RAPID CITY, S.D. — A celebration and a change at the top for Youth and Family Services.
The organization, which provides services to over 14,000 children throughout western South Dakota, has appointed new leadership.
YFS held a retirement and unveiling ceremony at its East Adams Street location in Rapid City. Several long time employees were recognized for their dedication, but the ultimate honor was saved for last.
After 39 years of service to YFS, CEO Susan Fedell retires and passes the mantel on to John Julius, a long-time Rapid City Area Schools employee. In her time with YFS, Fedell worked to improve processes within the organization, and more recently pushed for the addition of a middle school program.
“We just feel like there aren’t enough opportunities, there are some, but not enough opportunities for middle school children,” said Fedell. “And it’s such a critical time, because if kids get through middle school, they don’t usually end up, I mean if they get through it well, they don’t usually end up with problems with drugs, or crime, or they don’t drop out of school as readily. They just need some support during the changes that happen in this period.”
In her honor, YFS named its newest addition, the Susan Fedell Middle School Center. Fedell says the school is ready for students, but YFS is currently working to establish the best procedures amid COVID concerns, and should open in the near future.