Dancing with the Johnson County Stars 2017

Youth Connections would like to introduce their dancer for the 2017 Dancing with the Johnson County Stars. Our dancer will be Laura Kennedy and we are so excited for this year.

Laura Kennedy is thrilled to represent Youth Connections in such a fun and worthwhile event as Dancing with the Stars Johnson County. Laura has worked in TV and video production her entire career, most recently as a reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis. Laura grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and is now happy to call Greenwood home. Laura is also a Grant Committee member for the Johnson County Community Foundation.

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Human Trafficking

What is the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing?  What criminal industry has grossed over 32 BILLION dollars? What industry makes more money than McDonald’s? The fastest growing criminal industry in the United States…Human Trafficking!

What is Human Trafficking?  The use of force, threat of force, fraud or coercion to compel a person into any form of work or service against their will. According to Indiana Law IC 35-42-3.5 Human Trafficking is a person who, by force, threat of force, or fraud engages another person in: forced labor; involuntary servitude; marriage; prostitution and participation in sexual conduct. How does a trafficker identify their victim?  Believe it or not, employers, gangs, drug suppliers, friends, and even some parents are typically the ones who introduce a youth into human trafficking. Social media and peer pressure play a huge part in human trafficking as well.

Human traffickers manipulate their victims. Child victims of human trafficking face significant emotional problems. As they are physically and sexually abused, they develop distinctive medical and psychological needs that affect their early adulthood.

Trafficked youth come from different backgrounds. Many have low self-esteem, family problems, or have been sexually abused in the past. Some may have drug or alcohol problems and are easy prey to human traffickers. Many of these youth are sold over and over.

In conjunction with our Safe Place program, certified Youth Connections staff members are working closely with the Indiana Youth Services Association (IYSA) and Indiana Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (ITVAP) to provide advocacy, information and referral and community education.

Think you may know someone who is being trafficked?  Call the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 in Indiana call the Indiana Child abuse Hotline 1-800-800-5556 and use the words human trafficking.

For more information, call Youth Connections 317-738-3273.

Together we can end this horrible epidemic.

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We hope everyone had a great Holiday season.

The Youth Connections staff is hard at work planning great events for 2017!

We will be teaching our community how to identify victims of Human Trafficking.  Our Jumpstart Coordinator is planning our 2nd year for the Youth Connections FREE Jumpstart Quest camp.  We are adding a Robotics component to our STEM Curriculum. Our FIT (Families in Transition) classes will now increase and be offered every month on Thursdays as well as our regular Saturday classes.

Our Annual Breakfast of Champions and will be held on May 24th at Compass Park.  We are proud to announce our keynote speaker: The Voice of the Indianapolis Colts….Mr. Bob Lamey!

Our dancer for Johnson County Dancing with the Stars has been selected and will begin rehearsing soon!   We also will have several opportunities for “Dine to Donate” events and other exciting activities that you can participate in to show your support for Youth Connections.  Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter; you can do so on our Newsletter page.  Check back often to see all the many exciting adventures we have planned for 2017!


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Fundraising Auction Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in our auction. We exceeded our expectations and appreciate the support.

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New Website

Welcome to Youth Connections new website!   We’ve updated our site with interactive features and a fresh new look.  We are adding blogs, community activities and helpful information and resources for youth and families.

Our new look compliments our new office and the expansion of our programs which includes serving youth who have been victims of human trafficking.

We will also be offering a recurring donor program to make it easier for you to donate.  Sign up for our newsletter and stay in touch with Youth Connections all the time.  Take a look around and let us know what you think.  Don’t forget Youth Connections is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization – your donations ARE tax deductible. Thank you for your continued support!

Judith Duncan-Olds

Executive Director

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