Tahoe Youth & Family Services maps future | RecordCourier.com

Tahoe Youth & Family Services maps future

Karen Carey

Although I have been on staff with Tahoe Youth & Family Services since January, I still use the word, "new" because we have spent this year rebuilding. We have faced many challenges over the last several years and I truly feel that I am part of this organizations revival, so much of our efforts feel very "new." We are reorganizing, which takes time, but all the hard work we have been doing, and will continue to do, is necessary to reinvigorate and strengthen this valuable organization. In all honesty, we have not been where we want to be … but we are getting there, and I believe it is important to be transparent about exactly what we are doing to reconnect with the great communities we serve.

For those of you that may not know me, I come on board with more than 28 years of non-profit leadership experience. I was asked to come out of retirement to help TYFS find its voice again. Since January, we have new, trained and active board members aptly representing the three communities we service. We have received continued positive financial support from donors. We have restructured staff to meet the current and growing needs of the organization. We created a three-year strategic plan. And because of staff's recent dedicated efforts, we have been able to keep two of our major grants to help support the important work we do. We also established a set of core values to help guide our staff and board members as we move ahead.

We also experienced some difficult moments this year. We did not receive necessary means to continue programs and services we have previously offered including The Girls Project and our South Lake Tahoe Mentoring Program. Although losing funding, programs and staff is always difficult, we are pushing ahead. We are staying positive and we remain motivated for what lies ahead.

Another important element of the future of TYFS is sustainability, which is critical for us as an organization. As TYFS moves forward, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we are offering sustainable services that fill a need in our community. It is crucial that the impact of all the TYFS programs we offer leave a lasting and positive impact to those we serve and that we always stay true to the organization's mission.

As we continue aligning our priorities, we want you, our community, to know that we are still here, and we get stronger every day. We are proud of the positive changes happening at TYFS and we are committed to the important role we play in the communities of South Lake Tahoe, Alpine and Douglas County. We need your support as we work to resolve our challenges, and we look forward to the time again soon, when we are back at the table working in collaboration to better our communities. Until then, I am always available should you have questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your time.

Karen Carey is the executive director of Tahoe Youth & Family Services.