Accolades for Youth Villages


Youth Villages has built a national reputation for radically improving the lives of America’s children and families. Founded in 1986, Youth Villages is locally and nationally recognized as a leader in providing and advocating for innovative, evidence-based, family-focused program models and services designed to preserve and restore families and to help children reach for their dreams.

Below are some of the accolades, honors and recognition given to Youth Villages as an organization and for its leadership.

2022 Top-rated nonprofit award

2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits is the leading platform for community-sourced stories about nonprofits, and the Top-Rated seal is the prestigious people’s choice award for organizations whose volunteers, donors, and clients have expressed their appreciation and shared stories of inspiration.

2020 Recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service

Patrick W. Lawler, CEO, is a 2020 recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged – called the Nobel Prize for service — awarded by Multiplying Good, the nation’s leading nonprofit fueling personal growth and leadership through public service.

Results for America’s Nonprofit Fellow

Lawler is a Results for America’s Nonprofit Fellow, a group founded in 2016 to harness the collective experience, insights and recommendations of a select group of well-known and well-respected nonprofit CEOs committed to evidence-based solutions to inform public policy and improve the impact of public investments.

Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason Ambassadors

He also joins other national nonprofit leaders as one of philanthropist Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason Ambassadors. The group is committed to bringing high-performance solutions to address society’s most challenging problem

"America’s Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report

He was recognized as one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing the World One Nonprofit at a Time."

Patrick Lawler was also featured in Katrina Fried’s “Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing the World One Nonprofit at a Time.”

Great Place to Work designation.

For the last four years, Youth Villages’ employees helped the organization earn the Great Place to Work designation. The honor is based on anonymous online surveys that have employees evaluate the organization on more than 60 elements of the job experience including the extent to which employees trust leaders, the respect with which people are treated, the fairness of workplace decisions and team camaraderie.

Harvard Business School case study

Youth Villages was the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, written for inclusion in HBS’ “Leading and Governing Highly Effective Nonprofit Organizations” course. Lawler is a frequent lecturer at Harvard Business School and Columbia University.

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

The organization was a grantee of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, which made grants to help nonprofit organizations that work with youth from low-income backgrounds strengthen their operations and expand their programs to better serve a larger number of young people. Since 2004, the foundation has invested $21.25 million in Youth Villages to develop and implement its business plan.

Blue Meridian Partners

Youth Villages is proud to be one of eight national organizations in Blue Meridian Partners’ investment portfolio of solutions that are transforming the lives of young people and families trapped in poverty. Blue Meridian Partners is supporting the expansion of Youth Villages’ LifeSet program to provide effective, evidence-informed support to the thousands of young people who leave foster care at age 18.

Casey Family Programs

Casey Family Programs released a study detailing how Youth Villages had partnered with the state of Tennessee to safely reduce the number of children in foster care by 34% over 10 years.

The White House

The White House recognized Youth Villages as a “high-impact, results-oriented” organization in conjunction with the establishment of a Social Innovation Fund to find the most promising nonprofit programs and expand their reach throughout the country.

Ken Stern's book, "With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give."

Youth Villages was featured in Ken Stern’s book, “With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give,” as a prime example of nonprofits that are achieving results and merit donor investment.

American Youth Policy Forum

Youth Villages was cited as a national model in a study commissioned by the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. The forum also cited Youth Villages as one of eight “guiding light” models in the United States with programs that successfully reduce the incidence of juvenile crime.

The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice

The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice highlighted Youth Villages as a national model in its annual report.

The Franklin Covey Company

The Franklin Covey Company named Youth Villages the recipient of its Humanitarian Service Award.