Our goal is to build the bridges between youth treatment and compassion, accountability and opportunity, rehabilitation and public safety. By addressing causes, and not simply the effects, we are improving long-term outcomes for young people, their families, and our communities.
To us, there is nothing more gratifying than witnessing the dramatic influence that our therapeutic and education programs have on these forgotten children. And few initiatives are as valuable to American life as those that help these once-at-risk young people, who, in turn, impact their communities and continue to help us write new endings to the same old story.
Ronald D. Hunter, the founder of Youth Opportunity Foundation, is the CEO of Youth Opportunity, a leading owner and manager of residential clinical treatment facilities for at-risk youth. The twenty Youth Opportunity campuses nationally facilitate an alternative approach to punitive incarceration. They provide strategic, trauma-focused, evidence-based treatment and a comprehensive continuum of care, based on placing the right youth in the right place for the right reasons. Youth Opportunity Foundation is focused on expanding this work with at-risk and traumatized young people beyond the scope of the YO campuses to include applied research, occupational assistance, scholarships and mentoring. Mr. Hunter’s founding support guarantees that at least 80% of all donations go directly to support our mission.
Denny Armington serves as President of the Youth Opportunity Foundation, Inc. Prior to joining Youth Opportunity Foundation, Mr. Armington spent thirty-six years in healthcare management, most recently as CEO of Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. He has been active in professional advocacy roles, serving as a volunteer field surveyor for CARF International and board member for state Brain Injury Associations in Indiana and West Virginia. Mr. Armington has also been a supporter of community based charitable activities including The American Stroke Association and Special Olympics.
But that promise is not easily kept. Many times our children need our help. Childhood and adolescence can include emotional or mental illness, self-destructive behavior or victimization. These difficulties have challenged society throughout history. This story began a long time ago.
In the early 1800’s, we began calling it “juvenile delinquency” and dealt with it through incarceration and punishment. Early 20th Century psychoanalysis led to better rehabilitation outcomes, but with modernization, the problem grew to critical levels. Youth violence, victimization and incarceration reached historic highs in the 1990’s.
Therapeutic outcomes have improved, but the same old story persists. As evidenced in current headlines, the tragedy continues to escalate.
Today, human trafficking and drug addiction is destroying unprecedented numbers of young lives. The complexities of the modern, hyper-connected world have added bullying and endless peer pressure to the causes of youth alienation, crime and suicide.
But the cause is far from hopeless. Research has led us to new responses and treatments. We know that innovative, immersive rehabilitation therapies and inspirational education programs can bring life-altering change to at-risk youth.
Youth Opportunity Foundation is dedicated to saving these victimized, disenfranchised young people.
Do we, the American people, understand the consequences of doing nothing?