The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation (DEPJF) provides programs for at-risk youth in juvenile, behavioral health and drug rehabilitation centers with essential life skills and tools they need to be successful.

We launched Apex’s Grants for Good program in mid-2019 to provide a better way for our consultants to be involved in our philanthropic initiatives. Apex’s philanthropic program gives our consultants the opportunity to nominate a nonprofit they are involved with in the community they live, work, and/or serve. Our Philanthropy Committee selects a winner each quarter to receive a $500 grant in support of their nonprofit!

Every member of the Apex Philanthropy Committee was blown away by the purpose and impact of our Q4 recipient, The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation (DEPJF). The DEPJF partners with organizations like juvenile detention centers and behavioral health centers to help at-risk youth get back on the right path!

Gwen, one of Apex’s consultants in St. Louis, MO, who is on the DEPJF board, proudly nominated the nonprofit. She has been involved since their inception in 2010. Gwen’s passion for the DEPJF is obvious, as she spoke to us about what they’ve been able to contribute to their community. Once again, we were touched to learn more about another one of our grant recipients, the DEPJF.


The foundation was started in 2010 by a group of siblings who were disturbed by what they saw in their community and wanted to do something about it. Sadly, two years after the nonprofit was founded, the oldest male sibling fell victim to the very community he was trying to help clean up. In his memory, the organization was re-named after him to preserve his legacy. He was very involved with several youth centers and constantly dedicated his time and energy to help youth in his community.

The DEPJF provides at-risk youth in juvenile, behavioral health and drug rehabilitation centers with essential life skills and tools they need to be successful. Their Equip, Empower and Engage programs are 8-12 weeks and deliver 60-90 minute evidence-based life skills curricula (social-emotional competencies) and workshops on topics such as anger management, financial management, decision-making, critical thinking, problem-solving, mindfulness and calming techniques. Group-mentoring workshops focus on self-management and communication. A youth facilitator and a youth assistant lead the workshops that included 5-15 youths per group.

Passion for the Organization

Gwen explained that the programs make a huge difference, helping the youth they serve to thrive with skills that promote protective factors and increase resiliency. Gwen went on to explain that social-emotional competencies of self-management, relationship skills, social and self-awareness and responsible decision-making are related to positive outcomes in youth. Overall, it helps offset their exposure to risk with the development of life skills, personal character, knowledge, relationships and opportunities. The organization has seen improved school performance, a reduction in at-risk behavior and the prevention of youth substance abuse.

Benefits of Apex’s Grants for Good Donation

Apex’s donation will allow the DEPJF to expand the delivery of its service to a substance abuse behavioral health center for teens within St. Louis County, where their programming can be delivered to reduce the reliance on drugs and build resilience in youth. The grant will specifically provide for the purchase of workbooks and supplies to support 60 youths for seven group workshop programs.

 Learn more about the Dewight E. Pattron Jr. Foundation here!