Winthrop University: Social Work Faculty Member Helps Nonprofit Secure Grant to Combat Substance Abuse
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Social Work Faculty Member Helps Nonprofit Secure Grant to Combat Substance Abuse

July 01, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jessica Yang, assistant professor of social work, served as an evaluator for the grant proposal by Keystone Substance Abuse Services.
  • Yang has collaborated with Keystone since 2017, providing consultation and evaluation on numerous projects.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Winthrop University faculty member has helped a local nonprofit secure a prestigious Duke Endowment grant that will help address substance use and mental health concerns for York County students. 

Jessica Yang, assistant professor of social work, served as an evaluator for the grant proposal by Keystone Substance Abuse Services, located in Rock Hill. As the largest treatment provider in York County, Keystone provides inpatient and outpatient rehab, educational programs, counseling and more for people who struggle with substance abuse. 

Yang has collaborated with Keystone since 2017, providing consultation and evaluation on numerous projects.

“I’m excited to continue my relationship with Keystone, and especially on this exciting new program,” she said. 

The $660,000 grant will allow Keystone to place a clinical counselor in each of York County’s four school districts. Counselors will cover the “continuum of care: intervention, treatment and recovery,” noted Danielle Russell, Keystone’s executive director. 

“With the grant, we hope to reduce youth substance use, provide early intervention for those that may struggle with absenteeism and disciplinary issues and support students that have struggled with substance use by providing them an environment that is conducive for recovery,” Russell said. “This is a start to making systematic and behavioral changes with our youth in our community.” 

The three-year grant will begin with the 2021-22 academic year.

This isn’t the first time Winthrop has worked with Keystone. In 2019, Yang and fellow Department of Social Work faculty members partnered with local agencies to pilot a three-year project to help defendants with drug addictions in jail at the Moss Justice Center. Keystone was one of those agencies. 

Yang considers herself a passionate social worker, teacher and researcher who has devoted her career to improving outcomes for marginalized youth, specifically those served by the foster care system. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Denver and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work from Appalachian State University.

For more information on Keystone, visit the website

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Last Updated: 10/4/21