Youth Guidance hosts holiday party for kids, community partners

news release

Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy decked the halls for its annual holiday party on Friday, December 17th. More than 50 beaming children gathered on the Youth Guidance grounds to meet Santa Claus and receive the gifts on their wish list. The kids and their families also decorated cookies, played holiday games, and enjoyed delicious food donated by Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Gifts for the children were donated by Target – Vero Beach, South Paw Canine Massage & Wellness, Sunrise Rotary of Vero Beach, Trudie Rainone, Valerie Watkins, Suzie Schmidt, and an anonymous donor.

“We couldn’t pull off this event without the support of the community,” said Youth Guidance Executive Director Phil Barnes. “It means so much to our kids and families to have gifts to open for the holidays.”

Jami Thomson, Phil Barnes, Elaine Carpenter

During the event, Operations Manager Drew Edgcomb shared with families the exciting programs happening at Youth Guidance next semester, which runs from January 5th to March 5th. Programs include woodworking, cooking, sewing, bicycle repair, boat mechanics, gardening, and more.

Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy is dedicated to enriching the lives of Indian River County youth through mentoring relationships that inspire trust, self-esteem, and positive futures. Founded in 1973, Youth Guidance provides daily meals as well as one-on-one and group mentoring programs to children and young adults ages 5-24 with limited resources. After school, students complete their homework under the supervision of trained Youth Guidance staff. Then they participate in group mentoring programs that include vocational training, life skills, and STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). All programs and meals are provided free of charge thanks to the generosity of the local community.
If you are interested in learning more about Youth Guidance, please call 772.492.3933, or visit

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