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

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