Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages specialists and program participants shared their stories and experiences working with LifeSet and Intercept

Youth Villages Spring Celebration Raises $1.1 Million

Jun 2, 2023 | Blog, LifeSet

The Force was strong at the Youth Villages Spring Celebration Gala on May 4 where the organization raised $1.1 million to support the LifeSet program. These funds will make a direct impact on young adults in LifeSet as they make the transition from state services to successful adulthood.

Over 300 attendees heard the inspiring stories of Katrina, a LifeSet participant who was stuck in a cycle of domestic abuse and neglect. After she was removed from her parent’s home just 17 days after her 18th birthday, Katrina was referred to LifeSet. Through LifeSet, Katrina worked through her past trauma, learned to advocate for herself and her needs and found incredible success in school. In the fall, Katrina will attend college as a marine biology major.

Guests also heard from Lauren, the parent of an Intercept participant Jack who struggled with ADHD and depression that would play out as volatile, aggressive behavior. After getting a little help from Jack’s school and multiple trips to the emergency department, Lauren’s department, Lauren’s son was referred to Youth Villages. Their Intercept specialist worked with Jack and the family three days a week and helped them explore new tools to navigate conflict and manage stressors. Jack is now thriving in school both academically and socially, is much better at managing his difficult emotions and is an overall more confident child.

LifeSet and Leah were my crucial support system when I had no one else to rely on. And for me, someone who grew up with no one, this means the world.
- Katrina

Former Governor Charlie Baker and former First Lady of Massachusetts Lauren Baker were honored at this year’s event for their leadership and long-time partnership with Youth Villages over the past eight years. With the help of Youth Villages board members, Charlie and Lauren were gifted with a surprise appearance from their daughter Caroline and son AJ. Caroline delivered a heartwarming speech that left her parents in tears.

Honorees Former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and former First Lady Lauren Baker

Along with the Bakers, other attendees included Joanna & Jon Jacobson, Beth and Seth Klarman, Mary Lou Sudders, DCF Commissioner Linda Spears and DMH Commissioner Brooke Doyle.

Youth Villages is grateful to everyone who attended, donated to, and supported this amazing event, including the evening’s Presenting Sponsors, Anita and Josh Bekenstein, The Klarman Family Foundation, and One8 Foundation. Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who supported this event, Youth Villages will help even more young adults to live successfully and independently.

To view photos from this year’s Spring Celebration, visit the Spring Celebration Photo Gallery.

Share on Social