GREENVILLE — The Darke County Pregnancy Help Center, 105 W. Third St., Greenville, has named a new director — Jeannette Shuff.
Shuff brings to the position many years of managerial experience, including stints at Verizon and Fifth Third Bank, but said she ultimately was led to the role because she found herself feeling called to do something different.
“God told me to quit my job,” she said. “I was doing my daily devotion, and I wrote that I wanted to work with teen moms. Then I got some messages from some friends of mine that this position had opened up, the next day, after that devotion. So I interviewed for the position, and here I am.”
Herself a former teen mother, Shuff credits Ohio’s GRADS (Graduation, Reality And Dual-Role Skills) Program with helping set her on a path for success.
“The GRADS Program was a game-changer,” she said. “It gave me hope and inspired me. When you’re a teen mom, it’s hard to feel like people thought positively [about you], as far as your future.”
“I knew after going through that program, I always wanted to give back in some way, shape or form,” she added.
The Darke County Pregnancy Help Center provides free pregnancy testing, referrals, counseling and material support for area women, regardless of age. The center also offers free sex education programs for schools.
Shuff says under her leadership, the center will not only continue to provide its existing services but will expand its offerings.
“We have a fatherhood program that hasn’t been functioning in the last two years, to help new fathers. We’re also going to have a pregnancy loss class, for anyone that’s experienced loss. And in July we’re going to start the Sweet Talk Program, geared toward 13-to-16 year-old girls that have been victims of bullying or suffer from low self esteem — really just creating a network for those girls to go back to, so they have resources, friends and really develop that confidence,” she said.
As part of the expansion, the center is planning a rebranding effort with the hope of having a grand reopening event in July.
“We want to just give it a whole new look,” she said.
Shuff is exceedingly optimistic about the Pregnancy Help Center going forward.
“There’s a good foundation here,” she said. “It’s crazy because I feel like a lot of the community doesn’t realize this place is here, but the people that are involved, the outpouring of love and support from this community, has been phenomenal.”
“This organization has so much to offer as far as an education piece and a support piece. The sky’s really the limit,” she added.
To speak privately with a consultant, call the center’s 24-hour helpline at 937-547-1112. Walk-in hours are Monday from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. or Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For further information, contact the Darke County Pregnancy Help Center by phone at 937-548-2731 or visit the center’s website at www.dcphc.org.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com