YAP joins a highly selective community of nonprofits working to break the cycle of poverty

HARRISBURG, PA, October 27, 2022 – Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. is proud to announce it has been selected to participate in Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program, a management training and peer-learning program to help nonprofits further their mission to transform communities. YAP is one of 15 nonprofits starting the Catalyst Program this month, joining a growing community of almost 300 organizations across all 50 states working to transform the lives of more than one million Americans through bottom-up empowerment.

YAP Chief of Advancement & Development Carla Powell and YAP Executive Vice President West Region David R, Williams are part of the Catalyst Program’s selective six-month Market-Based Management® leadership development experience, which focuses on unlocking the potential of the nation’s highest-performing nonprofits.

YAP was selected among hundreds of nonprofit organizations through an extensive vetting process and accepted into the program after a rigorous evaluation. Nonprofits joining Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program are recognized for disrupting the status quo, demonstrating “outside-the-box” thinking, and embracing community-driven and people-centered approaches. Program criteria also includes proven outcomes and the potential for scale and cultural impact.

“We are proud to welcome these new organizations into our ‘Catalyst’ community – a network of our country’s most inspiring changemakers,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of Stand Together Foundation. “What sets these organizations apart is their deep belief in people and how they empower individuals to realize their full potential. Together, we hope to not only transform more lives but show the country a better way to transform lives and communities.”

“We are honored to be selected for this unique opportunity to be empowered with tools to expand our reach through social and financial capital and innovative operational and human resources approaches,” said YAP President Gary Ivory. “The Catalyst Program will greatly enhance our leaders’ work to elevate and scale up our evidence-based model so that more young people, families and neighborhoods can benefit from safe, effective community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, congregate residential treatment, and neighborhood violence.”

The Catalyst Program is a six-month management and peer-learning training program for the nation’s most transformative nonprofits. The experience will equip YAP’s leaders with principle-based thinking and new tools and approaches to deepen its impact and expand its reach. The program serves as an on-ramp to long-term partnership with Stand Together Foundation, including principle-based management coaching, leadership development, operational support, and access to a community of entrepreneurial peers, influential philanthropists, and business leaders.

YAP joins the following fourteen other social entrepreneur-led organizations in beginning the Catalyst Program, which officially kicked off last week in Dallas.

  • Big Table (Spokane, WA) Big Table exists to see the lives of those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry transformed by building community and caring for those who are in crisis, transition, or falling through the cracks. The organization operates a referral-based assistance program to provide care to individuals in need. Big Table works with care recipients to address immediate crises, then remains in an ongoing relationship with the care recipient to further support them on their journey to stability and self-sufficiency.
  • Blue Star Recyclers (Colorado Springs, CO) Blue Star Recyclers provides meaningful employment opportunities to adults with autism. Rather than focusing on the limitations of neurodivergent individuals, Blue Star recognizes their inherent skills and talents, setting an example for how businesses can help every employee thrive.
  • Build UP (Birmingham, AL) Build UP (Build Urban Prosperity) is the nation's first high school that empowers low-income students to build careers, rebuild their neighborhoods, and become first generation homeowners. Recognizing that breaking cycles of generational poverty requires disruptive thinking, Build UP equips students to revitalize their own communities from the inside out. Students participate in a six-year program that includes a high school diploma, an associate’s degree or industry credential, home renovation training, and paid work experiences—culminating in zero-interest mortgages to own their own homes.
  • Foster Nation (Los Angeles, CA) Foster Nation’s CareerX mentorship program creates community and connections for individuals aging out of the foster care system to help them achieve their professional goals, develop basic life and social skills, and work towards self-sufficiency. The program provides one-on-one coaching to former foster youth ages 18 to 30. In its ideation and developmental phase, CareerX is working to incorporate an algorithmic matchmaking component to pair foster youth mentees with volunteer coaches to guarantee better program outcomes and lead to the most successful relationships.
  • Fountain Fund (Charlottesville, VA) The Fountain Fund increases economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated people to improve their lives and remain in their communities. They provide low-interest loans and financial coaching, helping returning citizens build credit and achieve their self-determined goals. The Fountain Fund envisions a nation of hope and opportunity for formerly incarcerated people, their families and their communities.
  • Humble Abode Residence (St. Louis, MO) Humble Abode Residence aims to stop the school-to-homelessness pipeline for students with developmental disabilities. They provide safe housing and licensed therapy and teach foundational life skills that enable every resident to lead a fulfilling, independent life. Humble Abode Residence prioritizes dignity and empowers their residents to reach the finish line.
  • Humble Design (Pontiac, MI) Humble Design helps individuals transitioning out of homelessness furnish their new homes. They operate in 5 cities nation-wide and have found that a safe and comfortable environment gives families the opportunity to take pride in their home and lowers their likelihood of returning to shelters.
  • Impact Ventures (Dallas, TX) Impact Ventures shares access and opportunity with entrepreneurial women and people of color. They provide small business support services, business accelerator programs, and capital to remove the social and economic barriers that keep talented founders and leaders from building generational wealth.
  • Kelly Brush Foundation (Burlington, VT) The Kelly Brush Foundation is building and empowering an active community of individuals who have experienced spinal cord injuries. They cultivate personal relationships, enable opportunities to try physical activities, and fund over $1 million in adaptive sports equipment every year, so that everyone living with a spinal cord injury can find the freedom and independence to lead a fulfilling life.
  • Ones Up (Philadelphia, PA) Ones Up is fighting economic barriers for black and brown youth, ages 16-24, who are most heavily impacted by poverty and systemic injustices in Philadelphia. We prioritize healing, wellness, and community in all that we do with the understanding that overall wellbeing is key to personal success.
  • Reach Success (Cleveland, OH) Reach Success eliminates barriers so everyone can achieve a fulfilling future. By working with each individual to define their own educational and career goals, Reach Success provides holistic support rather than a one-size-fits-all program.
  • Restore OKC (Oklahoma City, OK) Restore OKC operates hyperlocal programs that address the most pressing challenges faced by residents in Northeast Oklahoma City. Rather than relying on short-term solutions like food pantries and temporary employment agencies, Restore OKC runs a community-operated grocery store, community-owned businesses, and other initiatives designed by and for the neighborhood.
  • SeekHealing (Asheville, NC) SeekHealing exists to improve social health and address the loneliness epidemic in America. Unlike prevailing mental health and addiction treatment models, which focus on biological and psychological factors, SeekHealing looks at relationships and social divisions to more effectively address the root causes of addiction and suicide.
  • Treetops Collective (Grand Rapids, MI) Treetops Collective is building a vibrant cross-cultural community to better welcome refugee women and help them navigate life in a new country. By investing in each woman’s unique strengths and abilities, Treetops Collective is partnering with them to define and achieve their own goals.
About YAP

Youth Advocate Programs (National nonprofit headquartered in Harrisburg, PA) Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. delivers community-based services as an alternative to youth incarceration, congregate care, and neighborhood violence. YAP invests in communities so youth can thrive where they live, study, and play. By supporting and partnering with families directly, YAP reduces the risk of negative outcomes and out-of-home congregate placements that disproportionately impact families of color.

About Stand Together Foundation

Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed over $120 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at


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Ryanne Persinger,
National Communications Director

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