BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, a national leader in child welfare and juvenile justice programs and services, is honoring Easterly Chairman Darrell W. Crate with its prestigious “Embracing the Legacy Award” for his work on behalf of at-risk youth. Crate will receive the honor at the 50th anniversary gala of the RFK Children’s Action Corps at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts on May 10.
Crate, a strong supporter of the RFK Children’s Action Corps since 2005, currently serves on its Advisory Council. He is being recognized for his instrumental role in helping the organization advance, refine and grow the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) over the past 14 years.
DDAP, an evidence-based practice model, is a court-ordered alternative to juvenile incarceration programs that provides youthful offenders with intensive counseling and case management for 90 to 120 days. The program focuses on accountability without criminalization and is designed to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. Since its inception in 2005, DDAP has served more than 950 young people aged 11-18. Ninety percent of those who have participated in DDAP have had their criminal charges dismissed. This year, DDAP expects to serve more than 150 at-risk youth.
Crate’s vision, leadership and investment have been essential to sustaining and expanding the success of DDAP, which enabled site replication. “DDAP saves taxpayer dollars, keeps youth in their communities and helps them stay out of the juvenile justice system,” said Crate. “We can’t expect judges to parent from the bench. This innovative intervention strategy gives young people the tools they need to make better choices, break emotional patterns and move past their mistakes.”
Jasmin Young, who completed DDAP a decade ago, will present Crate’s award. She will be joined by the Honorable Leslie E. Harris, the former associate justice for the Suffolk Juvenile Court who presided over her case. Young, a dental assistant and student at Bunker Hill Community College, will be starting a pre-law program at Northeastern University this fall. Both presenters credit the program with giving her a second chance. Now retired from the bench, Harris serves on the Board of Directors of the RFK Children’s Action Corps, and received the Embracing the Legacy Award in 2013.
“I am especially touched to receive this honor from both Jasmin and Judge Harris,” said Crate. “The judge cared enough to give Jasmin a second chance, and now her life has come full circle. This demonstrates the power of compassion and why the RFK Children’s Action Corps is an essential lifeline for troubled youth in our community.”
In addition to the Detention Diversion Advocacy Program, Crate’s support for the RFK Children’s Action Corps includes co-chairing its first major capital campaign in 2006, which raised nearly $3 million to build and operate its residence in Lancaster, MA. The Lancaster campus includes special education services and residential facilities for young people who are under the supervision of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and who require longer-term stays lasting from as little as 45 days to more than a year.
Crate’s support of at-risk or underprivileged youth extends to incubating Think of Us, an innovative technology solution that helps youth transitioning or aging out of the foster care system, typically in their late teens or early twenties. “It is vitally important that we prepare young people about to age out of foster care. I hope that Think of Us will make a difference in their lives,” said Crate.
Crate has provided meaningful financial support and mentorship to Sixto Cancel, who originated the Think of Us concept. Last year, Think of Us advanced its technology at an event held at the RFK Lancaster campus. During a “hackathon,” Think of Us further developed an app to connect youth aging out of foster care and help them make safe and successful transitions. Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker participated in this event, together with Crate and his wife, Amy, who works with Think of Us and serves on the Board of Directors of the RFK Children’s Action Corps. Crate’s teenaged children also are involved with Think of Us and have volunteered with the RFK Children’s Action Corps since they were young.
“The young people in our care have experienced significant trauma and face severe challenges that require intensive support,” said Edward P. Kelley, Chief Executive Officer of the RFK Children’s Action Corps. “While others see insurmountable obstacles, Darrell Crate never fails to see the value and potential of every child. We are proud to honor his unwavering dedication to helping vulnerable youth find a pathway to success.”
Others to be honored at the 2019 Embracing the Legacy event include: The late Paul Lewis, Director for the Youth & Police Initiative; Robert Lewis, Jr., Founder and President, The BASE; and Bob Scannell and Mary Kinsella Scannell, President and CEO and Vice President, respectively, of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester.
The honorees will join approximately 50 previous Embracing the Legacy award recipients including such notables as New England Council President Jim Brett, EY-Parthenon Founder and Senior Managing Director Bill Achtmeyer, children’s rights activists Marian Wright Edelman and Peter Edelman, athletes Tim Wakefield, Gale Sayers and Rafer Johnson and musicians The Dropkick Murphys.
The Embracing the Legacy Event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the RFK Children’s Actions Corps.
About Darrell Crate
The founder and chair of Easterly, Crate also holds leadership positions in its affiliated companies, including Easterly Government Properties (NYSE: DEA), Levin Easterly Partners and Easterly Partners. From 1998 to 2011, he served as chief financial officer of Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE: AMG).
Among Crate’s other charitable and civic activities have been serving as a trustee of Bates College, as Vice Chairman of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and as a founding board member of Think of Us, an innovative non-profit that is developing a technology platform and mentorship model to improve outcomes of youth aging out of foster care.
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About the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps
Founded in June 1969, the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps is a private, non-profit licensed child welfare organization providing community-based services, education, foster care and adoption, residential treatment, and juvenile justice programming to individuals and families in crisis. Our programs are focused on helping children and adolescents deal with past hurts, develop self-esteem, and have a chance for a brighter future as contributing members of society. All that we do at RFK Children’s Action Corps is based on the belief that every child deserves the chance to lead a happy, healthy, and productive life. For more information and to get involved, visit www.rfkchildren.org.