MISSION AND PILLARS
In full partnership with families and communities, Graham Windham strives to make a life-altering difference with children, youth and families who are overcoming some of life’s most difficult challenges and obstacles, by helping to build a strong foundation for life: a safe, loving, permanent family and the opportunity and preparation to thrive in school and in the world.
- Create a clear Graham way in all that we do in partnership with kids and families to achieve family success and youth success.
- Go beyond systems into communities where we have roots to help kids and families thrive in Hunts Point, Harlem, and Central Brooklyn.
- Strengthen the One Graham approach to programs, staff support, and wellness, information technology and facilities.
- Pursue justice by influencing policy makers to adopt policies that promote success for kids, families, and staff.
To achieve our mission and vision, we have at our core, a set of deeply held principles that we call our pillars.
We respect the inherent dignity and worth of all with whom we work and believe in the strength of family in all of its forms. We are diverse in gender, race, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation, identity and ethnicity. Knowing that we all face challenges in life, we believe that all are capable of developing solutions. Trust is an essential element of respect – trust between kids, families, and each other, and trust among the Graham community, funders, regulators, and the public. There is no trust without integrity, both personal and organizational.
We are committed to continuous self-reflection and best practices, with rewards and celebration for an excellent performance. Genuine, lasting solutions come from working together. Our team includes kids and families, allowing them (as the experts of their families and their experience) to lead the way. We value a culture that provides opportunities to develop, practice, and master skills, with supports along the way, for our kids, families, as well as our dedicated staff and foster parents. We recognize that setbacks are part of growth and behavior change. We take every opportunity to celebrate progress and the accomplishment of goals that kids, families, and we have set for ourselves.
Kids and their families come first. Our decisions and actions are always driven by our kids’ need for safety, family, education, opportunity, and by their capacity to succeed. We recognize the effects of trauma and injustice and provide a safe and nurturing environment where people can heal and call for justice. We support each other. We recognize what we do well and where we need to partner with others. We are bold and passionate about this work and enjoy empowering kids, families, and each other, helping us grow stronger so that we can sustain progress and thrive in life.
All of us –- kids, families, foster parents, and staff – lead by our words and actions. We take ownership and are accountable for what we do, how we do it, and the results. We believe in respectfully challenging those who don’t uphold our values. We own our mistakes and our successes and follow through on our commitments. Knowing that inclusion makes us better, we appreciate differences and create opportunities for participation in the development of solutions. We value open and transparent communication, including healthy disagreement, with the goal of strengthening relationships, building a more connected community, and helping us solve problems. We celebrate incremental changes, growth, diversity, and our own, each other’s, and our collective achievements.
FROM OUR PRESIDENT AND CEO
Thank you for visiting us at Graham Windham and welcome! After a decade of serving in several leadership roles at Graham, it is my absolute pride and pleasure to take the helm as President & CEO, expounding on the legacy of our prior leaders and continuing to run with the vision that we, the Graham Community, have co-created.
As we move forward to our Vision 2025, we declare that the future for our kids, families, and neighborhoods is bright! We understand the importance and necessity of partnering with the neighborhoods in which we are present and Graham’s vision for 2025 is timely. Continuing to work alongside our kids, families, and community allies, we are well on our way toward accomplishing these vision goals together:
- Help youth and families achieve their dreams
- Help families in crisis heal
- Change biased systems and fight inequity
- Build a thriving “OneGraham” culture
I am honored to lead Graham, and especially now! I am excited about the journey ahead of us and of what we will achieve together. In keeping with the generations of Graham-folk before us, we are optimistic, hopeful, energetic, focused, and unwavering in our commitment to make a life-altering difference in the lives of children. The memoir of Joanna Bethune, one of Graham’s founders makes this bold assertion about the Orphan Asylum Society (Graham’s original name): “… the Society, up to this hour, has never swerved, nor it is likely… that they ever will!” It was true in 1806, and 215 years later, it still holds true!
With great fondness,
President & CEO