In late February, Teton Youth and Family Services was privileged to receive a grant in honor of Robert Dellenback from the Geraldine W. and Robert J. Dellenback Foundation. The grant will be used to establish and implement the Robert J. Dellenback Scholarship Program. The scholarship will make it possible for young men struggling with behavioral, emotional and mental health issues to access services at Red Top Meadows (RTM) so that they may live healthy and constructive lives. The generosity of the Dellenbacks will allow us to develop an option for youth in need of residential care at Red Top but who may not be court ordered to the program.
Since 2011, the Bob and Dine have supported more than 30 scholarships for the Red Top Summer Wilderness Experience and attended each summer wilderness ceremony. They have heard and seen firsthand the impact the wilderness program has on re-directing and improving the children’s’ lives. And the couple loved hearing from and meeting the boys and staff, taking great pleasure in making the opportunity possible for students that would otherwise not receive help. In the course of attending the ceremonies, and talking with the staff and students, they developed a deeper understanding of the boys in our residential treatment program. They learned that when a youth demonstrates internal struggles, by acting out in school, becoming depressed, being suicidal or physically aggressive, or is in an abusive or neglectful home environment, the Department of Family Services will intervene with the judicial system and may place the child at the Van Vleck Group Home or Red Top Meadows Residential Treatment Center.
The Dellenbacks also learned that State financial concerns have begun to limit access for youth receiving the important services they need, and they wanted to help make it possible for more young men to have access to our services, including our wilderness experiences. I talked with Bob about the need for youth to access care in November 2016 and he was immediately interested in helping meet the need. Tragically he was never able to see the scholarships reach the students they will benefit, as he suddenly passed away in December. Knowing how much this meant to Bob, Dine has elected to carry out Bob’s commitment and we are honored to be able to provide treatment for young men in Bob’s memory.
The Geraldine W. and Robert J. Dellenback Foundation, Bob and Dine specifically , will make it possible for as many as four young men who have learned to not trust anyone and to constantly be on guard, to gain new perspectives on people, the world and their future which will improve the rest of their lives.
That would make Bob very happy !