Bridging support services for youth
The Northville Youth Network (NYN) has been serving Northville youth and their families in the city and township for three decades. The organization empowers youth through healthy lifestyle programs and serves as a bridge to services provided by other agencies and businesses.

NYN’s vision is “a community where all Northville youth are supported and encouraged to develop resiliency and a positive sense of self.”

NYN is funded by taxes in the city and a millage in the township. They also receive funding from Wayne County for Youth Assistance.

A five-year plan, launched in spring 2019, focuses on seven areas of support:

• Education and Awareness
• Mentoring
• Leadership Development
• School Connection and Transition program
• Youth Assistance Program
• Referral services
• Casework services

Education and Awareness guide youth in life skills, such as decision-making; goal-setting; recognizing abuse in relationships; and learning how to eat nutritiously and exercise regularly.

“One aspect of education awareness involves the ability to identify areas of difficulty that youth are facing, such as anxiety, depression, mental and emotional health issues, and substance abuse, and then apply the right preventative approach. “We want to offer our educational series to teachers, counselors, kids and parents,” said Amy Prevo, director of the program.

Youth have an initial assessment done at the center by a social worker who serves as a case manager. Some youth are then referred to counselors or other support services offered in the community by nonprofits or professional service practices.

Core services include a mentor program; diversion program; Peer-2-Peer sessions at Meads Mill; and the summer CAMP program at Hillside and Meads Mills for 5th grade students heading into 6th grade at Northville Public Schools.

The mentor program trains adults in ways to assist teens and younger kids who are experiencing turbulence in their lives due to school issues, family problems, medical conditions, low self-esteem and other reasons. The diversion program is designed to keep first-time offenders from being repeat offenders, and works with the Police Department and Northville School District.

With limited resources, the organization relies on volunteers to spearhead workshops and presentations while drawing on community resources, such as local health systems, to provide extended services. For more information or to volunteer, please contact the director.

A Board of Commissioners provides oversight to the shared service. You can reference the Northville Youth Network Board agenda/minutes here. Also visit the township website for more information about NYN.

banner photo by Max Fischer for Pexels.