By Jonathan Gunson
May 20, 2016

Utah’s first lady honored for work with youth

The Utah National Parks Council honored Utah’s first lady, Jeanette Herbert, with the “Influential Women in Scouting” award for her decades of service to the state’s youth and promotion of Scouting values.

Mrs. Herbert is one of 24 exemplary women to receive the the award in 2016, all of whom represent the thousands of women who tirelessly and thanklessly work to better the lives of Utah’s youth.

“Getting out there and strengthening families, that’s our goal,” Mrs.Herbert said.

IMG_9586Though she has not spent much time in recent years with Scouting beyond helping her grandsons with pinewood derby cars and supporting them in their Scouting careers, she loves the program for blessing the lives of her children and grandchildren.

“It’s important that kids learn values at a young age,” she said. “If parents get their kids into Scouting, that’s the best thing they can do for them.”

Outside of Scouting, Mrs. Herbert has dedicated the majority of her professional and personal life to helping children and supporting families.

While running the Kids Connection child care center and preschool for 23 year, Mrs. Herbert incorporated crucial values training into her students’ general education curriculum as a way of promoting moral living as well as scholarship.

“We always had our theme of the week that we had centered our lessons around, but we also had a value that went with that theme,” she said. “So our teachers taught them honesty, kindness, obedience, all those different things. I felt like the kids were missing that.”

She now heads her own initiative, Uplift Families, and is working to help parents in Utah develop the skills necessary to instill wholesome values in their children and guide their children through the challenges they face.

“It’s for parents to teach their kids these values,” Mrs. Herbert said. “Teaching them when they’re young how to be kind, how to be honest, how to develop the values that will take them through their lives so when they get older, when they get to their teenage years, they’ll be able to make those decisions that will help bring them through.”

The initiative’s website, upliftfamilies.org, allows a parent to enter their child’s age and the struggles they’re having and receive information tailored to helping their child work through their unique challenges.

All information on the site has been vetted and curated to assist parents in contacting agencies and gathering resources to help them address a variety of concerns, including successful parenting methods, managing ADHD, dealing with Drug addiction, and helping their children avoid pornography.

Uplift Families also holds an annual conference where parents learn parenting skills and conflict resolution techniques from industry professionals.

“We have experts that come from every industry who come and speak on things that that are really important and relevant to the needs of our families,” she said.

With the help of health agencies across the state, this year’s conference, which is scheduled for September, will be broadcast on television so that parents in rural areas can also receive the benefits of attending the event. Lectures will also be available on youtube.

Governor Herbert is grateful for his wife’s dedication to Utah’s youth and encourages those parents who are in need of help to use the resources her initiative provides.

“A lot of people are from broken families or are struggling with home life,” He said. “They need some help and some hope, and Jeanette provides that.”

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