More than 100 years of program experience
As the Assistant Director, Judy Richardson oversees the volunteer corps at the youth center and manages the student check-in and check-out process. She works with the other staff members to deliver the programming lineup for UYC and assists the Executive Director with grants, fundraising and the management of the center.
Before joining UYC, Richardson worked at Honda Research & Development for 20 years as a Specialist in the Engineering Dept. overseeing various processes of vehicles such as annual inventory, sales, disposals and tracking. Richardson retired in October of 2020.
“After five months of retirement, I felt there was more to life than just taking it easy,” Richardson explained. “One day I walked into the Urbana Youth Center to volunteer and my whole life woke up with a purpose.”
Already, students have received homework and study assistance, been fed dinner and healthy snacks through the UYC’s nutrition program and had access to fun and safe hangout spaces. In addition, the youth center offers a hygiene program, career readiness program and mentoring opportunities.
Developing, implementing, and monitoring UYC programs based on success, interest and availability are responsibilities of the new Director of Programs, Natalie Frueh.
Frueh studied elementary education and special education at Indiana Wesleyan University before transferring to The Ohio State University to study animal sciences. After graduating from OSU in 2014, she started her role as program director for Marmon Valley Ministries Horse Camp. She was responsible for hiring and training staff, managing programs, planning events and designing marketing materials.
“I have a real passion for serving young people and developing programs that are fun and beneficial for students,” Frueh explained. “My role at the youth center lets me live this passion in an impactful way.”
Frueh isn’t the only person involved in developing programs at the youth center. She has two official program advisors with more than 65 years of combined experience in education. Lance Jackson and Teresa Hill were both teachers in the Urbana City School district for decades and keenly understand the challenges local students face.
“Both Lance and Teresa are former teachers of mine. I know the students at the youth center are incredibly fortunate to have the experience of two of Urbana’s very best educators working on crafting programs for them. Their expertise is a major asset to the youth center and this community,” Weller explained.
Including official advisors and volunteer advisors, the entire program team brings more than a century of combined education and program experience to the table. According to the youth center team, this will be key to deploying an array of new offerings this fall.
“We won’t give too much away right now, but I can tell you that Natalie and our programs team have big plans for this fall to nearly double our existing lineup of programs. You are not going to want to miss everything that’s planned at the Urbana Youth Center this coming school year,” Weller said.
Weller went on to explain the importance of the new team members.
“As I have said before, building bright futures for our youth is no small task. I feel incredibly fortunate to lead a team that is absolutely committed to serving the youth of this community and securing the future of the next generation.”
About Urbana Youth Center
UYC believes that the future of our children impacts our community’s opportunities and success for decades to come. With open hearts and open minds, this community can rally our resources to not only lift kids up but set them on a trajectory for accomplishing amazing things. The youth center serves students in grades six through 12 who attend Urbana City Schools or live in the district.
The GrandWorks Foundation is a local not-for-profit organization leading several efforts to reach, restore, and revive the community. The projects include the historic Gloria Theatre in downtown Urbana, The Big Questions (a podcast exploring some of life’s most pressing topics), and the Urbana Youth Center.
The Leadership Champaign County program offers participants in-depth, “behind the scenes” looks at local government, education, and healthcare, among other exclusive opportunities. Participants tour farms, factories, and other local facilities while learning from business owners and community leaders about a wide range of topics. Hands-on activities throughout the program sessions encourage group collaboration and leadership development.
The program meets the third Thursday of every month from September - May. Each full-day session features a different topic; topics include Agriculture, History and Heritage, Education, Economic Development, Government, Healthcare, and Quality of Life.
Applications are available on the Chamber’s website at https://www.champaignohio.com/leadership-champaign-county and will be accepted through September 6. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Chamber with any questions by emailing email@example.com or calling 937-653-5764.
Returning this year is the popular “dunk tank,” corn hole tournament, best salsa contest, hot pepper eating contest and suck, chew and blow contest.
The Hoopla Parade featuring the Dayton Antioch Shriners and their miniature vehicles will return and Dwight Paul, parade chairman, welcomes groups, bands, clubs and neighborhoods to participate. If interested, email Paul for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s time to “tweak” your favorite chili recipe and take advantage of the discount offered to early entries.
Entry forms are available online at www.chilicookoffofurbana.com and are discounted until Sept. 10, 2021.
