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Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Steven Tyler, Award-Winning Director Brett Ratner Bring Intimate Concert Performance To Lincoln Center May 2 to benefit Janie’s Fund

April 4, 2016

Tickets On Sale Friday, April 8 10 a.m. ET

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Steven Tyler today announced his intimate concert performance “STEVEN TYLER…OUT ON A LIMB” at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall on May 2. The award-winning director Brett Ratner and the legendary frontman are collaborating on a unique experience to benefit Janie’s Fund, Tyler’s charitable initiative to help girls overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect.


Named after his hit song “Janie’s Got A Gun,” Janie’s Fund is a collaboration between Tyler and leading nonprofit organization Youth Villages established to help girls who have been abuses and neglected. Launched in November 2015, Janie’s Fund offered a historic 54 days of impact coinciding with the 26th anniversary of the release of the song. For more information, please visit:

“Youth Villages is so grateful to Steven Tyler for starting Janie’s Fund to help our girls who are working to heal from abuse,” said Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler. “Steven’s commitment to helping these girls brings them so much hope, and this will be an incredible evening. He uses his big voice unceasingly to raise awareness and funds for the voiceless.”

“I’m digging deep and finding some real buried treasure for this one. I’ve never performed quite like this before,” Tyler said. “I’m telling it like it is and getting to perform with some extremely talented musicians and dear friends from Nashville. For this show, we’re taking it up close and personal and truly going…OUT ON A LIMB.”

“STEVEN TYLER…OUT ON A LIMB” will showcase in-depth stories and insights on stage from recounts of Tyler’s piano upbringing to trials and tribulations of life with his band. Backed by his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary, Tyler will lead the crowd on a time-traveling journey from his musical ancestors in Calabria, Italy all the way to Route 440 and Nashville’s country music.

The event will also feature a silent auction with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and memorabilia, from a five-day stay at Tyler’s Hawaiian home to a limited edition, hand-shaped artist series surfboard designed by artist Tim Bessell as part of the Bessell Warhol Project. Additional items include an autographed, one-of-a-kind painting of Tyler and Aerosmith bandmate Joe Perry by artist Brian Fox; the Skittles® mic stand from the set of Tyler’s Super Bowl commercial; exclusive signed images taken by photographer Sarah Skinner; pieces from Tyler’s personal wardrobe worn on American Idol; and an opportunity to attend the Emmy® Awards in Los Angeles along with a complimentary gifting suite prize package.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. and are priced at $53, $153 and $203, not including applicable service charges. Two VIP packages will be offered by Twisted J, one at $550 (includes access to seats in the first five rows and exclusive advance access to silent auction items) and $950 (same offer as $550 with the addition of a Meet and Greet). For additional information with package details, visit

One of music’s most recognizable and dynamic performers, Tyler has been cited by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest singers of all time.” Tyler and Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million records worldwide and he has won four GRAMMY® Awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and an Emmy® Award. In addition to having nine No. 1 hits, Aerosmith has received 25 Gold, 18 Platinum and 12 multi-Platinum album certifications. Tyler’s highly anticipated upcoming solo album is scheduled for release later this summer on Big Machine Label Group’s Dot Records. His current single, “RED, WHITE, & YOU” is available now.

In addition to presenting sponsor Twisted J Apparel, award-winning New York-based restaurant Catch will sponsor the milestone event.

Starting on path toward a bright future through YVLifeSet

March 4, 2016

With help through the YVLifeSet program, Emily is overcoming her anxiety and achieving her goals.

Emily, 18, drove home from class and pulled into her foster mother’s driveway. She stepped out of her new car with a quiet confidence.

“This is where Leslie and I live,” Emily said. “She’s my foster mom and my best friend. Living here has been really good for me.”

Not long ago, Emily had severe anxiety and depression. She grew up with an abusive father, and her mother had bipolar disorder.

“Our home was like a war zone,” Emily said. “I felt lost. Mom refused to accept the truth about the abuse. She didn’t take her medication, and her moods were all over the place.”

When she moved in with Leslie, Emily’s anxiety was crippling. She had flashbacks and emotional breakdowns. She stopped going to school and was scared to leave the house. Leslie and Emily sought information about Youth Villages’ YVLifeSet program.

“After she warmed up to Leslie, Emily felt at home for the first time,” said April Tussing, Youth Villages YVLifeSet specialist. “She finally has a safe haven and a support system.”

