Groves earns YSB’s Steven L. Bailey Award

Huntington County Circuit Court Judge Jamie Groves (left) holds the 2017 Steven L. Bailey Award, presented to him by Huntington County Youth Services Bureau Board Member Adam Fusselman (right) Thursday, Jan. 25, at the organization’s annual dinner.
Huntington County Circuit Court Judge Jamie Groves (left) holds the 2017 Steven L. Bailey Award, presented to him by Huntington County Youth Services Bureau Board Member Adam Fusselman (right) Thursday, Jan. 25, at the organization’s annual dinner. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

It was a visibly moved Jamie Groves who made his way to the podium to accept the 2017 Steven L. Bailey award, presented for the 19th year at the annual Huntington County Youth Services Bureau annual dinner on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Groves, a former chief deputy prosecutor who was appointed in December to become judge of the Huntington County Circuit Court, was tapped for this year’s award for his dedication to helping young people and their families, said YSB Board Director Adam Fusselman. He called Groves a role model who works tirelessly in his efforts to redirect, support and encourage the young people he serves, looking outside the box to find ways to meet their individual needs.

“He is a steadfast advocate for young victims, and does not quit until the outcome is just and the young person receives the support they need to overcome adversity,” Fusselman said. “His desire to make Huntington a safe, nurturing community for children, youth and families is evident through his daily interactions and actions.”

Groves, who moved to Huntington in 1997, has previously worked as a probation officer and has also been involved with the United Way and Pathfinder Board of Directors.

“It just means a great deal,” Groves said, as he accepted YSB’s most prestigious award.

He said his first probation chief told him he was a “broker of resources,” explaining that he tries to fit the right service with the right kid.

“Sometimes you miss and sometimes you hit, but that should always be our goal … to the victims, it should be to give them service and justice so that they can live their lives healthy and happy after they are the victims, and to the kids in juvenile court, our goal should always be to keep them out of the adult court,” Groves said. “I think I’ve tried to do that.”

Following the dinner’s theme of “Everyday Heroes,” the 2017 Youth Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Huntington North High School student Jack Young, who was lauded for his volunteerism not only with the Youth Services Bureau but with the community as well.

Young has been in scouting since first grade and earned his Eagle Scout ranking in October. He serves as a student leader
for Campus Life and is a scholar athlete. He is also a Junior Rotarian and referees at the YMCA.

“He has been a Teen Court volunteer for the past two years and is willing to serve as either the defense or prosecuting attorney,” said Jan Williams, YSB’s executive director. “One person stated that he is a positive role model, not only for youth but adults.”

The YSB staff was honored with the Adult Volunteer of the Year Award. Williams said the staff works tirelessly with little to no recognition.

“They maintain a sense of hope and encouragement to those they work with, even when they may be struggling with their own difficulties,” she added. “They volunteer for special events and work many hours without compensation – they think I don’t know this.”

There were three Friend of Youth awards presented this year, to Rick Reed, assistant principal at both Flint Springs and Lincoln elementary schools; Herb Scott, a youth mentor for more than 30 years who is active in his church along with the local and district Boy Scout Council; and Jan Hildebrand, a Huntington County Community School Corporation teacher who has spent more than 25 years working with young people.

Youth Services Bureau offers a variety of programs in support of youth and their families, including Anger Management, Suicide Prevention, Safe Place, Host Home, Teen Court, Conflict Mediation, Foster Parent Training, Tools for Life, Skills for Life and On Your Way Up.