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EMBARGOED UNTIL:  1 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2016

Contact Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or
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YRTC-Geneva Employee Receives Youth Service Award
from Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association

Kearney – The Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association presented Anita Haumont, recreation manager at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC) in Geneva, the Service to Youth Award Thursday (5/19) at its annual conference in Kearney.

Haumont was cited for her 12 years of commitment, initiative and advocacy on behalf of young women at the Geneva YRTC and their families. Specifically, she was recognized not only for her work at the YRTC, but also the following additional activities:
  • Serving as volunteer coordinator matching young women with local volunteers to support them;
  • Directing the Project Everlast Youth Council to create life-long connections for young women at the YRTC to their communities while building life skills; and
  • Starting and directing the YRTC’s equine therapy program involving some most-challenged youth who learn life lessons by training yearling horses.

In addition, she serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer in Geneva advocating in the juvenile justice system for youth removed from their homes.

"Anita works tirelessly to ensure quality within the programs she has developed and to ensure that those programs remain meaningful for the youth involved in them,” said Dan Scarborough, YRTC-Geneva facility administrator.

Danielle Larson, YRTC facility operating officer, in her nomination letter said, “I have observed her positive impact on our clients, both by advocating on their behalf, but also through teaching them how to advocate for themselves. She inspires and empowers, and when you pair that with the compassion and dedication she demonstrates, one cannot help but be proud to honor her in such a special way.”

Cassy Blakely, assistant vice president of youth policy at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, praised Haumont for adjusting the Project Everlast program to the YRTC, which enabled the young women “to shine on and off campus by supporting them in community service, campus-wide activities and speaking events.”

As a result, the young women have stepped up to become leaders at events and gone on to serve local Project Everlast councils after leaving the YRTC, Blakely said.

Anne Hobbs, director of the Juvenile Justice Institute at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), said Haumont is an “incredible role model” for YRTC youth and UNO students through the Juvenile Reentry Mentoring Project. The program matches UNO student mentors with young women transitioning out of the facility.

“The Juvenile Justice Institute would not have been able to have had the success we have had with the Juvenile Reentry Mentoring Project without Ms. Haumont’s assistance and excellent follow through,” Hobbs said.