Salem, MA— The Essex County Community Foundation has announced that Salem State University has assumed leadership of its annual Youth at Risk Conference.
Youth at Risk (YAR), which marked its 15th anniversary in June with a record 750 attendees, is a celebrated all-day conference devoted to service providers across the social service, law enforcement, and health and education sectors of Eastern Massachusetts who serve at-risk youth. Since it’s inception in 2000, YAR – which features dynamic keynote speakers, workshops, program exhibitions and networking opportunities – has grown to become the largest regional conference of its kind.
The move comes at a time of strategic refocusing for ECCF, which is shifting its core priorities to better serve donors and increase its ability to help improve the quality of life for those in Essex County.
“It was clear that any changes at ECCF would need to ensure the continued delivery of key flagship programs, such as YAR, which directly benefits Essex County,” said ECCF Board Chair, Jon Payson. “Salem State’s commitment to YAR ensures not only that it will continue, but that the conference will grow in stature and substance as Salem State brings additional resources and scale to the program.”
Salem State University, one of the Commonwealth’s largest state universities, enrolls over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom will go on to work with youth at risk. The school also serves as an important resource for the region’s business, municipal and nonprofit communities.
“We are honored to assume a leading role in the Youth at Risk Conference,” said Salem State University President, Patricia Maguire Meservey. “This is a great opportunity to involve our dedicated faculty, alumni and future youth service providers in an already outstanding program that we will continue to nurture and grow.”
Since YAR’s inception 15 years ago, ECCF has partnered with Endicott College, which has graciously hosted the conference on its Beverly campus every spring. The conference will continue at Endicott for one more year until Salem State’s major campus construction project is complete.