In an inspiring gathering focused on community and collaboration, the Hearts of Hope event brought together five nonprofit organizations with a shared vision: to uplift and support the mental and emotional well-being of youth. This remarkable coalition, comprising the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, Collier Youth Services, Family & Children’s Service, Hope For Children Foundation, and the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, convened on February 29th at 618 Restaurant in Freehold, New Jersey. David M. Stout, Ph.D., president of Brookdale Community College, and the Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center on campus were awarded the Hope in Action award.

Under Dr. Stout’s leadership, Brookdale Community College has emerged as an academic institution of excellence and a nurturing ground for holistic student development and wellness. His dedication to creating an inclusive and supportive educational environment has made a tangible difference in the lives of countless students. This recognition by Hearts of Hope highlights Dr. Stout’s unwavering commitment to fostering an atmosphere where young minds can thrive academically and in all aspects of their well-being.

President Dr. David M. Stout, Sam Huber, Wellness Center Director Summer Deaver

The Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center, named after a deeply valued community member dedicated to holistic wellness, offers various services and programs. These are designed to ensure every student has the support necessary to overcome college life’s challenges and beyond.

The Hearts of Hope event served as a powerful reminder of the impact that collaborative efforts can have on addressing the mental health needs of young people. Laurie Goganzer, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, emphasized the importance of such partnerships, stating, “We have been strengthening lives for generations, with a singular mission to keep people of all ages healthy in spirit, mind, and body. We’ll raise support for mental health needs and honor this year’s Hope in Action award recipient, Dr. David Stout.”

The event was not just a celebration of the achievements of Dr. Stout and the Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center but also a call to action for the community to continue its support for the mental health and well-being of its youth. It highlighted the critical work being done by the partnering organizations and emphasized the importance of continued investment in resources and programs that cater to the mental health needs of youth and families.