casual meeting space, conference rooms, and an outdoor patio, will provide families with the opportunity to interact with their child in a quiet and comfortable place, away from the activity of the group home.

Adelphoi also recognizes the importance of providing therapeutic recreational opportunities and interactive learning experiences to youth in placement. According to Mark Mortimer, Adelphoi COO, “Recreation and leisure activities strengthen and reinforce family bonds, increase self-confidence, and positively impact physical and mental health.” As a result, the Youth and Family Center will feature indoor recreation areas and gaming options, such as pool tables and a video game area, which will provide expanded nontraditional recreational opportunities for youth. In addition, the facility will feature a stage and multi-purpose auditorium for events and student-driven artistic performances, as well as dedicated rooms to provide art and music therapy as part of a growing curriculum for at-risk youth. 

CAVCON construction is overseeing project management and construction of these facilities.  CAVCON has served as a long-term partner with Adelphoi in meeting its treatment needs.  In early 2018, CAVCON renovated a former detention facility in Cambria County to serve as an enhanced supervision model and secure program for youth who require a more secure placement setting.  Last year, the company also built a 15-bed residential facility on Adelphoi’s campus.

Expansion of the campus represents an emerging trend in providing facilities that meet a therapeutic need among its target population.  Currently, more than 70% of youth in placement had a diagnosable mental health issue.  In 2016, Adelphoi worked with CAVCON to renovate an existing building into an outpatient mental health facility.  This on-site facility has allowed Adelphoi to reduce transportation time for doctor’s appointments and provide for better continuity of care.

In addition to the Youth and Family Center, CAVCON will construct a Welcome Center. Situated at the gateway to campus, the center will provide a structured spot for providing admissions for youth entering residential care or returning to campus from a home visit. Staff will be on-hand to provide a smooth transition for youth who are often frightened or uneasy about entering placement.

Adelphoi is a leading provider of services to over 2,500 at-risk youth and families annually throughout a 30-county area.