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NYFS Profile: Jackie McGovern

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Manager of Community Services at NYFS

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Serving as a camp counselor after high school gave Jackie McGovern, Manager of Community Services at NYFS, her first idea that working with youth might be in her future. “Youth have so much potential, but they need guidance, too.”

Jackie started at NYFS in 2016 as an intern pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. At the time, she was interested in working with youth who were on probation and helping them get back on track. Interning at NYFS showed her the impact the Diversion Program could have on a youth’s future and she knew she wanted to come back and do diversion work full time. “I was hooked,” she says. “The program focused on the behaviors that needed to change but didn’t shame youth.”

Jackie also manages the Community Connections and Community Advocate Programs. The Community Advocate provides case management services for residents in five partner communities to provide support that reduces reliance on local law enforcement. The Community Connections program helps isolated youth connect with themselves, each other, and their community.

Fostering connections is critical to all three programs, Jackie says, adding that conducting intake interviews and offering educational seminars for Diversion Clients and their families are two of the best parts of her job. “Getting to know the youth and their families – and learning how open many of them are to this process – is great to see.” She adds that many feel isolated and alone before they start the process of restitutional justice. They learn along the way how important it is to connect with each other and their community to achieve long-term success.

“Getting to be a part of that process always feels good,” Jackie says.

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Northeast Youth & Family Services is a nonprofit, community-based, and trauma-informed mental health and community services organization that has been serving your friends and neighbors in the northeastern Saint Paul suburbs since 1976. Among our many programs, we offer two convenient mental health clinic locations in Shoreview and White Bear Lake, MN.

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