May 24, 2017
 
Selvin Chambers Appointed ED at Newly Established Root

Selvin Chambers
September 29, 2016 — Root, a newly established, nonprofit social enterprise based in Salem that provides skills training and job placement in the food industry for at-risk youth, recently announced that Selvin Chambers has been named executive director.

Root founder Jennifer Eddy said, "Selvin is a forward thinking professional and brings a terrific combination of executive skills and management know-how, along with an impressive commitment to youth development and improving the quality of life for others. We are thrilled to welcome Selvin to the Root team."

With more than 15 years in nonprofit and local government work, Chambers has extensive business development experience, community engagement, and youth development.

Since 2013, Chambers has been a senior fellow for Boston's Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership while serving as interim chief operating officer for the United South End Settlements since 2015.

His previous executive and managerial positions include serving as Metro Boston Regional Director for the Trustees of Reservations and executive director of the Food Project and executive director of the Elizabeth Peabody House in Somerville.

He also has worked at City Boston Youth Development and Family Services and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs.

A graduate of Fitchburg State University with a bachelor's degree in sociology, Chambers holds a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from the Boston University School of Management, and a certificate in strategic perspectives in nonprofit management from Harvard Business School.

Root board member and treasurer Jon Payson said, “Selvin impressed us from the moment he walked into the room to interview for this critical role. He is a high energy, engaging, and inspiring presence, and he exudes all of the qualities we seek to foster in our trainees and graduates."

Root aims to provide at-risk youth a pathway out of the entrenched cycle of poverty through life and work readiness skills, case management, health and nutritional education and the social capital to ensure that all students leave Root prepared for success in the workplace.

Programs focus on culinary instruction, health and nutrition education, increasing financial literacy, increasing a stable lifestyle by addressing social housing, mental health issues, and childcare issues, and offering post-graduation and transition services.

Root plans to operate lines of food service-based businesses, including a café, catering, and event space rentals, among other ventures.

According to the organization, more than 9,000 disconnected youth live in Essex County, 10% of whom are in the 16-24 age range. Root intends to attract students initially from primarily Salem and Lynn. Root participants must be enrolled in high school, but Root will connect out-of-school youth interested in the program with a high school provider.

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