Surprised Williams earns Mitchell Award

Jan Williams (right), executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County, accepts the Ronald Mitchell Award from Alexys Vosmeier, local office director of the Huntington County Department of Child Services Thursday, April 13, at the YSB office.
Jan Williams (right), executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County, accepts the Ronald Mitchell Award from Alexys Vosmeier, local office director of the Huntington County Department of Child Services Thursday, April 13, at the YSB office. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

The Ronald Mitchell Award — an award that is more often presented to others by this year’s recipient — was presented instead to a surprised Jan Williams, the executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County.

The award was presented Thursday, April 13, at the YSB agency by Alexys Vosmeier, the local office director of the Huntington County Department of Child Services, for Williams’ work to protect children in Huntington County from abuse and neglect.

The award is named in honor of a former director of the Huntington County Department of Welfare.

“This award is presented yearly on behalf of the Child Protection Team to honor an individual who goes above and beyond to protect the children of Huntington County,” Vosmeier said. “This year the award will be presented to a very deserving individual who is long overdue to receive this award.”

Williams said she was shocked when she was tapped to receive the award.

“There are a lot of people out there that are doing a lot of great work, with child abuse prevention,” she said. “I was very humbled. There are a lot of great people in the past that have gotten that award. We work very closely with a lot of organizations of people and it really is a team effort. I was excited and pleased that they recognized that I was part of that team in this effort, but it really takes all of us working together.”

Williams has been with YSB more than 22 years and leads the organization as it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Among its programs for youth and their families are On Your Way Up, Teen Court, Conflict Resolution, Safe Place, Safe Home, anger management, teen suicide prevention and child safety seat inspection/instruction.