Far too many young people, particularly youth of color, are forever changed by the first, often negative experience they have with law enforcement. Mutual distrust, an inherent conflict between control and defiance, and resulting escalation frequently lead to a youth’s initial arrest kicks off a long, avoidable and tragic spiral of legal entanglements. After receiving SFY’s trauma-informed training in youth psychology and appropriate responses, an officer is better prepared to alter this trajectory by stopping this vicious cycle before it ever begins.
Part of our listening and learning approach to grantmaking is to thoughtfully consider all perspectives. Using this lens, we support creative solutions to complex human problems, the very same mission that drives SFY. Since our first meeting with SFY through the Social Innovation Forum in 2016, we’ve increased our involvement far beyond funding. From our support for fundraising development to designing annual matching grant campaigns, we’ve helped SFY increase its capacity and grow its programs, all with the common goal of stopping the school-to-prison pipeline. Molly Stifler joined the board in 2019.