The 2020 Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Annual Report is available. As Board Chair Lynette Brown-Sow, CEO Jeff Fleischer and newly appointed President Gary Ivory outline in their opening letter, the report tells a story of resilience among program participants and their families and those who serve them. Read the full report here and the letter below.
Dear Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Friends,
Confronted with two pandemics – one health and one societal – 2020 presented an opportunity for YAP to redefine, reimagine, and reintroduce ourselves. The rapid spread of the coronavirus escalated policy and practice debates about the safety of youth prisons and congregate placements. Meantime, young people receiving support from YAP at home with their families proved that COVID-19 was no test for their resilience. When the death in police custody of George Floyd triggered worldwide cries for racial justice and systems change, YAP participants’ stories sparked hope.
2020 brought a successful close to our three-year strategic plan culminating in our 45th anniversary. YAP families, employees, board members, donors, and community partners helped us reach considerable goals. We achieved smart growth and gold-standard quality, streamlined internal systems, delivered policy innovation and communications excellence, and promoted and recruited visionary leaders and board members. We began our 2021-24 strategic planning process understanding that our work will lead the way to answer calls for transformative, racially equitable youth justice, child welfare, and public safety systems.
For YAP, 2020 was a turning point, opening new doors for us to expand our traditional programs while also applying our time-tested model to interrupt violence and complex challenges that can lead to family separation. We restructured operations and implemented our succession plan. We announced that in 2021, Gary Ivory would step into his new role as president overseeing agency operations, with Jeff Fleischer continuing as CEO focusing on policy, fundraising and strategic partnerships.
Thank you for supporting the expansion of our community-based alternative-to-youth-placement model and the important evolution of our work to prevent violence. We will be seeking your ideas, collaboration, and support as we play a greater role than ever in empowering youth, families, and communities with tools to thrive.
Lynette M. Brown-Sow, Board Chair
Jeff Fleischer, CEO
Gary Ivory, President (effective Jan. 4, 2021)