Aeneas Williams to lead celebration of St. Louis County Youth Program achievement

The St. Louis County Youth Program on Wednesday will celebrate earning international accreditation with the help of former St. Louis Rams player Aeneas Williams.

The county’s youth program announced that it received the accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), International, in the field of Community Youth Development.

Currently, Williams is a pastor of Spirit Church in Bridgeton, and will join alumni from St. Louis County Youth Programs as the keynote speaker for the celebration at the Center for Youth on the Rise in Spanish Lake on March 28 at 4 p.m.

According to St. Louis County, the benefits of achieving CARF Accreditation include improving business practices, managing risks, and securing funding resources.

Andrea Jackson-Jennings, the director of Human Services in St. Louis County, stated this is a hard-earned recognition for the county and one that’s rarely given out in the United States.

“Our staff spent 2 years documenting our compliance with 1,000 internationally recognized standards of excellence for service to youth and families,” Jackson-Jennings said. “We are 1 of only 9 organizations in the United States, and one of only 2 organizations in the Midwest region, to earn this recognition.”

St Louis County’s Center for Youth on the Rise in Spanish Lake provides highly accessible services to youth, including a drop-in center, case management, alternative education, counseling, and leadership and resiliency training programs. All programming includes social development skills education, mental health promotion, and resource referrals.

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