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Gateway Youth Services is awarded first place in prestigious National Mural Contest from the FYSB.

Friday, April 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Demphna Krikorian, Director of Development

April 10, 2015 Phone: 882-4000 x126

Child and Family Charities: Gateway Youth Services is awarded first place in prestigious National Mural Contest from the FYSB.

LANSING, April 10, 2015 –Child and Family Charities’ Executive Director, Jim Paparella is pleased to announce that Gateway Youth Services, a division of Child and Family Charities, has been awarded First Place in the Family & Youth Services Bureau 2015 Mural Contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth National Mural Contest!

The sketch and narrative entitled, “Gateway to Life: A Mural” were selected by a panel that included last year's winners. The winning image depicts the journeys of young people toward independent living. The wooden gate represents the beginning of the transitional living program. A set of healthy leaves at the top of the tree symbolizes youth reaching their goals.

The youth who created the idea are still living at the Kevin J. Moody Youth Home in Lansing, Michigan and will be working with a local artist to create this image on the basement wall of the Youth Home as a legacy for all incoming youth to see. As part of the award, Gateway Youth Services will receive Home Depot gift cards from the FYSB to help with the cost of bringing the mural to life. Jennifer McMahon, Gateway Division Director, was present when the youth worked with a local artist to create the message for this sketch. McMahon said, "It is a very thoughtful and inspiring piece of art."

Many thanks and kudos to Whitney Applebaum, LLMSW on staff at Gateway for contacting the local artist and putting the application materials together.

According to the FYSB website (( “…the Family & Youth Services Bureau launched its fifth annual mural contest for Runaway and Homeless Youth Program grantees. For half a decade, the contest has encouraged agencies to work with young people to share their stories in a creative and engaging way.

“We received a record number of entries this year, each including a mural sketch and description of the design's meaning. A judging panel of six bureau staff members and six youth from last year's winners, the Los Angeles LGBT Center's Youth Center on Highland, rated each entry based on creativity, youth input and uniqueness.”

Gateway was established in 1970 and provides street outreach, counseling, shelter, and advocacy services to runaway and homeless youth and their families in the counties of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton. Core programs are housed at the Kevin J. Moody Youth Home.

Gateway Youth Services, formerly Gateway Community Services, is part of an array of services offered by Child and Family Charities including 6 divisions and 17 programs providing a full spectrum of assistance to abused, neglected and at-risk children, youth and families in our local communities. Child and Family Charities’ programs include foster care, adoption, independent living, child abuse prevention, parenting, early childhood education, juvenile diversion, truancy, behavioral health, substance abuse, runaway and homeless youth and teen parenting residential services.

For more information about Child and Family Charities, go to the agency website at or call Demphna Krikorian at 517-882-4000 ext. 126.

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