In addition, vendor applications are available online for those wishing to join the fun. Deadline for all applications is Sept. 17 or until spaces are filled. Spaces are limited.
The Champaign County Commissioners are exploring grant opportunities to improve internet/broadband service. The first step is to collect data to determine the need for improved internet service, and this will be done through a survey. We need your opinion! Please take a moment to complete the survey (at your home), it can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LUCInternet.
Please share this information with others in Champaign County. Thank you!
Everyone can play a role in preventing child abuse. That’s the message of this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign in April: Be a Hero in the Eyes of a Child.
Through its Facebook page, @ChampaignCountyDJFS, the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS) is offering ways for local residents to participate in the campaign and help prevent child abuse and neglect in their day-to-day lives.
“It takes one simple act of kindness at a time,” says Sara Wright, CCDJFS social services administrator. “I see a mom I know at the store, and I tell her she’s doing a great job. Or maybe I know a family that could be struggling, maybe they have an illness. I could make a meal for them.
“These types of things are heroic acts. That’s what this campaign is about, those little acts of kindness that really help make kids safe, because it helps support families.”
Stacy Cox, director of CCDJFS, adds, “It takes a community to protect a child, or to raise a child. It’s really those simple acts that play into that community connectedness.”
Ways to Participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month
The Champaign County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed April “A Celebration of Family and Children Month, in tribute to concerned citizens, professionals and foster parents who work together in the cause of protecting our county’s children.”
In addition, CCDJFS is promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month with coloring sheets distributed to schools and libraries, as well as pizza box toppers and drink coasters at local restaurants with dine-in service.
2020 Child Abuse Statistics
In 2020, CCDJFS Child Protective Services completed 228 investigations/assessments of reports of child abuse or neglect. Thirty-five of the reports were substantiated or indicated as cases of abuse or neglect. The department served an average of 37 families, on an ongoing basis, per month, and 33 youth were in agency custody.
But the pandemic had an impact on reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect, Wright said. “From March going into April 2020 we saw an over 60 percent decline in calls coming in. What that tells us, people weren’t seeing each other, and people weren’t seeing kids. Connectivity and connections matter” in helping to identify and prevent abuse.
Wright adds, “The more supported we can make people feel, the less we see the impact of hardships, like poverty and substance abuse, and the better that kids are going to be protected.”
The key message of the Be a Hero in the Eyes of a Child campaign, she said, is that “it’s the simple acts of kindness that make a huge difference. We know the numbers of abuse and neglect, because that’s what we track. But the numbers we don’t have is how much abuse and neglect was prevented by those simple acts that adults in the community are doing each and every day.”
Funds aimed to help small business hit by pandemic
“Our local economy has been negatively impacted with the Coronavirus and our small businesses are some of the hardest hit,” said Marcia Bailey CEP Economic Development Director. “These funds are an expense reimbursement grant and will help get the businesses through this difficult time."
To qualify for the grant program, businesses must:
Businesses that have received funding for expenses arising from the pandemic cannot submit the same expenses for reimbursement under the CARES Grant for Champaign County Small Businesses.
“We are so appreciative of our small businesses and although there is great uncertainty, Champaign County is hopeful that businesses receiving these grant funds will successfully persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic.” Bailey said.
Applications and grant guidelines are available at www.champaignworks.com/CARESGrantChampaignCounty beginning October 30, 2020. Application deadline is November 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Due to the short application period, we recommend you apply as soon as possible. In order to assist you, please send your questions to email@example.com.
Businesses are also encouraged to visit https://businesshelp.ohio.gov for additional assistance. Governor DeWine announced CARES Act funding through the State of Ohio for small business and others that have been impacted financially by the pandemic.
NACE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association in its 64th year, representing over 3,000 county road officials and related professionals in the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., local roads account for about 75% of highways and roads, or 2.93 million miles. Counties manage 1.74 million miles of those roads. Counties also own 231,000 bridges and operate one-third of the nation’s transit systems.
Champaign County Engineer Stephen McCall is in his 30th year of service with Champaign County, and first elected as County Engineer in 2012. Stephen has served on many County Engineers Association of Ohio committees, including the Ways and Means, Public and Local Support, Legislative and CEAO Handbook Co-Chair committees. In 2015, McCall served as President of the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio. Locally he has served as the president of the Logan-Union-Champaign Planning Commission.