SOURCE: Youth Advocacy Center

June 22, 2005 10:14 ET

Youth Advocacy Center Receives Global Recognition for Achievements

YAC Executive Director Betsy Krebs Elected to Ashoka: Innovators for the Public "International Fellowship of Social Entrepreneurs"

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 22, 2005 -- Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global organization which identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs, has elected Betsy Krebs Esq., Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Advocacy Center (YAC), to the Ashoka Fellowship in recognition of her innovative approach to providing teens with the intellectual resources for their independent futures. Youth Advocacy Center's mission is to teach young adults in and at risk of foster care to advocate for themselves and take control of their lives.

Ms. Krebs will benefit from being part of the Ashoka global Fellowship for life. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, Ashoka elects emerging social entrepreneurs to an international Fellowship of their peers, providing significant financial support and an array of pro-bono strategic and professional services from Ashoka's partners, including McKinsey & Company, Hill & Knowlton, Inc. and the International Senior Lawyers Project. Ashoka supports the individual, idea and institution through all phases of their career

Bill Drayton, Ashoka's founder and chairman, said, "As a global organization Ashoka supports individuals who share qualities traditionally associated with leading business entrepreneurs -- vision, innovation, determination and long-term commitment -- but are committed to systemic social change in their fields. The Ashoka Fellowship recognizes individuals for their ability to find innovative solutions to some of society's most pressing social problems and we are pleased to recognize Betsy for her efforts on behalf of teens across America."

Ms. Krebs launched Youth Advocacy Center in 1992, using her knowledge as a former family court attorney to recognize and oppose the challenges that teens in foster care face. Through her experiences working with teens on advocacy projects, Ms. Krebs, with her co-founder Paul Pitcoff, created a seminar to give adolescents in and at-risk of foster care the tools to advocate for themselves and take control of their futures. Using the Socratic and case methods, seminar facilitators encourage students to complete the academically rigorous curriculum by tapping into their desire to succeed.

Ms. Krebs said, "Receiving an Ashoka Fellowship is an honor, and will dramatically increase our ability to help more teens in New York City and across the country transition to independence."

Youth Advocacy Center has expanded to spread its self-advocacy message to homeless teens, New York City public school students and child welfare professionals. Ms. Krebs expects to reach thousands more teens with the national publication this fall of "On Your Own As a Young Adult," the self-advocacy curriculum that she wrote with Mr. Pitcoff, and by replicating the program in cities around the country.

John Mattingly, Commissioner of New York City's Administration for Children's Services, said, "Youth Advocacy Center's seminars are wonderful programs that help to create positive outcomes in young people's lives. Youth Advocacy Center has partnered with top executives from HBO, Sony Music, Barney's New York and many other high-level organizations to provide informational interviews for students. These interviews with executives help teens to understand the challenges and obstacles ahead, and assist them in preparing for successful opportunities and careers."

Ms. Krebs received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and worked as an attorney representing foster care youth for four years before co-founding Youth Advocacy Center with Mr. Pitcoff. Together they have written columns, articles and publications about teenagers in foster care and self-advocacy, and are co-authors of "Beyond the System," forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in 2006.

Ashoka Fellows work in six broad fields: learning/youth development, the environment, health, human rights, economic development and civic participation. Selection criteria include the social impact of the idea, demonstrated creativity in problem solving, the newness of the idea and the entrepreneurial quality of the founder. There are more than 1,500 Fellows in 53 countries implementing innovative ideas for change in their communities.

ASHOKA: INNOVATORS FOR THE PUBLIC

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is a global organization, identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs -- extraordinary individuals with unprecedented ideas for change in their communities -- supporting the individual, idea and institution through all phases of their career. Ashoka's mission is to develop the profession of social entrepreneurship around the world and to shape a citizen sector that is entrepreneurial, productive and globally integrated. There are more than 1,500 Fellows in 53 countries implementing innovative ideas for change in their communities, countries and continents. Ashoka does not accept government funding; business entrepreneurs, corporations, individuals, foundations and volunteer chapters finance Ashoka's work. www.ashoka.org www.changemakers.net.

YOUTH ADVOCACY CENTER

The Youth Advocacy Center's mission is to teach young adults in and at risk of foster care to advocate for themselves and take control of their lives. Teens in and at risk of foster care have the desire, talents and potential to be participating citizens -- to hold jobs, to play a role in their community, to live in safe neighborhoods and to raise their children to be educated and healthy. www.youthadvocacycenter.org.

Contact Information


  • PRESS CONTACT:
    Youth Advocacy Center
    Betsy Krebs
    (212) 675-6181
    Email Contact

    Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
    Barbara Kazdan
    (703) 527-8300
    Email Contact