How Nonprofit Leaders Are Feeling About 2021

Youthnet – Mount Vernon

Carla Arnold is the executive director of Youthnet in Mount Vernon. Youthnet provides caring and supportive educational and social services to children, youth and families to help them attain a productive and successful life. Here, she shares why she’s proud of the Youthnet staff this year.  

2020 is coming to a close. How are you feeling?

As 2020 comes to a close I am feeling hopeful. Hopeful that 2021 will be a better year for everyone and especially for those that have been so negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19 as well as the impacts of systemic racism.

How are you taking care of yourself and your staff right now?

I am trying to stay positive and supportive to my staff, encouraging them to continue to serve our clients as safely and productively as they can. We will be providing some small holiday gifts that will hopefully provide some extra relief for staff and add to morale and well-being.

What do you hope for 2021?

For 2021, I hope that Youthnet will continue to have the capacity to serve our clients safely and with our best efforts to help them succeed. I hope that the negative effects of COVID on the health and well-being of our clients and communities will dwindle and that children and families will once again be able to get their needs met and will thrive.

Carla Arnold is the executive director of Youthnet.

“I know it’s been hard, and we are all tired and stressed, but we, like our clients, are strong and resilient. We’ve got this.”

What support do you or your organization need in 2021?

Youthnet has been very fortunate to have the collaboration and support of grantors, community partners, donors and supporters and our contracting partners. At this point what we need most is more foster parents that are able to meet the priority needs of BIPOC youth, LGBTQ+ youth, older and special needs youth, and sibling groups. We also need more BIPOC and LGBTQ+ families to become foster parents to further keep children connected to their culture, needs and shared lived experiences.  

What are you most proud of this year?

This year I am particularly most proud of my staff and the way they handled this pandemic. They jumped right in, transitioned well to remote working, and continued to serve clients based on COVID protocols. Our essential workers are to be applauded for their selflessness and willingness to continue supporting those in greatest need. 

What message or advice do you have for other nonprofits in your sector?

My message would be to keep up the good work! And don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know it’s been hard, and we are all tired and stressed, but we, like our clients, are strong and resilient. We’ve got this. Keep in mind that, this too shall pass. 

What questions do you have for the nonprofit community?

I would only ask for that we continue to be mindful of the need for racial and social justice in our communities. That we continue to have those courageous conversations, to ask questions, and continue to learn and grow from one another. We’re all in this together for the common good.

About Christina Colón 9 Articles
Christina Colón is the Communications Manager at Washington Nonprofits.