Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

November 23, 2012

Conference targets Hoosiers who work with kids

The Herald-Tribune

— One of Indiana’s most important advocates for children will be the keynote speaker at the Indiana Youth Institute’s Because Kids Count Conference Dec. 4-5.

Willis K. Bright Jr. will give the keynote address Dec. 5. Bright is the former director of youth program of Lilly Endowment Inc., where he worked to build opportunities for children. He will look at the current state of youth development and outline the prospects for youth-serving professionals in the future.

In addition to Bright’s keynote address, highlights of the conference include:

The Because Kids Count Conference is intended for anyone who works with children including community leaders, youth ministers, educators, counselors and those who impact the well-being of Hoosier children.

The conference opens Dec. 4 with Afterburner. These Air Force fighter pilots will show attendees how to start with an objective, identify threats, find available resources, evaluate lessons learned, determine a course of action and plan for contingencies.

Several workshops about how to prevent and address bullying will be featured. Workshops on bullying during the two day event include “Breaking the Social Structure of Bullying in School” and “Frenemies, Queen Bees, and Girl Wars: Addressing Relational Aggression with Young Women.” There will also be a discussion of teen suicide, one of the leading causes of death for young people. 

New this year, the conference will highlight the documentary First Generation, a film about the struggles five high school students face in becoming the first in their families to pursue a college education. The filmmakers will take part in a post-film discussion.

The Leadership Institute will offer an intensive professional development experience designed to help executive directors, board members and senior staff become better leaders and innovate more ideas. This year’s Leadership Institute speaker, David Owens, Ph.D., will explain the art and science of generating better ideas, assessing them and making sure they get a chance to impact an organization. Owens, author of the book “Creative People Must Be Stopped! Six Ways We Stop Innovation Without Even Trying,” serves on the faculty at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and provides consulting services for NASA and the Smithsonian.    

New roundtable stations will engage participants in in-depth conversation on a variety of topics including bullying and volunteer recruitment. Plus, conference attendees can also kick-off this year’s event with the Because Kids Count Talent Show and Conference Mixer on Dec. 3 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the JW Marriott.      


Register online at

For more information, contact Niccole Caan of the Indiana Youth Institute at 317-396-2737 or