The 2017 Family & Youth Annual Meeting and awards presentation was held on June 19, 2018 at L’Auberge Casino Resort. During the event Kassidi Thibodeaux was presented with the Youth of the Year award and Commander Mike Byrne was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Kassidi Thibodeaux was awarded the Youth of the Year award
Kassidi Thibodeaux is a recent graduate of Lacassine High School, having received her high school diploma in May of 2018.
Her participation in programs with The Leadership Center began in 2015, when she attended the Jeff Davis Civic Engagement Institute, later she returned as a mentor for the Institute, inspiring her fellow peers to become engaged in the community. Kassidi participated in the EXCEL Conference and Chamber Legislative Day where TLC youth are able to visit the state Capitol and meet with their legislators. Kassidi has served as a member of the Youth advisory Council since 2016, serving as Chair throughout her senior year of high school.
Through her school she participated in Beta Club; Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Fellowship of Christian Athletes as Club Leader; Student Council as President; and French Club as Parliamentarian. From 2015-2017 she served as Class Secretary. Beginning her Sophomore year at Lacassine High School she was a peer tutor, helping others grow academically.
Outside of her academic services she also inspires others with her passion for sports by volunteering as a basketball coach for the Lacassine Jr. High basketball team and the Junior Division of Little Dribblers. She’s also a volunteer coach for Tee-ball and softball through the Lacassine Recreation Ward. Kassidi played Basketball, Tennis, and Softball for Lacassine high school.
Kassidi has been actively involved at her church, Woodlawn Baptist Church, for several years where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School; as well as, volunteering her time in the nursery and children’s ministry. She has been a participant in the Youth Group at Woodlawn Baptist Church for over 7 years.
Kassidi is the daughter of Elizabeth Rea and will be attending LSU Eunice in the fall where she intends to study Education.
Commander Mike Byrne has dedicated 43 years of his life and career to serving and protecting the public.
From 1975 through 1987 Commander Byrne served as a patrolman, supervisor, and detective for Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO). In 1987 he accepted a position as Chief Felony Investigator for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office. In 2000 he returned to CPSO where he has served as Commander of Investigations for 18 years.
Through his dedication to serving others, Commander Byrne has become a role model to his family, friends, and community by always putting the needs of others before his own. His commitment to improving juvenile justice services in Southwest Louisiana has had an outstanding impact on the way law enforcement in Calcasieu Parish has assisted in juvenile justice reform over the past several years. He was directly involved in all aspect of reform including screening processes, case processing, and in the reform of the Multi-Agency Resource Center which is dedicated to helping agencies collaborate in Southwest Louisiana to better provide services to juveniles.
At a different level of juvenile justice involvement, Commander Byrne has taken a preventive approach through his involvement with The Leadership Center for Youth. Several times he has served as a mentor and speaker for initiatives through The Leadership Center for Youth like Career Exploration and Youth Leadership Development by helping young people understand what a career in law enforcement entails as well as helping them develop the leadership skills necessary to thrive in such a rewarding career.
Commander Byrne has served on the Children & Youth Planning Board since its inception in Calcasieu Parish in 2005 donating his time to the reduction of juvenile criminality. He has also served as a board member for Family & Youth Counseling Agency, and the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Advisory Council. He has been an active member of the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team for twelve years.
Commander Byrne has a heart for people, families, and children. Throughout his career he has touched the lives of thousands of young people through his dedication and advocacy for juvenile reform, youth development, and child abuse prevention. He is the first one to reach out in times of crisis and the last one to leave. His desire to help others extends from sharing his knowledge with his co-workers and employees to being the first one to step forward when a need arises.