By Lydia X. McCoy
Courier & Press staff writer

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The United Methodist Youth Home, which works with teenage girls referred for services by the local juvenile court system, was awarded a Youth Investment Award on Oct. 11 by the Indiana Youth Institute.

The awards, ten total, are given through Indiana and are funded through a grant from the Pacers Foundation.

Barbara Jessen, administrator of the United Methodist Youth Home, said receiving the award, which includes $5,000, was an honor and will be a way to help all the programs at the agency, including the opening of its fourth group home, Transitions. It is a home that prepares young women with the skills and confidence to achieve independent living.

Transitions officially opened Oct. 11 and has three teenagers in the program, including two with children.

"(The award) will help us ... to provide the standard that we've set for ourselves, which is a high level of services," Jessen said. "We're a smaller institution. We do keep a low profile on Burkhardt. So to get this recognition is really wonderful for us."

The United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville has been operating for more than 25 years and provides residential and outreach services to at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 21, including pregnant teens and teen mothers. The home was a mission of the Evansville District of The United Methodist Church.

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