Family & Youth Services Center
Face of Battling Truancy
A deputy and project specialist with the EBR Sheriff’s office, Stephanie Hicks was transferred to the Family and Youth Service Center in 2012 as an assistant to Roxson Welch, the Director of what would soon become known as the Truancy Center.
At the time, Stephanie had no idea what an impact the Center would have on her life. The Family and Youth Service Center has grown into something so much more than a Truancy Center, and her job is so much more than just a job. To Stephanie, it’s a mission and a calling.
Stephanie’s day starts and ends with trying to locate children. The in between is spent trying to locate services and help they need. Stephanie believes that truancy is merely a symptom of bigger problems, and if they do not get to the bottom of those problems, they’re not helping.
“Every child deserves an education. The pandemic is hard on everyone, but children have to go to school. Children want to learn. They want to do well. They thrive when they have a routine. However, this is a team effort. One person cannot tackle these problems alone, but if one person has the means and ability to reach out and help one child, there would be one less child in need. That is how I look at this everyday,” says Stephanie.
Stephanie’s hard work does not go unnoticed. Over the years, she has received The Beyond the Badge Heart of Law Enforcement Award in 2018 and in 2019, Sheriff Gautreaux’s Above and Beyond Award, and the NAACP Humanitarian Award.
However, for Stephanie, the real reward is seeing the children thriving after getting the help they need and on the right path.
“Children need a voice and advocates to help them open doors. It’s been life changing for me knowing we have helped so many young people find their way. Truancy is just one way we are able to identify families who so desperately need the help. From Sheriff Sid Gautreaux to Roxson Welch and so many others, I have a support system that truly cares about families and children. There is strength in that. I am blessed to be able to serve the community in this capacity in an area so near to my heart.” says Stephanie. For more information, visit fysc-ebr.org.