The Cause Behind the Carmel Gala
Writer / Janelle Morrison
Carmel Youth Assistance Program (CYAP) was formed in Fall 2015 to help strengthen youth and families through community involvement. CYAP works in collaboration with the Carmel Clay School District, city of Carmel, and the Hamilton County Superior Court. CYAP is a franchise of a great concept that was started in Hamilton County. The Early Intervention Advocates in each community work under the appointment of Judge Paul Felix, Hamilton County Circuit Court, and Judge Steven Nation, Hamilton County Superior Court 1.
“The Youth Assistance Program provides tutoring, mentoring, and coordination of services from businesses, schools, government, and faith-based organizations, in addition to citizens in the community who want to lend their time and talents,” Judge Steven Nation explained. “These volunteers will provide to children the assistance, guidance, and support needed to help keep young people in school and build successful lives, regardless of any obstacles or issues they may be facing.”
Carmel resident Bonnie McClellan spoke about her family’s personal experience and the progress made due to CYAP’s assistance.
“I was connected with Maggie [Figge] and the CYAP because our two foster children, Jaadyn (11) and Josiah (8), were having behavioral issues,” McClellan said. “Jaadyn was having difficulty in school and was really behind. My husband and I knew these children from church and had not planned on fostering or adopting these two, which we are currently working on. When we became aware that there were issues at home, and that they were going to be put into the ‘system’ we stepped in.”
The McClellans, who have an 11-year old biological son, had a new set of challenges ahead and needed help. Jaadyn and Josiah needed additional tutoring, and the McClellans were not able to fulfill those needs without the assistance of CYAP.
“Maggie arranged for the boys to be tutored by CHS students,” McClellan said. “Jaadyn had moved around a lot and had been in three schools in one year. He was falling behind, and he was acting out in school. The tutoring is paying off and both of the boys are improving. Maggie also arranged for my husband and me to enroll in a 10-week parenting class. We were trying to blend our family, with the addition of the two boys, and find our roles. We were having some issues with our biological son who went from being an only child to having two similar-aged brothers and having to share his parents and things. This class has allowed us to openly share our experiences with other families in the class. We all feed off of each other and it has been an invaluable resource for me entire family.”
McClellan also shared that CYAP went beyond the call of duty and garnered the support of a local music store so that Jaadyn would be able to join the middle school band and enrich his love for music because the band rental fee was not in the budget for the McClellans.
The Carmel Youth Assistance Program has also been a paramount community partner to the Carmel Clay Schools by strengthening youth and families through community involvement. “It is very exciting to see our schools working together with the city of Carmel and the Superior Court,” Dr. Nicholas Wahl, superintendent of Carmel Clay Schools, said. “It is equally important to have a system where we have an interventionist, like Maggie, with the CYAP, who is there to help the kids, families, and our staff members with another layer of resources that we can’t provide at the school level.”
Support the great work of CYAP and have a wonderful evening by attending the inaugural Carmel Gala- Designing Bright Futures.
For more information on the CYAP, or to contact Maggie Figge, Early Intervention Advocate, Carmel:
www.Youthassistance.org and click on the Carmel tab.