Drece Guy wears many hats as The Villages’ Supervisor for Older Youth Services (OYS) in Fort Wayne. Drece has served as a mentor, parent, friend, and cheerleader to hundreds of youth in our program over the years.
Drece has worked with foster children at The Villages for more than 10 years. In his role as Supervisor for Older Youth Services, he works with young adults ages 17 and over in the northeast region of Indiana. “Many of the children we serve do not have a support system. We are their family,” Drece says.
The primary responsibility of his nine-member staff is to provide the current group of 140 youth with the skills necessary to live independently. The staff provides support to help participants prepare for college, apply for jobs, find their first apartment, manage money and develop a foundation for adulthood.
Drece admits he’s often the only parent for many of the youth in the program. He recalls going to a college orientation with a youth as her “parent” because she didn’t have a family member to attend the meeting with her.
Despite the challenges, many OYS participants achieve success after high school. Last year, 97 percent of The Villages’ older youth were focused on improving their education by finishing high school, obtaining a GED, or attending a post-secondary program or college. While furthering their education many of the youth move into their first apartment or secure a steady job. One Fort Wayne teen graduated high school earned a license as a certified nursing assistant and now works in a nursing home while attending college.
Community support is always appreciated for our clients. Drece says, “There’s such a need for foster parents along with support via donations to help with things our youth might need. This keeps teens off the streets and in our programs.”
Older Youth Services at The Villages always needs gift cards, items for a first apartment (dishes, bedding, towels, etc.) and other household items. Visit the OYS wish list on Amazon to donate.