Julie Menke is a 2023-2024 KidsFirst Award Winner

Dec 14, 2023

The Juvenile Welfare Board believes those who work to give children brighter futures deserve recognition. This year, we’ll be honoring four new KidsFirst award winners, and we were pleased to publicly announce our first 2023-2024 KidsFirst Awardee at the December 14, 2023, JWB Board meeting after a surprise award presentation by our Chief Administrative Officer, Lynda Leedy, during a Suncoast Center staff meeting earlier in the month.

An outstanding social service professional who consistently goes above and beyond to put children first, Julie Menke is a therapist with 20 years of service at Suncoast Center.

Her focus for the past few years has been on leading the Active Parenting Now class, teaching parents healthy and effective parenting skills, as well as providing them with the knowledge needed to understand children’s behaviors and the family dynamics.

In recent years, she has enhanced the parenting course with a special session that focuses solely on child and adolescent suicide prevention, which has received very favorable feedback from parent participants. In fact, it’s not uncommon for parents to request additional trainings or presentations on various matters affecting parents.

Julie has been a Qualified Clinical Supervisor for decades. In this role, she provides therapeutic feedback and support to new therapists and has been pivotal in countless therapists’ growth and journey toward licensure. Even outside this role, Julie takes every opportunity to support her coworkers and program teammates and volunteers to help lead social and supportive activities.

If Julie finds a need in the community, she actively seeks solutions, and if one cannot be found, she will work within her role to meet that need. In this way she has spoken to PTAs about suicide prevention and to community organizations about how they can support families.

Please join us in congratulating JWB’s remarkable KidsFirst Awardee! View the Facebook album containing photos from both award announcements.

Nominations for the 2023-2024 KidsFirst awards are being accepted though February 9, 2024.