The National Crittenton Foundation has made it possible for some of our teen clients to experience how the government works and how they can have a voice in making change. As a result of the Crittenton Foundation's connections we've been able to send 3 young ladies to Washington, DC to advocate for funding for the juvenile justice system, trafficking victims protection act & the shutting down of Craig's list adult service sight, which at the time was one of the avenues that pimps were using to sell teen girls. To witness the bravery these young women display as they share their stories as well as the change that comes from them feeling heard and feeling empowered is amazing and almost beyond description. Thinking about their stories and the resiliency which they display still brings tears to my eyes.
The National Crittenton Foundation has always been supportive of our Charlotte Florence Crittenton, but never as much as in the past several years. We have benefited in many ways including staff training, programming curriculums and client support.
I became familiar with the work of The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF) in 2004 when I provided some consulting services as they were undergoing some changes. From an outside perspective, I was very impressed with the board and the agency leadership. What's most unique is how the national organization works with agencies across the country. So many national non-profit never see or interact with the audience they help--not the case with TNCF. Through the agencies, they know the girls and young women personally. Another unique aspect of TNCF is that the leadership is not only committed to justice--they really, truly care about the girls and will stop at nothing to help and protect them. When Jeannette Pai-Espinosa took the helm, I immediately became a donor. Under her leadership, I knew great things could happen. And they have.
The National Crittenton Foundation provides valuable resources, guidance and support to the Crittenton Family of Agencies, all of whom serve at-risk young women and their families across the U.S. The National Crittenton Foundation provides opportunities to network, training opportunities with experts in the field of evidence-based practice, national policy issues are addressed and they monitor issues that impact children, young women and their families, yearly conferences to promote best practices, and the staff are always available to our Agency’s for guidance in non-profit management. The staff is professional and experts in the field. The National Crittenton Foundation is dedicated to excellence.
I have had the privilege of working with The National Crittenton Foundation's President for the past 3 years when we discovered the perfect match our two organization's mission and vision had for girls.
I am the President of a statewide advocacy organization in Oregon, the Coalition of Advocates for Equal Access for Girls, established in 1992, well over a 100 years after Crittenton. Besides the support that Crittenton provides the work of over 27 Crittenton agencies, it is their goal to support the empowerment of girls and young women so they can achieve their unique potential as healthy, contributing members of society that connects us. Our collaboration with Crittenton has helped our organization grow nationally and I believe has broadened their advocacy in Oregon.
I work with a national advocacy and policy organization located in Washington, DC. The goal of our organization is to seek and advocate for the expansion of federal support for organizations working with girls and young women who are at greatest risk for system involvement or who are system involved. Most, if not all of these girls come from very difficult back grounds, have histories of serious trauma, and are in need of services that respond to their experiences as girls in a safe and healing environment - something that far too many girls go without. The National Crittenton Foundation and its nationally distributed family of agencies are among the few organizations providing such services.
Each individual agency approaches the needs of each girl from a gendered lens, acknowledges and provides wrap-around therapeutic treatment for past trauma, and supports girls through programs that build on their strengths and fosters a sense of accomplishment and empowerment - something many of these girls have never experienced. Further, the National Crittenton Foundation and its various agencies continuously work to expand awareness of the lives of girls by placing the voices of the youth at the center of their work and in the halls where policies are made - Congress.
I run a blog for young mothers, helping them overcome the day-to-day challenges of being a young parent, and find the joys that come with this new responsibility. Back in 2009, I was looking to "give back" and host a fundraiser on my blog, preferably to an organization that helped young mothers.
I found the National Crittenton Foundation and fell in love. Their services are outstanding, and I loved how they told their story through their clients' lives. I participated in the organization's 2010 annual meeting and was blown away by the passion and dedication of their staff. I was so inspired by their knowledge and devotion that I decided to go to graduate school to get a degree in Family Studies. This organization is the real deal and I am SO glad they are around to do the work they do. It is so necessary.
My life would not be what it is without Crittenton.
I became a mother at the age of 15 and like any other girl in my position, I felt that I had been thrown into parenthood too soon and felt penalized by the rest of the world because I now was "A teen mother" and apparently that is all I would be known for. Crittenton was able to see past that, and their programs helped me remember that there was so much more to me than just a young mother, they helped me find my voice and my path to success. By showing me how to set my goals AND achieve them, mentoring, supporting and encouraging me, I was able to finish high school, pursue a college degree and now give back to the community. All this despite the fact I had both my children while still in high school.
Through an abusive relationship and the everyday struggles of a girl raising two kids, I was able to use the skills and the resources I had learned from my program leader and move on to a healthier life style for my children and myself.
Their commitment to young women like me is powerful, and is creating future leaders in the community. The array of services offered by Crittenton is truly empowering to the girls!
I am so proud to be called an alumni of their program, and for them to allow me to volunteer any chance I can!