Youth Villages stories

Most of the time, Art Papas of Weston, Mass., co-founder and CEO of Bullhorn, is busy developing web-based applications to improve business processes. During the past month, he has set time aside to volunteer as a career coach to Keith Marquez, a young adult who spent several years in foster care, who wants to learn all he can from the Boston-area businessman.

The Job Prep Boot Camp program matches volunteer career coaches, who are adult professionals from the corporate world, with young adults who have spent time in foster care or state custody and are enrolled in Youth Villages’ Transitional Living Program. The goal of the career prep program is to better prepare former foster youth, who often end up unemployed, homeless or incarcerated because they lack sufficient support in the crucial early adult years, to find, secure and maintain employment. The course content includes the job application process, resumé writing, interviewing skills, follow-ups, and how to negotiate a salary. Career coaches provide one-on-one support during course activities and agree to support young people after they complete the Job Prep Boot Camp.

Youth Villages Massachusetts is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families, as well as former foster youth live successfully.

Youth Villages’ transitional living program focuses on helping young adults who have aged out of foster care or state custody make a successful transition into independent adulthood, helping them learn to budget, finish high school, find their first job and apartment, go on to higher education, stay out of trouble with the law and achieve their life goals.

Through its intensive in-home program, Youth Villages helps children and families where they need help most: in their own homes. By strengthening the entire family, the organization helps prevent children from being placed into foster care or residential treatment, and also helps children who have already been placed outside the home to reunify quickly and safely with a member of their birth family.

Youth Villages produces consistently high outcomes at about one-third the cost of traditional child services.

Youth Villages began providing services in New England in 2007. Youth Villages’ Massachusetts offices are located in Woburn, Lawrence, Worcester, Plymouth and Springfield. In New Hampshire, Youth Villages serves children and families from its Manchester office.

Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For by Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group in 2010, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and recently was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information about Youth Villages in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, visit, call Youth Villages state manager Matt Stone at (978) 349-8580 or e-mail him at: