Ana Saavedra, financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments, recently assumed the role of President of the Youth Services Board of Directors, taking the reins from Cathy Coonan whose two-year term ended in July. Saavedra has been on the agency’s Board of Directors for the past 15 years in a number of leadership positions.
During her tenure on the Youth Services board, Saavedra has held the position of Vice President and has served on the Executive and Gala committees. She has chaired the Development, Endowment and Planned Giving committees for a decade or more.
Since last spring, Saavedra has been an integral part of the Youth Services 50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign with a goal of raising $250,000 for the Endowment from area donors in 2022. Thanks to her example, all area Edward Jones financial advisors have personally donated money to create a $13,000 fund to match Youth Services’ Endowment donations from area business owners, members of civic organizations and individuals.
Rick Holloway of Saxton River, VT, who is Facilities Manager for Chroma Technology in Bellows Falls, assumed the role of Vice-President of Youth Services’ Board.
A financial advisor for Edward Jones for 18 years, Saavedra came to Brattleboro in 2004 to open its second office in town. All told, there are now 5 Edward Jones offices throughout the region, according to Saavedra, each appealing to a different constituency. In 2019 and 2020, Saavedra was honored as being of the top 10% of women financial advisors in the firm nationwide. Since coming to town, Saavedra is also an active member of the Brattleboro Rotary Club.
Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services’ executive director reported that Saavedra has been an outstanding board member and will make an equally wonderful board president. He described Saavedra as very articulate and knowledgeable about the many ways charitable donations can achieve tax and estate benefits while assisting nonprofits like Youth Services.
“Ana’s enthusiasm for our mission and her fearlessness and frankness talking about money —something few of us are so comfortable with — have made her a formidable asset to our fundraising efforts all these years,” he said. “Ana has a knack for distilling the essence of our agency to the public — and is articulate about why donating to Youth Services is an excellent investment!” he stressed.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the legacy of strong leadership at Youth Services, helping other board members become more comfortable with fundraising and supporting the critical work that the agency does for the young people, adults and families in our community,” Saavedra said.
Youth Services was founded fifty years ago to help young people and families in Windham County thrive. Since then Youth Services have helped countless numbers of young people discover their own path to adulthood and provided support for families while they developed the tools they need to address loss, trauma, substance abuse and economic hardships.
According to Executive Director, Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services programs are always evolving with the changing needs of the community. “Our staff take pride in experimenting with new approaches and our local fundraising and corporate sponsorship program allow us to respond quicker to the changing landscape than if we were a state human services agency “We fill the holes in the safety net in our county, rather than duplicate services,” he explained.
Over the 50 years Youth Services has built community, its programs have targeted runaway and homeless youth; youth transitioning out of foster care; mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters; substance abuse prevention counselors embedded in all Windham County high schools; individual and family counseling; young mom’s support groups; intensive family-based services for those in danger of losing their children to state custody; clinical services; and restorative justice programs such as court diversion, as well as efforts to improve school attendance and reduce youth involvement in the justice system.
Some of the innovations of the last five years include Demo Graphix, a youth-led screen-printing business; Friends For Change, a summer camp and after-school program in Bellows Falls; Work Today, an on-demand employment service for people living in difficult circumstances, and a merger with the Brattleboro Community Justice Center, expanded the range of programs offered and clients served. Despite the wide variety of programming, building relationships are at the core of everything Youth Services does.
To learn how you can get involved, contact email@example.com or call (802) 257-0361.