Devereux Georgia hosts Young Southeast Asian Leaders Institute Fellows
Through a partnership with Kennesaw State University, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Georgia recently hosted several Young Southeast Asian Leaders Institute (YSEALI) Fellows on its Kennesaw, Ga., campus for a tour and community project.
More than 20 YSEALI Fellows met with Devereux’s staff and worked for several hours cleaning, organizing and drawing inspirational signs at the organization’s campus Canteen. A grand reopening event, unveiling the newly renovated Canteen for both staff and individuals served by Devereux Georgia, was held in early March.
Earning rewards at the Canteen
Devereux Georgia’s treatment model is based on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), an evidence-based model that emphasizes the importance of providing youth with options to make positive choices.
Youth served by the organization are rewarded for positive, pro-social behavior; these rewards help motivate and encourage them to complete their treatment goals.
Every week, Devereux’s youth earn “stingers” for demonstrating positive behavior, which may be exchanged for items in the Canteen, such as mp3 players with wireless headphones, stuffed animals, puzzles, journals, cards and more. “Our youth look forward to visiting the Canteen’s ‘PBIS Reward Zone’ where they are recognized for demonstrating positive behaviors and using the skills they have learned in our program,” said Devereux Georgia Clinical Director Amy Waldron, M.Ed., LPC, BCBA. “The YSEALI Fellows helped us take our Reward Zone to the next level by enhancing and revitalizing our Canteen. We can’t thank them enough!”
About the YSEALI Fellows
Launched in 2013, YSEALI is a U.S. government program focused on strengthening leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program brings undergraduates, or recently graduated students, to the U.S. for a five-week institute at a college or university. Each institute covers a specific theme: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development. To learn more, click here.
The Devereux / YSEALI connection
Devereux Georgia Advisory Board Member and Kennesaw State University Chief International Officer and Vice-Provost for Global Affairs / Executive Director of the Division of Global Affairs Dr. Lance Askildson is leading a U.S. State Department grant-funded program for the YSEALI Fellows and helped arrange the visit to Devereux.
During their time at Kennesaw State University, the Fellows will take classes and participate in dozens of local and national events, all focused on civic engagement, and civil and human rights. Part of the program is also designed to showcase local nonprofits that support vulnerable populations and provide the group with hands-on volunteer opportunities.
‘So many children who need this kind of help’
Devereux Georgia was selected as a volunteer site – as it was considered a model that many Fellows would be interested in pursuing, in some form, back in their home countries in Southeast Asia. Here’s what a few YSEALI Fellows had to say about their Devereux experience …
“Devereux is very special place for children with psychological problems. In my country of Myanmar, which has been engaged in a civil war for many decades, there are so many children who need this kind of help. Children who have had their families torn apart, or have been victims of human trafficking or violence, do not have access to treatment like the children at Devereux. They are very lucky there is a place like Devereux so they can get the help they need and heal.” — YSEALI Fellow Dar Dar
“In Vietnam, where I am from, there is a real problem of human trafficking. Luckily, I have wonderful parents who take care of me, but many children are not so lucky. It was a privilege to come to Devereux and do this volunteer work.” — YSEALI Fellow Emily