Family Support Assistant, Jo Gaxiola, has been with YDI for over three years and has worked as a mentor at both our Havre and Missoula Community Office.
Jo has a powerful story of his experience mentoring two boys in Havre.
Outside of YDI, Jo works in law enforcement with adult felons. He reports that working as an FSA is his way of giving back and making a difference in the lives of the next generation.
Are you interested in giving back? Youth Dynamics serves children and families in nearly every location in the state of Montana. If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child through mentoring, contact us today through our website or give us a call at 406-245-6539.
Employee Spotlight~ Gianna Lishman, Helena Community Therapist
This month we would like to recognize Gianna Lishman for her exemplary service to the YDI mission and the youth and families we serve in the Helena area. Gianna goes above and beyond on a daily basis to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth.
This is what leadership and Gianna's teammates had to say in recognition of her:
"Gianna is a model of our mission. She continually goes above and beyond to support the children and families we serve. Her actively caring nature is evident every day. She has modified and accepted assignments not of the ordinary. Her willingness to work with the children of the Lewis and Clark group home is a typical example of her attitude of service over self. Gianna, thank you for all that you do for the children of Youth Dynamics." - Dennis Sulser, Chief Administrative Officer
"Gianna has been a great asset to our Youth Dynamics family and contributing to our mission! She has been willing to help out wherever needed, including seeing our LCYH clients for therapy while also maintaining her current outpatient caseload. Gianna has approached these extra duties with grace, passion, and positivity! Her solution focused, trauma informed approach has been extremely beneficial in assisting clients and staff in treatment interventions. I have really enjoyed getting to work so closely with Gianna over the past 6-8 months and appreciate her willingness to go above and beyond to provide the best care possible!" - Jordan Hinshaw, Associate Clinical Director
"She goes above and beyond for our community side kids as well as taking on the Lewis and Clark Group Home. She actively works to better support all of her clients and advocate for their needs. Gianna consistently works to better her own self as a therapist, participating in classes, conferences, and research. She actively seeks information through supervision and colleagues in order to best provide for the kiddos. I greatly enjoy working with Gianna." - Kelsey Harriman, Area Manager
"She has been nothing short of an amazing mentor and team member. She has helped me understand all sides of our kiddos, triggers, and interventions. She is doing her full-time job as the community therapist as well as a full-time job as the Lewis and Clark group home therapist. The kids are her top priority. She also runs our foster parents support group, and ensures parents are included in kid's care to translate the skills and knowledge learned at home." - Hayley Blevins, Care Manager
"Not only does Gianna do an amazing job of making her clients feel heard and seen, she also goes above and beyond to research activities and techniques that can help them process their trauma. Her dedication to always learning and doing more for her clients makes her an indispensable part of the Helena Community Office. We are so lucky to have her here!" - Bree Caldwell, Helena Administrative Support
"Gianna is a fantastic addition to YDI! She has gone above and beyond with offering to help out at Lewis and Clark and has been doing an amazing job there. She is a hard worker and extremely dedicated to the youth she is working with. She is very kind and just an amazing therapist!" Congratulations on the Spotlight Gianna!" - Mandy Haller-Doris, Program Manager
"Gianna is an AMAZING therapist. She is not only the Helena community therapist, but she is also helping with the Lewis & Clark group home kid's therapy. She does an amazing job, is always willing to help, and goes above and beyond for the youth that she works with. We are so lucky to have Gianna as a part of not only the Helena Community Office team, but also as a YDI employee." - Stephanie McLane, HR Assistant
Gianna's dedication, hard work, and positive attitude are apparent through feedback from people throughout our organization. Thank you, Gianna, for everything you do. You clearly have an amazing presence at Youth Dynamics. Your dedication to our agency, our mission, and the children we serve is truly special. We are honored to have you as part of our YDI family. ... See MoreSee Less
4 hours ago ·
"New research is shedding light on the importance of helping young children, especially boys, learn how to cope with their powerful emotions. Researchers at the University of Illinois investigated how parents reacted to their toddlers’ negative emotions (e.g., anger and social fearfulness). Two possible parental reactions that were examined included:
1. minimizing the child’s emotions (e.g., saying, “stop acting like a baby”)
2. punishing the child for their emotional outburst (e.g., sent to room or having a toy taken away)
The results indicated a clear association between parents punishing their child for their emotions and a greater chance of the child being withdrawn or anxious at a later time point. Perhaps most importantly, this finding was stronger for little boys, especially those who experience more frequent negative emotions.
Researchers point out that when parents punish children for negative feelings, they soon learn to hide their emotions and can become withdrawn or anxious. In other words, punishing big emotions doesn’t do anything to actually help toddlers’ emotional development." ... See MoreSee Less
9 hours ago ·
“Puddle parents,” on the other hand, let their kids veer off the regular, prescribed path and forge their own way.
We need more puddle parents in this world.
Too many parents prescribe their children’s lives for them. From pushing their kids into gifted and talented classes to an endless parade of after-school activities, helicopter and snowplow parents are all about trying to give their kids an edge over others, even at the expense of others. They believe in a world of hypercompetition where their kids need to come out on top, where their kids must go to college, where their kids need to succeed, and their definition of success is narrow.
Puddle parents, instead, let their children choose their own paths.
That means a lot of different things to families. What makes one puddle parent might not make another." ... See MoreSee Less
21 hours ago ·
Come visit us at the MSU-B & Rocky Mountain College Internship & Career Fair until 4 pm today in Billings! ... See MoreSee Less