January 22, 2019
Youth Villages Massachusetts Raises $1.1M, Setting a Record

May 3, 2018 — Youth Villages Massachusetts and New Hampshire, a Woburn-based nonprofit that provides counseling services and programs to emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families, announced it raised $1.1 million at its recent annual Spring Celebration, 69% more than last year, to set a record.

The event held April 26 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, drew 350 people, set a record.

Youth Villages Massachusetts and New Hampshire aimed to attract 300 people this year, up from last year's 250 who raised $650,000.

The funds will support a new partnership with the state, announced by Gov. Charlie Baker at the event, through which Youth Villages will, according to the organization, "significantly increase" the number of Massachusetts youth aging out of foster care receiving support.

Funds were raised through event sponsorships, and equaled about half of the agency’s total annual fundraising goal, said Katherine Dilly, director of development for Youth Villages.

The celebration was hosted by Joanna Jacobson, co-founder and managing partner of Strategic Grant Partners and chair of Youth Villages MA & NH local board, and Jonathon Jacobson, CEO of Highfields Capital Management.

Matt Stone, executive director for Youth Villages, said, "It was through the generosity of Joanna and Jonathon, their friends and associates that we were able to raise a record amount at this year’s event."

Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders was honored for her long-time advocacy for support of transition-aged youth.

The Youth Villages Young Professionals Leadership Council hosted an after event, the Spring Party, also at The Fairmont Copley, attended by over 200 people with a dance DJ and night-club setting.

Keynote speaker Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of the New York Times best-seller The Language of Flowers and a member of Youth Villages’ national board of directors, told about her experience raising her natural and adopted children.

Heather, a YVLifeSet participant, spoke about how the program helped transform her life from being homeless to finding a job, locating stable housing and enrolling in college. “I’m paying my own way, that that makes me proud,” she said.

The new partnership aims to provide the intensive YVLifeSet model to more transition-aged youth across Massachusetts. A randomized, controlled clinical trial of the YVLifeSet model has shown that program participants have increased employment, earnings and educational attainment, and reduced homelessness, mental health problems, and domestic violence, compared to similar youth not receiving comparable services, said Matt Stone, executive director for Youth Villages MA & NH.

Youth Villages, a national nonprofit based in Tennessee, established its presence in Massachusetts in 2007, offering in-home counseling to two families from an office in Lawrence. Since then, it has served more than 4,500 children, families, and young adults. This year, it plans to serve 1,400 more. The organization today employs more than 350, and, in addition to its Woburn headquarters, has offices in Arlington, Lawrence, Plymouth, Springfield, and Worcester.

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