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Youth Villages hosts ‘The Life Set’ with best-selling author Vanessa Diffenbaugh

October 6, 2015


Youth Villages, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and families in Portland live successfully, will host “The Life Set,” an evening with New York Times best-selling author Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Thursday, Oct. 15 at Wieden + Kennedy, 224 NW 13th Ave. in Portland, Oregon.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Tickets to the event are $10, with proceeds benefitting Youth Villages’ YVLifeSet program that helps former foster youth make a successful transition to adulthood. Tickets are available online at and at the door. Wine, beer and appetizers are included with the cost of admission and a no-host bar with spirits will be available for an additional cost.

Diffenbaugh, who drew attention to the hardships of youth aging out of foster care through “The Language of Flowers,” will discuss her novels and the social issues represented in them. She will sign books and answer questions from the audience in a panel discussion about key issues facing vulnerable youth in Portland. Diffenbaugh will be joined by Mary Lee, national coordinator of the YVLifeSet program for Youth Villages. Books will be available for purchase and attendees are welcome to bring their own books as well.

Diffenbaugh’s interest in supporting Youth Villages’ work, particularly the organization’s YVLifeSet program, was piqued by her passion for helping foster youth. Her debut novel, which spent 69 weeks on The New York Times best-sellers list and has been translated into more than 40 languages, is about a girl growing up in and aging out of foster care. She also will discuss her new novel, “We Never Asked for Wings.”

Teaching art and technology to youth in low-income communities, Diffenbaugh and her husband, PK, a teacher by training, became intimately familiar with the needs of children growing up in foster care or with families who cannot adequately care for them. The couple eventually became foster and adoptive parents of Tre’von, now 23. Earlier this summer, the Diffenbaughs legally adopted Donovan, 25, whom they met as he was aging out of foster care. They are also the parents of Graciela, 9, and Miles, 7.

Following her literary success, Diffenbaugh co-founded Camellia Network, a nonprofit crowdfunding and social support platform to help former foster children that recently merged with Youth Villages and has been relaunched as the LifeSet Network, The site’s mission is to connect every youth aging out of foster care with donors who will provide the critical resources, opportunities and support they need to thrive in adulthood.

Youth Villages launched YVLifeSet in 1999, to help children aging out of state care or juvenile justice placements make a successful transition into independent adulthood. Youth Villages also provides YVLifeSet in Oregon and seven other states and has helped more than 8,000 youth by providing guidance and support to help them achieve their independent living goals, including completing their high school education, going on to higher education, finding a job, finding stable housing, reconnecting with family when appropriate, learning to budget and more.

Youth Villages Oregon has been helping children and families live successfully in the state since 1859. We provide Intercept® intensive in-home, YVLifeSet and residential services to children and youth with emotional and behavior problems and their families. Using our Evidentiary Family Restoration™ approach, which involves intensive work with the child and family, a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible, and providing accountability to families and funders, Youth Villages consistently produces lasting success for children.

One of the nation’s first and largest providers of intensive in-home services, Youth Villages this year will help more than 23,000 children and families in 12 states and Washington, D.C. The organization has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit

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