About The Center

Our Vision

We envision a world where all youth grow and thrive in an equitable and beloved community.

Our Mission

We partner with youth to realize their full potential, by creating opportunities, removing barriers and promoting social justice.

Our Promise

Started by kids for kids – we offer services rooted in a culture of belonging, growth, and understanding to ensure youth voices will always be heard and respected.

A Letter from Our Executive Director

On a cool but sunny day in May, waiting for summer to start, I am reflecting on the past year and our trials and challenges at The Center for Youth. I am also preparing for a presentation about women’s leadership, titled Bite Sized Acts of Courage, for it is by deep belief that real change and authentic transformation comes from the every day, the consistent actions of those who are tenacious about the greater good.

And that takes me to the theme of this year‘s annual report: Changemakers – as Ashoka, the social entrepreneur center, coined the term, it is those who desire change in the world and through gathering knowledge and resources can make that change happen – yes the ability to take ideas and challenges and turn them into action. The definition goes on to explain, “these changes don’t happen by loan heroes, no, rather it is a team of people, strong institutions and support from all sides” that make Changemakers successful.

At the Center for Youth, a Changemaker is the young teen mother who decides to seek safer housing for herself and her child; or the defendant in Teen Court who understands through a restorative justice practice how to move beyond anger; or the triage counselor who refuses to give up when faced with limited options for service; or a volunteer who takes on a project and leads the way.

Changemakers are creative and determined. Changemakers push through, forge ahead and do not give up on their dreams or those of others. In fact, real Changemakers unlock the dreams that may be hidden or overlooked. The Center for Youth is full of Changemakers and dreamers and this past year we saw what can happen with these forces collide for good.

We faced challenges head-on, we identified gaps in services and set about responding with the strength of a talented and diverse staff, a resourceful board, and all of you, our friends and our donors, we thrived.

Thank you again and again,

Elaine Spaull,
Executive Director

Our Board


Margaret Burns, President

Shaun Nelms, Vice President

Kate Beardsley, Secretary

Michael Piccolo, Treasurer


Iman Abid

Zachary Armstrong

Johanna Bartlett

Kate Beardsley

David Boyce

Lorraine Braveman

Lauren Burruto

Catherine Cerulli

Kristen Duckles

Barb Duffy

Daryl Gaston

Cheryl Gossin

Christian Hancey

Doug Hendee

Teresa Johnson

Bruce Kielar

Richard Kreipe

Nancy McDonald-Stoler

Cathi Perkins

Milton Pichardo

Jason Piper

Barbara Rivera

Lynn Ryan

Ahliah Sims*

Terran Stinson*

Martin Weingarten

Frank York

*Youth Board Member


Elaine Spaull – Executive Director

Paul Clark – Director of School-Based Programs

Vernon Connors – Chief Financial Officer

Kathy Cummins – Director of Volunteers & Community Relations

Valerie Douglas – Director of Counseling & Runaway and Homeless Youth Services

Sheri Fisher – Director of Human Resources

Nikisha Johnson – Director of Quality Assurance & Staff Development

Jason Roberts – Director of Fund Development, Special Events & Marketing

Stay informed

Our Newsletter

Annual Report

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  • 905 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620
  • Open Mon-Fri: 8AM–9PM
  • info@centerforyouth.net
  • 585-473-2464
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