I am both excited and saddened to share that I am transitioning out of my role as Executive Director of Youth Solutions, Inc. to begin nonprofit consulting work full-time. My last day as Executive Director is July 16, 2021.
It has been one of the greatest privileges to serve as the founding President and Executive Director for Youth Solutions, Inc. and to lead our premiere Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) programming over the past decade. We often refer to each other as family, and in many ways, this organization and the network of partners that surrounds it have become like-family to me. It is an honor to be associated with this work and with all of you, inspiring and connecting Michigan youth to achieve a future beyond imagination.
There are far too many people and organizations that have influenced my Youth Solutions journey to identify by name, but I would be remiss not to recognize a few who have played key roles along the way. My unending gratitude to the Youth Solutions Board of Directors; the Michigan Works! system and its partnering organizations; our champions within both the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and on both sides of the Michigan legislature; the Youth Solutions team; the Kinexus Group family of companies; the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) family; our many partners, funders, and advocates; and (last but never least) the young people we serve. You are only as great as those you choose to surround yourself with, and I have been blessed to be surrounded by the very best.
Each of the above organizations and individuals have made it possible to inspire and connect thousands of Michigan’s young people to achieve a future beyond imagination. Here are some of my favorite accomplishments from the past decade:
We have grown the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program by nearly 600%, from 481 young people served in ’13-14 to 3,400+ in ’20-21. And our Board of Directors just adopted a new strategic plan to serve 10,000 youth annually by 2026.
We launched the Youth Solutions, Inc. organization in March 2017, recruiting a highly respected private sector-led board from across the state to provide strategic direction for future programming and services.
We have diversified our portfolio of services, responding to the youth disconnection crisis and significant interruptions in learning caused by the COVID pandemic. In the coming year, we will be offering a range of comprehensive to select services to meet students where they are with services they need. Be on the lookout for our new Youth Solutions: Select and Youth Solutions: Digital services.
We are an anchor organization behind the new “Inspiring Futures: Benton Harbor” initiative, a collective outcomes model aimed at community level transformation for youth. We are working alongside the national Jobs for the Futures organization to adapt their highly effective “Pathways to Prosperity” Model.
We are partnered with 177 organizations, including Michigan Works!, community-based organizations, school districts, postsecondary education institutions, and employers. We have stayed true to our “collaboration” value, promising to never work alone.
Despite my transition, the dynamic team of Youth Solutions leaders will continue our critical work. I could not be prouder of our leadership team and the quality of services they provide to our partnership network, team members, students, and alumni. Mollie Waller will transition into Interim Executive Director, effective July 17th.
I am excited for my new role serving nonprofit leaders as the Founder and President of Strategic Solution Consulting. If you would like to connect going forward, I can be reached at email@example.com or 269.208.1596. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime. Take care, friends.