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News Flash

County News

Posted on: February 8, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Annual YouthFirst Conference Brings Broadway Star and Solutions to Youth Services Professionals


King Mustafa heads the bill at the 12th annual Youth First Conference on Friday, February 9, 2018, at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. Alton Fitzgerald Brown, Broadway star of “The Lion King” and many other productions, will be the keynote speaker at the annual collaboration for human services professionals serving youth from the greater Fredericksburg area. John Richardson-Lauve, Director of Mental Health, Lead Trauma and Resilience Educator for ChildSavers, will provide training on dealing with trauma.

“These human services professionals face challenging situations every day. We are pleased to hold this annual conference for them to fellowship, network and rejuvenate,” said Donna Krauss, Director of Human Services for Stafford County. “Stafford County is pleased to work with local officials and community partners to provide opportunities for increasing knowledge, tools, and support networks to professionals who are supporting children and families in our region.”

Stafford County hosts Youth First 2018 with collaboration from the City of Fredericksburg; Rappahannock Area United Way; Rappahannock Area Office on Youth; Rappahannock Area Healthy Families and Spotsylvania County. The mission of the Youth First Partnership is “To build a stronger community by promoting collaboration amongst youth-serving agencies.” The conference is designed to be an annual venue to share resources and ideas and to promote communication and collaboration between agencies. This year’s event will be attended by 400 professionals from around the region, with 65 vendors providing information on new and familiar resources. 

The topic of Alton Fitzgerald Brown’s keynote speech will be “Impossible Dreams.” He will share his impossible dreams and how gratitude can make a difference in everyday lives and jobs. He will also focus on excellence and how to nurture tools to prevent burnout. He will also perform one of his songs and a book-signing for his book. 

John Richardson-Lauve will lead the breakout sessions and provide participants with a skill base and understanding in the ways that trauma affects the victim, families, localities and the region. Everyone in the community is an integral part of dealing with trauma.

Each year, conference attendees participate in a service project. This years’ service project benefits “The Fairy Godmother Project,” a local charity that works to ease the burden of families dealing with all phases of a pediatric cancer diagnosis.

Sponsors include:

  • Title Sponsor: National Counseling Group
  • Platinum Sponsor: Rappahannock United Way, Compass Counseling Services of NOVA
  • Gold Sponsor: The Hughes Center
  • Silver Sponsors: Hallmark Youthcare, Southstone Behavioral Healthcare Center, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
  • Bronze Sponsors:    Centra Rivermont Schools and Bridges Treatment Center , Family Preservation Services, New Hope Treatment, Employment Resources Incorporated, Fair Winds, First Home Care, Liberty Point Behavioral Healthcare,  Newport News Behavioral Health Center, Poplar Springs Hospital, Snowden At Fredericksburg, Spring Brook Behavioral Health

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