Farewell to Our Co-Executive Director

Five years ago, Kymberlie Quong-Charles joined Youth Rise Texas with an ultimate vision to strategically magnify the impact of the organization. She worked diligently, across multiple positions, to lead staff and support youth of color—ensuring that our growth was not only sustainable but also respected our values as an organization and community. Her time at Youth Rise has been absolutely invaluable.

Kymberlie joined the organization as the first Deputy Director of Youth Rise Texas. She dedicated herself to creating infrastructure that allowed us to grow our staff, and to better manage foundation relationships and grant acquisitions. She also committed to transforming Youth Rise—seeking to create a resilient institution with policies and practices that align with our social values, where youth who are directly impacted by parental removal can earn a dignified living with professional development and pathways to leadership. A place with sound operations that allows us to provide stable support to our community.

In 2021, Kymberlie joined Roxanne Lawson as a Co-Executive Director of Youth Rise Texas. Their shared leadership focused on developing culture, policies, and practices that further strengthen the organization’s resiliency. Although their time was short, their efforts produced multiple successes that will allow Youth Rise to continuously achieve our mission, including:

  • Developing a co-Executive Director model that aligns with our organizational values concerning equity and shared power
  • Overhauling programs rooted in innovation, social change, best practices and youth leadership Developing branding that doesn’t center around a single Executive Director but rather, the resilient communities that make up our base
  • Writing and producing our first annual report; YRTX’s 2022 Vision and Impact Report
  • Writing our first personal, human resources policies manual and handbook to ensure our safety as workers, that is also responsive to the unique needs of our staff, including innovative leave policies and provisions for caregivers and those whose loved ones have been incarcerated, detained or deported
  • Designing a pay-scale that is equitable, dignified, and transparent
  • Establishing and training staff and our Board in financial policies that align us with industry standards, ensure accountability, and provide appropriate autonomy to teams to manage their own goals and program budgets
  • Hiring consultants including lawyers and HR experts to provide consultation on our forward-thinking institution-building, as well as a communications firm to support messaging around the organization we have become

There are many exciting things happening right now at Youth Rise Texas that we could not have achieved without Kymberlie. 

It is bittersweet for us to see Kymberlie go. While we are sad to see such a great leader and great person move on to her next chapter, we are excited about what’s ahead for her. We are immensely grateful for Kymberlie—Thank you so much for all of your work and the lives you’ve impacted at Youth Rise Texas, Kymberlie!