Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia counseling professor Deryl Bailey has received another national award for his work as founder and director of Empowered Youth programs, a group of mentoring activities aimed at developing and nurturing academic and social skills, particularly in young African-American males.
Bailey, associate professor in the College of Education’s department of counseling and human development services, was named the recipient of the 2011 Professional Advancement Award from the Association for Specialists in Group Work, a division of the American Counseling Association.
The annual award recognizes the outstanding activities of an individual who has helped advance the field of group work through research, development of a new technique or theory, public relations, legislative activities, or group work practice.
The EYP provides children and adolescents in grades K-12 with tutoring, guidance and social skills training, while offering a supportive structure for participants and their parents. The program conducts Saturday academies, Saturday workshops for parents, semester exam lock-ins and summer academies, while closely monitoring students’ progress in school.
Concerned about what he saw as chronic low expectations for black teens around the country, Bailey started Empowered Youth as a counselor in a North Carolina high school in 1989 and brought it to Athens in 2000. After starting here with just 13 members, it now serves more than 100 students a year, and the group meets at UGA’s Aderhold Hall every Saturday for the Saturday Academy.
The program has included students from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including African American, Mexican American, South Korean and Anglo Saxon students; however, students of all races and ethnicity are encouraged and invited to participate. Bailey said that the attendance list has included children of UGA professors to youngsters in public housing, and he added that taking at least some Advanced College Placement classes is a requirement for high school students in the program. During the past four years, 90 percent of the program’s seniors have gone on to college.
Bailey has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking EYP program during the past several years, including the Reese House Social Justice Advocate of the Year by the ACA Counselors for Social Justice, 2010; the Don Dinkmeyer Social Interest Award from the ACA, 2009; the African-American Male Initiative Best Practices Leadership Award from the University System of Georgia, 2007; the Community Service Award from the Georgia Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, 2007; and the Mary Smith-Arnold Anti-Oppression Award from the Counselors for Social Justice, 2007.
He is currently serving a three-year term as president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, a division of the ACA.
For more information about the College of Education and Empowered Youth Programs, see www.coe.uga.edu/chds/research-centers-projects/center-for-empowered-youth/.