April meets with Emily on a regular basis, helping her prepare for a bright future.

“Emily was taking more than 10 medications when I met her,” April said. “Together, we regulated her medicine and discovered alternate ways for her to cope with anxiety.”

Emily uses essential oils to calm her nerves and sees a therapist to work through past trauma. She decreased her medications and is learning to talk through her emotions.

“April keeps me grounded,” Emily said. “When I feel like I’m stumbling, she reminds me of my goals and passions. I know I have a bright future, but sometimes I need reminding.”

Working on such practical life skills as budgeting and time management, Emily sees that her dreams are within reach. She is in her first semester of college, pursuing forensic anthropology. She has a bank account and reached her goal of buying her own car.

“Any resources we offer, Emily takes advantage,” April said. “I am so proud of how far she has come.”

Emily has all A’s and B’s in school and volunteers at an animal shelter. She hopes to become a YV Scholar.

“April and Leslie have helped me enjoy life again,” Emily said. “I’m hopeful for my future.”

Learn more about how the YVLifeSet program helps young adults aging out of foster care at

Emily now feels safe

February 11, 2016


Emily, 11, has always had a bubbly personality. When she entered Megan and Joey’s adoptive home, she was nervous about staying with strangers, but they made her feel right at home.

“Within hours of arriving at our house, Emily came out of her shell and became the bright and happy girl she naturally is,” Megan said. “She clicked with our family immediately.”

Despite Emily’s cheerful demeanor, Megan could see the hurt in her eyes.

“Emily was so determined to make the best out of her situation,” Megan said. “She was masking a lot of hidden darkness and trauma that had not been addressed.”

Emily grew up in an abusive home. The years of neglect and sexual abuse caused extreme anxiety. In Megan and Joey’s home, she had the loving environment to begin the challenging work of coping with her past.

“Emily mentioned several times that she feels safe with Megan and Joey,” said Amanda Bowers, Youth Villages family intervention specialist. “This security is why she has made such progress emotionally.”

For the first time since leaving her biological home, Emily was willing and motivated to work through her past. Amanda taught her coping skills for her anxiety. She learned to relax and feel comfortable talking through her feelings.

“With time, love, trust and therapy, Emily’s fears and anxiety have decreased significantly,” Megan said. “After being here for more than a year, she is no longer consumed by anxiety. She is at peace.”

Steven Tyler Skittles portrait to be auctioned to benefit Janie’s Fund

February 7, 2016

UPDATE — The Steven Tyler Skittles Portrait sold for $7,101 on eBay on Feb. 10.


Skittles® announced tonight an eBay auction of musician Steven Tyler’s Skittles portrait (below) to support Tyler’s philanthropic initiative that helps girls who have been abused and neglected: Janie’s Fund.

Tyler and his Skittles portrait are featured in the Skittles Super Bowl 50 television commercial, in which Tyler comes face to face with a portrait of himself made entirely of the candy. Bidders can bid on the replica Skittles portrait at starting Sunday evening until Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. CST.

Proceeds from the auction will support Janie’s Fund, Tyler’s partnership with private nonprofit Youth Villages that raises money and awareness to help Youth Villages provide trauma-informed care to girls who have histories of being abused and/or neglected.

Tyler’s hit song “Janie’s Got a Gun,” originally released Nov. 8, 1989, was born out of a growing desire to speak up for victims of child abuse. Each year, 1 in 5 girls in the United States experiences sexual abuse.

 For more information, please visit or call 901-251-5000.


Youth Villages staff share stories from families helped by Holiday Heroes in New England

January 14, 2016


View a photo gallery featuring event photos, volunteer testimonials and thank-you notes from the children and families we serve.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, Youth Villages fulfilled the holiday wishes of more than 430 youth in need from approximately 140 families participating in our New England programs – including 86 adolescent girls living at the Youth Villages – Germaine Lawrence Campus.

Several specialists who work with youth and their families, across Youth Villages programs, shared some heartwarming stories about how the gifts from Holiday Heroes made a difference this holiday season:

This year I was able to refer a family at the last minute to Holiday Heroes because the family was in desperate need of holiday help. Mom had recently obtained a part-time delivery job and she does the best she can with what she has. Mom is balancing work and caring for her three children, all younger than seven. Her oldest is autistic and needs additional care and support, putting an additional strain on Mom.

