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New book by renowned journalists recognizes Youth Villages’ work

September 24, 2014

Youth Villages is highlighted as a model organization in the new book “A Path Appears” by renowned journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Kristof, columnist for The New York Times since 2001 and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, co-wrote the book with his wife WuDunn after years of dedicated journalism by the two focusing on human rights issues in the developing world. They have covered countless global problems with a concentration on Darfur since 2004.

A Path Appears

In the book, they show how individuals, foundations and nonprofit organizations can make a significant difference in solving societal problems, identifying successful local, national and global initiatives.

Youth Villages is one of the organizations recognized. In a chapter titled “Coaching Troubled Teens,” Kristof and WuDunn identify Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services that help troubled youth live successfully as an effective approach.

“YV argues that with the right support and scrutiny, half of the 600,000 kids in America being raised in effect by the state (including foster care) could remain with their families or relatives, saving tens of millions of dollars annually and reducing the trauma and upheaval for those children,” they write.

The book features the story of Fred Burns, a Mississippi native who was helped by several Youth Villages programs and now participates in Youth Villages’ transitional living program.

“With this new stability in his life, Fred began to excel in sports and academics. He became the first member of his immediate family to graduate from high school, and he did it in style: he was valedictorian, with a 4.25 GPA. Fred accepted an academic scholarship to Mississippi State University, was successful as a walk-on to the football team, and later transferred to Jackson State University to major in computer engineering.”

Kristof and WuDunn’s book tour began Sept. 23 in New York City and will end Nov. 18 in Miami. “A Path Appears” will also be the basis of a four-hour PBS series as a special presentation of “Independent Lens” airing in early 2015.

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