Debbie Mintz – director of Chittenden County’s Students FIRST Project and long-time employee of HowardCenter’s Child, Youth, and Family Services – recently received the Juanita Evans Memorial Award for Contributions in School Mental Health. The award, which recognizes an individual “who has significantly impacted the advancement of school mental health policy, research, and/or practice,” was presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Center for School Mental Health on Oct. 4 in Arlington, Va. In accepting the award, Mintz said, “I have gratitude every day for the incredible people in my community who are working together to make life better for our kids and families.”
The Students FIRST Project is a county-wide collaboration of schools, families, and mental health providers who are working together to ensure that all Chittenden County children and their families have the social and emotional supports and services they need for healthy development and school success. Through her work with Students FIRST, Mintz created “www.studentsfirstproject.org,” a national resource for parents and providers seeking information about child development and mental health.
In her award nomination of Mintz, Betsy Cain, Assistant Director of HowardCenter Child, Youth and Family Service, said, “Debbie has dramatically impacted the advancement of the integration of mental health and education and practice in school mental health, not just within the State of Vermont but throughout the country.”
Mintz did her undergraduate work at Brandeis University and majored in in sociology and philosophy. She has a M.S.W. degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is certified in Organizational Development from the National Training Laboratories and is a participant in the Teleos Leadership Institute Executive Coaching Certification program. She lives in Shelburne with her family.