The Holiday Heroes Elves were able to get all the children what they needed and wanted. All one daughter wanted was a baby doll, which she got, and winter clothes and boots. A second daughter is obsessed with “Frozen,” and she got these adorable boots with Elsa on them, a doll and other “Frozen” items and clothes.

Mom was so happy and thankful when I called her to tell her that we received the gifts and that I would bring them by in time for Christmas.

Thank you to all of the supporters of Holiday Heroes for donating to this amazing program. This family and so many other families are so grateful for the gifts that they received this holiday season!

-Lindsay Beitman, Family Intervention Specialist

I had the pleasure of dropping off gifts to a family that had recently reached its goals and completed its work with Youth Villages. When the mother laid her eyes on the four bikes, she lit up with joy. This is a woman who I have rarely seen smile and she was grinning like this was the best day of her life.

She said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” over and over again, and helped me bring the bikes into her friend’s house to store until Christmas morning.

This mother struggles as a single mother with four children and, although she works full-time, there never seems to be enough money to buy any extras, let alone Christmas presents.

Mom informed me that this would be the “best Christmas,” and she could not wait until the children saw the bikes and other presents.

Thank you so very much for your generosity. It is people like you that give families hope, joy and happy memories. From the bottom of our hearts, we at Youth Villages thank you very much.

-Sara Chappell, Clinical Supervisor

A young woman I work with has had a ton of disrupted foster home placements as a child and adult. She told me before that she never felt like she had a home.

We talked about what would make a place a home for her. She said it was be a place where she could put her “stamp” on it – her personality. With the gifts she received from Holiday Heroes, she kept saying “this is what home must feel like” and “I really want to live here for a while.” Now she is reaching out for support when difficulties arise to ensure she can maintain her placement.

Thank you to all of the Holiday Heroes that supported the young adults in YVLifeSet!

-Nicole Schick, YVLifeSet Clinical Supervisor

Tasha learning skills to cope with difficult situations and events

December 3, 2015


Tasha, 14, shared with her counselor that her pets were her only friends. When she felt threatened or angry, she would begin to behave like a cat.

“Tasha was allegedly touched inappropriately by a boy at school, and this is when the behaviors began,” said Karissa Winfrey, courtyard supervisor at Youth Villages’ Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment. “Tasha feels like an outsider.”

Tasha’s been at Youth Villages’ Girls Center for nearly a year. In that time, counselors and staff have helped Tasha, giving her skills to cope with situations and events that would formerly trigger her negative behaviors.

“We let her have that pretend-time because that was important for her,” said Katelynne McClung, Youth Villages’ residential therapist. “But she also began to see there was a time for that and a time to be in the present with everyone else.”

Tasha learned how to communicate her feelings and manage her emotions, especially the negative ones.

“Children who go through trauma at a young age have an extremely difficult time regulating their emotions,” Katelynne said. “Tasha’s worked hard here, and we remind her about all of the things she’s learned so she can care for herself.”

She’s a totally different child now. Tasha will soon discharge and return to her parents, who adopted her at a young age.

Megan’s made a huge leap with intensive counseling and real-life skills training

December 2, 2015


Megan suffered neglect from her parents who had an extensive history of drug abuse. She once went a full year without attending school and was subject to long periods of time with no supervision.

“She lacked basic hygiene skills and simple social skills,” said Youth Villages Residential Therapist Elizabeth Parker. “She was also defiant and had a difficult time when she didn’t get what she wanted.”

In fact, Megan laughed at the judge who ordered her to residential treatment. Her defiance also manifested in physical and verbal aggression, but it was different.

“Because of her lack of social skills, her defiant threats were often out of context,” Elizabeth said. “They were taken seriously at her school and here at the Center, but we could tell that wasn’t the real Megan.”

The real Megan was scared and embarrassed. Just 14, she was the youngest girl in her group at Youth Villages. She thought she had to act tough or she would be bullied.

“Megan was introverted, but she wants to be included in things,” Elizabeth said. “The older girls in her group were kind to her and helped her along.”

Coupled with intensive counseling and real-life skills training, Megan learned how to take care of herself. Her self-confidence improved as well.

“Now she dresses nice and fixes her hair,” said Carman Mayham, courtyard supervisor at the Girls Center. “She uses her coping skills to manage her emotions when things get challenging, and she’s made a huge leap in just a short time being here.”


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