Thomas | Mission Possible
“We remain committed to providing transformative, life-saving programs, services, and support to the thousands of LGBTQ-identified young people who come to us when they have nowhere else to turn.”
On Thomas Krever's second full day at Hetrick-Martin (under former Executive Director David Mensah), he was asked to do the near-impossible-provide a Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP), a blueprint, utilizing community analysis, for expanding the Harvey Milk High School into a fully functioning, independent public transfer high school for at-risk youth—and do it in four days. Having had years of experience developing national programs for disconnected youth, though, he knew he could get it done. "What I needed," Thomas recalls with a laugh, "was a phone, a computer, and a bunch of take-out menus."
Eight years later (four as executive director), Thomas daily explores new possibilities to reach out to the community. "We've formulated and instituted a best practices model for working with LGBTQ youth," he says.
Under Thomas Krever, Hetrick-Martin has developed replicable models that can be used in the community as best practices in the field of LGBTQ and other at-risk youth service provision.
Thomas's mantra is PYD: Positive Youth Development. "Every youth needs to be viewed for their strengths and their resiliency," he says. "That's the core of our programs. Love, accountability, a voice in their future, to be treated with dignity. The true test of any good program is, first, what you provide to the young person, and second, what those young people provide by giving back."
It's a test that Thomas, who grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, took first-hand. As a high school student, he was a member of a violence prevention/gang intervention program. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College and later his Executive Masters in Public Administration at Baruch College. Ultimately, he later returned to the program where, as an executive staff member, he developed sites across the country to address the issues faced by youth, especially those in gangs and those having been incarcerated.
For Thomas, it's all about developing well-rounded young citizens who receive services in a safe, nurturing, and loving environment and, having done so, recognize their personal responsibilities to giving back to their community so that the next generation of young people have the opportunity to learn and grow as they did. As Thomas says, "That is our ultimate goal; that is their legacy and truest testament to the programs here at Hetrick-Martin."
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