Once Upon A Time
In 1979, Frances Mills-Yerger, Ph.D., founded Workshops for Youth and Families (aka Workshop, WYF, ORHO and other terms of endearment). Her inspiration: observing her children and their friends and the struggles they faced as teens, even though they were "perfectly good kids." Dr. Franny could see they were in need of personal growth and skill-building opportunities to help them face the challenges of adolescence.
In response to this need, she created a youth development program/day camp called Leadership Workshops Inc. and integrated the programs into her private practice of marriage and family therapy.
Twenty years later, Dr. Franny was ready to retire; however, the individuals and families that had been touched by the program felt that what she had created was too important to lose. In 1999, the Workshop family joined together and helped to form a grassroots, nonprofit organization that would continue the work that Dr. Franny started. They also managed to convince her to remain with the organization as the program director and master facilitator, and to continue guiding teens in the community through their adolescent years. The name changed from Leadership Workshops Inc. to Leadership Workshops Foundation for Youth and Family dba Workshops for Youth and Families.
Dr. Franny's vision for more than three decades has been to expand and sustain the organization so that every interested teen and family can participate in the program. The nonprofit you support today still remains committed to her vision.
As of 2011, Brandon Curtis has joined Dr. Franny as WYF's Program Coordinator. Brandon Curtis participated for several years until he decided he wanted to get more involved with Workshop. Thus, Brandon became a Peer Leader for WYF and peer mentored participants for four years. Again, Brandon’s love for Workshop did not stop there. After receiving his undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, Brandon joined the Leadership Team where he assisted Fran facilitating and guiding the Peer Leaders for another four years.
Brandon’s dedication to Workshop still grows as he now co-facilitates with Dr. Franny as WYF’s Program Coordinator. He will be finishing his Graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling in the spring of 2014 and applying for licensure as a Licensed Associate Counselor. He’s currently a clinical counseling intern with Touchstone Behavioral Health.