Mike Zelnio, Former Board Chair (left) and Eddy Ameen, Board Chair (right) presenting our vision statement at our 2016 National Conference.
StandUp For Kids is proud to be a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that helps children and young adults maximize their full potential. Our organization runs on volunteer power, and the amazing impact it makes is often thanks to people like Dr. Eddy Ameen, chair of the National Board.
After spending his childhood in Rhode Island, Ameen first began working with StandUp For Kids ten years ago while earning his doctorate in psychology at the University of Miami. His first experience with the program involved performing street outreaches, opening the city’s first outreach center, and working as the executive director of the local progam.
“I was most proud of developing a stable street outreach network,” Ameen said, “while also helping open our first outreach center one night per week, a mentoring program in partnership with a local youth shelter, and an advocacy coalition called the Miami Task Force for Homeless Youth.” There, he was featured as a Huffington Post person of the day in 2011.
After moving to Washington, D.C., Ameen continued to stay involved and active with StandUp For Kid by training volunteers. “That led me to serve for about six years and counting as the DC program's director of training.” Ameen said. “I joined the national board in 2015 and was just elected chair this February. It's quite an honor and a humbling duty, on this tenth anniversary of being with StandUp, to help lead the organization into its next decade.”
Now, as chair of the board, Ameen will continue to serve StandUp For Kids with passion and knowledge gained from years of experience. While his extensive background in education and his program development experience are ideal in helping Ameen to steer the board and continue to uphold the 27-year legacy of StandUp For Kids, his passion to accelerate the end of youth homelessness is impressive.
“Our mission statement keeps me awake at night.” Ameen said. “The audacious goal of trying to bring an end to youth homelessness is bigger than any of us as individuals, but not outside our reach when we come together as a group of 17 local programs. That packs a lot of punch.” It is this kind of heart that originally brought Ameen to StandUp For Kids, and has led him through his decade-long journey with the organization. He reflected, “I value that our organization runs on so little, that we have some of lowest-barrier services out there, and we capitalize on our biggest asset - the committed talents of our volunteers and staff - in ways that truly transform lives.”
Ameen will continue working to end the cycle of youth homelessness as the chair while the organization implements a new strategic plan, a recently launched new website, and hosts its national conference later this year.