WHO WE ARE

How did you get where you are? Who put you on the bus to school and made you do your homework? Who taught you how to wash your clothes and made sure you had a warm bed to sleep in each night? Growing up, I (like many of you, I imagine) did not have to worry about resources. I had a home, family, and the great outdoors beyond our town. I had a caring mother who made sure I had clothes and food and anything else I needed.

Having a home is everything. That’s why it’s such a surprise to me that our society doesn’t put more emphasis on conditioning young people to have the knowledge and abilities to acquire and maintain their own home. As we are recognizing as a whole society, people need a base from which to operate. Somewhere to store and prepare food, clean ourselves, and sleep—the basic tasks of self-care. But most importantly people need somewhere to root, relax, recreate, and build wings.

In 2007 I made the decision to be an advocate for youth and opened the first independent living housing program, serving young homeless women. As executive director of a new youth agency, I began attending the meetings associated with homelessness. I found that some public-funded agencies provided assistance to foster youth aging out of care, but I saw an equal number of youth from the private sector not realizing indicators of youth success. The lack of adequate support and accountability services signaled an emphasis on processing clients over conditioning behavior, and on funding the organization over successfully transitioning homeless youth into established young adults. So, I built NYEP’s CLP to provide a level of accountability on both the resident and the staff to ensure there is always progress towards goals. I want to reform the way we reform older youth.

It’s critical that young women in poverty are able to find a pathway out. We are that pathway for many young women within that population. Without an intervention and approach like ours, young women are stuck to perpetuate their cycle of poverty onto their children and continue to burden society. We must come together as a community to help homeless underprivileged girls develop their education and skills to obtain sustaining employment and lifestyles. With your commitment as an NYEP donor, you can feel good about improving the lives of the young women we serve.

Meet Our Board

Each of NYEP’s board members plays an active and central role in developing resources and carving a path to support the work we do. Our Board has important responsibilities, including participating in fundraising activities, governing finances, developing policies and making major decisions for NYEP as a whole. The following professional, driven and selfless individuals support our mission and devote their time, resources, talents and relationships to complete agency goals while actively involved on the NYEP Board.

Marilyn York, President | Family Law Attorney | Member since 2012

Marilyn D. York is the owner and sole proprietor of one of the largest family law firms in Reno, Nevada. She opened her firm in 2001 and presently has ten employees. The firm specializes in family law with an emphasis on men’s rights. Marilyn carefully chose her career because of her passion for families, children and relationships. Despite her emphasis on male clientele, Marilyn has deep compassion for women and children in need. Finding NYEP was the perfect outlet to channel her compassion and energy toward helping female youth who need assistance to transition into self sufficiency. She is a proud member of the Board, which is comprised of very qualified and credentialed professionals who bring a unique diversity to this small but mighty charity. Marilyn is presently facilitating a pass-through donation program, whereby $50.00 from each new client consultation fee is donated to NYEP. This pass-through donation program generated $1,500 for NYEP in its first two months! She looks forward to continuing to support this charity and is so grateful to her clients for their generous pass-through donations. It was because of the “Top 20 under 40″ awards that Marilyn was fortunate enough to meet the director and founder of NYEP, Monica DuPea. She is so proud to be a part of this beautiful charity and hopes to be a part of its future growth and continued success. It is through time and monetary donations from the generous and selfless people we have in our community that this charity is even possible.

Britton Griffith-Douglass, Secretary | Photographer | Journalist | Member since 2014

In addition to acting as the Secretary for the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, Britton Griffith-Douglass is Vice President of Operations at Reno Engineering, a development services company. Britton is dedicated and passionate about assisting the youth in her hometown of Reno by being hands-on and available to the youth. She stands proudly behind the mission of NYEP and encourages education, participation and change in her City—beginning in her own backyard and branching out. She wishes to bridge gaps between youth/adults, business/non-profits and to assist in building an accountable ecosystem that puts an end to poverty. It starts with you. Britton is also the Special Events Chair for The Riverwalk/Liberty District, board member for both the Regional Alliance of Downtown and the Redevelopment Advisory Board, columnist for Reno Tahoe Tonight, founder of the High Heels & Hopes Fashion Show, and a Yoga Instructor.

Margaret Finel, Treasurer | Re/Max Professionals NV Realtor, Member since 2020

Margaret is a people centric Realtor in Reno with a strong background in customer service. Margaret’s motto is “Do the Right Thing Because It Is the Right Thing to Do”. She places a high importance on customer service and has found that if you take care of your clients, they will take care of you. With over 10 years of Real Estate experience, she knows and loves this community. Margaret has such a zest for life and loves to share that with the NYEP residents. Whether it’s floating the Truckee river, hiking the hills, cooking a French meal, or having a dance off; Margaret enjoys spending time with the girls and providing advice and lots of laughs. Her passion for helping the youth of our community is infectious. Margaret has a loudmouth and loves to spread the word about NYEP and all the amazing services provided.

Emily Reid, At Large | Professional Artist, Member since 2019

Born in Reno, Nevada, Emily studied art in Florence, SC, Bozeman, MT, and Sydney Australia before becoming a professional artist. She opened up Reno’s Chocolate Bar, Rockabye (a baby boutique), and assisted with the opening of the Discovery Museum, where she worked as the Visitor Service Manager. Emily is a single parent with a teenage daughter and a farm of over 20 animals. She is dedicated to making the world better by helping others (human and non) and caring for the Earth. Emily joined the NYEP board in 2019 after participating in NYEP’s annual Fall Harvest Festival. “I absolutely love how much Monica knows -not just cares- and has REAL solutions to problems that our community’s youth face. Homelessness is a HUGE issue locally and nationally. This is important work!!”

Valerie Longballa Olivas, At Large | American Ready-Mix, Member since 2019

A graduate of UNR, Valerie joined the board after learning about the program. She was drawn to NYEP because she is passionate about helping the homeless youth in this community and believes her board services will provide additional ways to give back. Valerie intends to help NYEP get the funding it needs so staff can focus their time solely on developing the girls (residents). She also looks forward to talking to others about NYEP so more people know about this high performing agency in the community. “I really love how NYEP is focused on each girl that walks through the door ready to change their life. Their end game is to help these homeless young women become more predictive citizens of society. I can definitely get behind that”.

In The Community

Marilyn York | TEDx

Bob Lissner | Donor Spotlight