HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – Youth First Inc., got a big dose of support from the New York Life Foundation in the form of a $20,000 Grief Reach Grant.

According to a release, Youth First Inc. is a leading nonprofit that transforms and strengthens the lives of young people and their families by providing Master’s level social workers in area schools and prevention programs.

This support provides training that will strengthen Youth First’s capacity to assist children who experience the death of a loved one. Youth First serves at least 1,400 bereaved children a year through school-based social work services and programs.

“Due to the increased need to effectively provide bereavement services to a recovering pandemic society, we decided to dedicate this cycle of our Grief Reach Grants to capacity building,” said Maria Collins, New York Life Foundation Vice President. “The Grief Reach Grants will help nonprofits to focus on overall organizational sustainability while meeting the challenges of increased demand for bereavement support.”

Youth First President and CEO Parri O. Black shared her gratefulness.

“We are so grateful for this grant, because it will increase our team’s ability to care for kids with greater skill and compassion. Grieving students who receive effective support are more likely to make healthy decisions, re-engage at school and focus on hopeful futures,” she said.

The release also says over 400 Grief Reach grants, totaling nearly $14 million have been awarded since the program’s inception in 2011. The New York Life Foundation has been one of the leading funders of the childhood bereavement field, investing more than $70 million to date in support of grieving children and their families.