Get to know this week’s User Spotlight – John Dougherty, Chief Administration Officer at Virginia Home for Boys and Girls!
Tell us about yourself.
My name is John Dougherty and I am the Chief Administrative Officer at Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG), a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen Virginia?s youth and families through individual and family therapy, hands-on support, resource discovery, and skill development. I have been a part of VHBG for just under 5 years and working in the nonprofit human service community in Richmond for almost 14 years.
What is the focus of your work, the need you are addressing?
The primary focus of my work is supporting at-risk youth and families; helping them to find the hope, healing and opportunity they need to thrive in their community. While my responsibilities are to oversee the administration of our Teaching Family Homes, John G. Wood Alternative Educationand our community based Therapeutic Resources, the joy of my work comes from seeing our youth reach their goals, achieve permanency with their natural families and pursue academic success. We believe that through our kids and families we strengthen our communities in immeasurable ways that will impact generations.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding aspect of my work is witnessing the direct impact our organization has in the lives of the families and youth that we serve. I enjoy watching so many of our kids have the opportunity to be kids and find joy in family relationships. A large majority of our youth leave VHBG with positive experiences and a new lookout on life.
What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them?
Complex legislation and funding policies that limit families? access to the services they need are a constant reality and challenge for VHBG. Our organization has been able to grow and evolve in a way that remains responsive to our community, while maintaining our commitment to the health and well-being of kids and families, first. To do so, we are constantly challenging ourselves as an agency to find innovative ways that keep us focused on our mission. Countless lessons are learned every day at our organization. The most prominent for me right now are: change is hard, you must plan for the unexpected; at the end of the day reflect on and acknowledge the joy in your life as a source for finding answers to whatever comes next.
What?s coming next for you and/or for your organization that really excites you?
More mission! I will forever remain passionate and excited about VHBG?s commitment to doing more, being more and achieving more to help our kids, families and communities thrive.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
ConnectVA is a tool our organization uses to remain connected to fellow nonprofits, exchange ideas, and find talented, passionate and professional leaders to support our mission. I like the commitment to building community, strengthening networks and recognizing the invaluable resources that exist in our community to make RVA and the entire region a very special place to live, work and play!
Anything else you would like to share?
Believe in the strength and capacity of FAMILY. Be willing to TEACH and LEARN how each and every person brings value to your life, your family and your community. Be a source of HEALING and HOPE for those you touch, you never know the ripple you are creating, so make it the most positive it can be.