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A Tribute to Johnathan Trost

10 May 2021 |

We'd like to pay tribute to Johnathan Trost, a former board member who passed away on December 22, 2020, by requesting to honor his memory with a contribution to Children's Institute. Jonathan was recently a Children’s Institute 2020 Coterie Inductee which is a group of special friends whose contributions to Children’s Institute is ongoing and significant; whether it be intellectual property, financial property, volunteerism, or a combination of the above.

Dirk Hightower, our former Executive Director, nominated Jonathan and wrote, “Jonathan Trost, J.D., first learned about the Primary Mental Health Project as an 18-year-old teenager. As the son of Mary Ann Trost, one of the founders, Jonathan knows more about the beginning and history of Primary Mental Health Project, now called Primary Project, than any other living person. Jonathan has been a stalwart ambassador of Children’s Institute to the community for 62 years. Jonathan first joined Children’s Institute’s board of directors in 1993 and served until April 2020 – 26 years. During that time he served as vice-president, president, and chair of the Nominations Committee for close to 10 years. As a board member, he participated in the first three of four strategic planning efforts that have guided Children’s Institute to where it is today. Jonathan’s training as an attorney and his ability to ask the right questions at the right time and in the right way repeatedly framed discussions and propelled the board to better decisions. Jonathan’s love and precise usage of the English language were invaluable when he helped Children’s Institute create its first Policy manual. As chair of the Nominations Committee, Jonathan initiated and named the “Coterie” in 2001, to which he is being nominated today. Always complimentary, humble, and kind, Jonathan has given instinctively and liberally of his time, talent, and treasure to Children’s Institute, the Salvation Army, and the community.”

64 years ago, Mary Anne Trost (Rochester City School District, School Social Worker, and Jonathan’s mother) along with Emory Cowen and Lou Izzo joined creative forces to find a way to meet the emerging needs of young elementary school children. Their collective vision would become the cornerstone for what is now Primary Project at Children’s Institute. They understood the power of teamwork, schools, and prevention. They knew even then that the needs of children far outweighed what any single school-based mental health professional could handle. Primary Project is in schools nationwide today and we are grateful for the commitment the Trost family made to Children’s Institute for many years.

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