Bradley County Juvenile Court named Vickie Towne the Youth Service Officer of the Year during a reception Thursday.
“This award is not about me. This award is about the kids that we serve here,” Towne said. “We are here to serve our kids.”
The room was full of Juvenile Court staff, representatives from Walker Valley and local government officials wanting to congratulate Towne.
Towne said the Juvenile Court staff really is like family.
Towne serves as YSO for Walker Valley High School.
“I love my job. I love the kids that I serve,” Towne said. “We are here to serve these kids. We are the only voice they have. And if I am the only voice that is going to protect that child, then that is what I am going to do.”
Juvenile Court director Terry Gallaher and Judge Daniel Swafford presented the award.
“The greatest asset we have is our people. It really is our staff,” Gallaher said.
Gallaher said it takes a good staff to meet the needs of the children the Juvenile Court serves.
“They see it as ministry. They see it as a calling,” Gallaher said.
Many school counselors and Walker Valley Principal Danny Coggin were present to congratulate Towne.
“On behalf of Walker Valley, we love this lady,” Coggin said. “Thank you for sharing her with us.”
He said students Towne works with know she is going to be tough on them when necessary. However, they also know she loves them.
Before moving to Bradley County, Towne had worked in adult probation in Athens for six years. When a job in adult probation in Bradley County did not work out, Towne turned to Juvenile Court.
“If I can change one kid’s life, then it is worth it,” Towne said. “It’s about helping these kids succeed and sometimes get out of the situation they are in.”
She said she has had children come to her when they are no longer in her care, and thank her for being hard on them and helping them.
Towne has worked in Juvenile Court for nine years.