Zachary Adams' goals is to use his career to strengthen children, families and the community, and for more than a dozen years, he has worked toward that goal as part of a multidisciplinary team.
The latest stop on his professional journey is the Greene County Juvenile Office, which he joined in February 2011 as supervisor of probation and field services. His duties include supervising a team of six juvenile probation officers who deal with more than 200 youth on probation management of Teen Court, a youth accountability court in which delinquent youth are sentenced by their peers; and Evening Reporting Center, a 20-day program for youth who are awaiting their jurisdictional court hearings.
Adams is the co-creator of the Greene County Juvenile Sexual Impact Program, and he also helped create the Diversity Awareness Partnership, which focuses on spreading the word about what diversity is and why it is important.
As a supervisor, Adams doesn’t have a caseload, but he says he took on a particularly challenging case last fall – a young man who had a great deal of distrust for authority. “Individuals who had worked with this youth in the past had warned me that he would not be successful,” Adams said. “I refused to accept defeat and continued to work with him.”
Once the youth understood that Adams was committed to helping him, he invited Adams to attend a meeting at school as his advocate. “I gladly did so, and the school began to see his potential and worked with him. Upon graduating from probation, he thanked me and gave me a hug,” Adams says.
Active with the United Way of the Ozarks for the past six years, Adams volunteered in 2011 to serve on its Community Investment Panel. He also led Greene County’s United Way campaign last year, when giving among county employees increased by 42 percent.
Adams is in his second term on the board of directors of The Victim Center. He also is a three-year member of the nonprofit University Child Care Center, an accredited center that provides affordable child care in the community.
Adams said when he joined the care center’s board, there were myriad financial obstacles. He led changes that created two financial committees and established the Every Kid Deserves Quality Fund.
“(All) of the board members gave to the fund,” Adams says. “We then asked the families and friends of UCC to donate. In a year and a half, we have raised more than $13,000.”Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.