Dear Members and Friends of the National Network,

You likely have heard that Vicki Wagner, our President and CEO of the National Network for Youth (NN4Y), will be leaving the organization as of June 30th.  The Board of Directors appreciates Vicki’s leadership in supporting and advocating for homeless and runaway youth during her tenure, and also understands her decision to spend more time at home in Seattle.

Vicki’s decision has allowed the Board an excellent opportunity to assess our vision, mission and how we might better support our constituents, including the services we offer and the locations from which we offer them.  With this in mind, please allow me to acknowledge that we are indebted to you, the service agencies that support the NN4Y and who serve — day in and day out — the at-risk youth population that is steadily growing.  Thank you for all that you do!

Since our founding in 1975, the NN4Y has drawn attention to the regulatory and funding issues that inhibit full support of at-risk youth, and your current Board is fully committed to continuing that mission.  With our future in mind, let me explain how the Board is refocusing to better serve you and the youth you support.  Our short-term objectives (next three months) include the following:

  • Close our Seattle office and transition select staff to Washington DC.  We reduce operating costs and strengthen our presence to advocate for youth legislation and funding where it routinely occurs — in the Congressional offices of our Capitol.
  • Efficiently and successfully complete our existing grant programs.  This creates a track record to help us secure future Federal funding to support our mission.
  • Emphasize and support the NN4Y’s National Council on Youth Policy, our advocacy group.  We will fully engage and support our continuance as THE strong voice for runaway and homeless youth.

Over the next year, the Board’s longer term objectives include the following actions:

  • Seek opportunities to partner and collaborate with other youth-focused organizations with similar missions.  We want to collaborate with other youth-focused organizations to achieve “strength in numbers.”  We will focus on developing on-going relationships with agencies of similar mind-sets to enhance and promote the mission of NN4Y and its member agencies.
  • Plan for Symposium 2011 as a “grass roots” back-to-the-future event.  This means fully engaging you — our members — in planning, agenda-setting and participation/presentations.
  • Secure the financial stability and long term viability of the agency.  This means tightening our belts to address the current economy, seeking grants and funding opportunities that support our mission, and being responsive to the needs of our members.

The bottom line is this: changing leadership coupled with uncertain economic times creates challenges and opportunities.  We know we make a difference because of the work we do, so we see our future as an opportunity to become even stronger in our efforts to support homeless and runaway youth.

The NN4Y Board is committed to guiding the Network through this transition and into the future, focused on fulfilling our agency’s mission.  We want to be accessible and invite your input, advice, and recommendations as we go forward.  A list of the current Board members is attached.  Please feel free to contact one of us. 

Thank you for your continued support.



Jane L. Harper

Chair, Board of Directors


April 27, 2010

587 words2.2 min read