Twenty plus years ago I was asked to join the Kent Youth and Family Services Board of Directors. At the time the director was not aware that for the first twenty-five years of my professional career I had been involved in church ministry with youth and their families. With that background I had the skills to assess the work of KYFS for the well-being of our community’s children. I deemed it excellent, and I still do. The agency has adapted to the ever-increasing needs of today’s families. I am proud to serve with others to oversee the continuation of this good effort.
When asked which of the KYFS’ programs most engages my passion, I want to answer, “All of them.” The early childhood education is essential. It is crucial to have behavioral, mental, and substance therapists helping youth to struggle and succeed in difficult circumstances. Yet if I ponder my past, both as a child and later as a minister, I recognize the incredible importance of accompanying adults to support and encourage a youth’s journey. The after-school program through KYFS provides such people for our children. They guide youth in academics, social and family relationships, and activities that promote healthy living. These efforts contribute to a lifetime of well-being and model the value of service. I cherish the stories of those who were influenced through our after-school program to choose a successful path of benefit to themselves, their family, and the larger community.
Jane Prestbye, KYFS Board Member