Birmingham Youth Assistance Brings Positive Activities and Support to Kids
(Ann Nazareth Manning, and Jill Reichenbach Fill, April 28, 2019)
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Birmingham, MI- We like to say that Birmingham Youth Assistance (BYA) is the “best kept secret in town.” Not many people know that we have been here, supporting youth who face major challenges in their lives, for nearly 60 years. Our professional caseworker helps kids who reside in the Birmingham Public School district, in all sorts of stressful situations, such as coping with a difficult home life, having trouble at school or with peers, or facing the consequences of a poor decision.
Birmingham Youth Assistance is committed to reducing delinquency, abuse, and neglect through community engagement. We work in partnership with the Oakland County Circuit Court – Family Division, Birmingham Public Schools, the City of Birmingham, the villages of Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, and Franklin, and a dedicated group of volunteers. BYA is the only locally-based agency which provides short-term, low cost counseling services to youth (17 years and younger) and their families. We accept referrals from the Court’s Family Division Intake Unit, school counselors and teachers, police departments, and concerned parents.
One of the truly life-changing services we provide is giving a second chance to great kids who have made poor choices. They could be paying for that one incidence of shoplifting or vandalism for the rest of their lives with a police record. Instead, our partners at the family court and police departments refer those kids to us and, through counseling and community service, we give them the chance to “turn the page.” We also offer school programs aimed at the prevention of shoplifting.
The other side of that coin is shining a well-deserved spotlight on kids who make terrific choices. Through our annual Youth in Service Appreciation program, we honor middle and high school students who have demonstrated real dedication to “giving back” to their communities.
Our summer camp program is another precious gift to many families. Through the financial support of our sponsors and private donors, we are able to offer summer camp scholarships to kids who really could use a break from their tough everyday lives and would experience great personal growth through attending a day or overnight camp. Through the Mentors Plus program, we improve kids’ everyday lives by providing one-on-one mentors.
Another important part of the BYA mission is strengthening families. To that end, we provide a variety of family education programs on topics ranging from building self-esteem and use of technology for youth to suicide prevention. Further, we are excited to provide a variety of fun family events. For 26 years, our Breakfast with Santa has been a Birmingham holiday tradition. At Touch-a-Truck, little ones get the chance to get “up close and personal” with a variety of exciting vehicles such as fire engines. Finally, for 38 years, we have invited children and their furry friends to compete in wacky categories including Waggiest Tail and Best Costume at our Kids’ Dog Show.
If you’d like to learn more about BYA or become a part of this wonderful organization, call (248) 203-4300 or visit www.BirminghamYouthAssistance.org.
Touch A Truck – May 18, 2019, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bingham Farms Elementary, Bingham Farms, MI
“RedRaiser” Fundraiser for BYA – June 11, 2019, 6-8:30 p.m. at Hazel, Ravines and Downtown Kitchen, Birmingham, MI
At the Birmingham Farmers Market – September 15 and October 27, 2019 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Breakfast with Santa – December 14, 2019, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at The Townsend Hotel, Birmingham, MI
Kids Dog Show – February 2, 2020, 1-3 p.m. at Berkshire Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Thank you to Bosco Lounge at 22930 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220 for sponsoring our “Get Involved” series featuring local nonprofits, clubs, and groups. Check out a city by city list here. Want to contribute a write up of a group you care about? Message email@example.com with your idea.