Stand Up in Action to End Youth Homelessness, StandUp for Kids Elects All-Female Board of Directors to Lead it to the Next Level
“It is a great honor to be elected as the first Hispanic-American Chair of the StandUp for Kids National Board of Directors. Our values are, and always have been, deeply rooted in inclusiveness of service for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and religion. This improvement in board diversity is a significant reflection of StandUp for Kids’ commitment to living these values within our own leadership,” said said Verastegui.
Ms. Verastegui continued, “As President, I am committed to elevating StandUp for Kids and amplifying the voices of homeless youth by providing them with the services they need on the streets and advocating for Homeless Children and Young Persons Act (HCYA). If passed by Congress, this bill will change the definition of “homelessness” to allow thousands of young people and families to qualify for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuity of Care Program. This program funds the efforts of nonprofit providers and state and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families.”
Advocating for this legislation will be a priority for StandUp for Kids board members. At December 14, 2021HCYA was reintroduced by members of United States House of Representatives and is currently being considered by both houses of Congress.
StandUp For Kids Core Programs
The organization is committed to empowering homeless youth toward lifelong personal growth, being there for them in their most vulnerable times and helping them see the possibilities ahead. StandUp for Kids runs four main programs in cities across the country:
Street awareness: Street Outreach counselors reach out to children who are not housed where they are and distribute food, clothing, hygiene products, resource information and referrals to services.
Awareness centers provide safe and protective environments for homeless young people to come together and receive support. There are eight centers across the country, each providing the support network for basic human needs and development through educational programs and individual counselling.
Housing assistance : StandUp for Kids teams help young tenants build community-centered lives, with support that includes assistance with apartment location and maintenance, and life skills training.
Mentorship: Acting as guides, role models and accountability partners, mentors help youth develop and execute a goal plan. Weekly sessions are organized at school, after school and in community centres.
According to Kim SissonExecutive Director of StandUp for Kids Tucson, “At StandUp for Kids, we tackle one life at a time, moving homeless youth from survival to thriving. Our incredible group of volunteers from across the country meet them on the streets in well-known “hotspots” where young people gather, as well as in our outreach centers, to distribute necessary items such as food, water, blankets, clothes, hygiene products and help them to find shelter.”
To get up for board members
StandUp for Kids has a diverse Board of Directors in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and age. With a wide range of knowledge and perspectives, each member brings their own personal and professional experience to the service of the organization – to plan, manage risk, make prudent decisions and make the most of opportunities to push StandUp for Kids forward. at the top level.
Maria Verastegui (chair of the board) has spent 24 years successfully building brands and leading high performing brand teams in the healthcare industry. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Yale University.
Catherine Ballowe (Vice-president of the board of directors and treasurer) has over 25 years of experience in auditing, accounting and financial management. Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from southwestern university.
Kelly Fields (board secretary) has 20 years of nonprofit experience coupled with over ten years in corporate human resources. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Louis National University.
carlos aponte (Member-at-large) is a Hispanic American with over 25 years of professional experience in financial management with various consumer goods, publishing and telecommunications companies. Carlos holds a BS in Accounting and Finance from Northeastern University.
Maggie McWhorter (Member-at-large) is a 10 year veteran of the US Army with over 25 years of supply chain management experience. Maggie holds a BS in Commerce from University of Colorado.
dr. Letitia Wright (Member-at-large) is an African-American chiropractic physician who now works as a business consultant, crowdfunding expert, and talk show host. She teaches at California State University and the Excellent Business School for Entrepreneurs of Thailand.
Kedric Sledge (Member-at-large) is an African-American state-certified mental health professional, currently working as a school social worker at Frank McClarin High School in Atlanta. Kédric holds a BA in communication from Ferris State University and an MSW of Atlanta Clark University.
About StandUp for Kids
At StandUp for Kids, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, our mission is to help end the cycle of youth homelessness in America’s cities, one young person at a time. . Since 1990, we’ve cared for homeless youth aged 12-24, moving them from crisis to connection. We give our youth a sense of safety, hope and belonging through housing support, mentoring, drop-in centers and street outreach.