Janis Avery, chief executive officer of the Seattle-based Treehouse, announced that she will be stepping down from the post next spring after nearly a quarter century at the helm the nonprofit that serves youth in foster care.
Under Avery’s leadership, Treehouse has grown to touch around 8,000 foster youth through multiple programs, including the Treehouse Wearhouse, which offers free clothing, school supplies, books and tickets to events; the Little Wishes program, which helps pay for extracurricular activities like sports and music lessons; and the Drivers Assistance program, which helps youth in foster care get a driver’s license.
One of the Treehouse’s most impactful programs, Graduation Success, was launched in 2012 to address the extremely low high school graduation rates for youth in foster care in King County. In the year’s since it was started, Treehouse’s Graduation Success program has achieved its goal of ensuring foster youth graduate at the same rate as their peers, reaching an extended graduation rate of 82% by successfully focusing on providing academic and other essential support to the youth it serves, according to Treehouse.
Avery will remain as CEO Treehouse, which has a budget of around $15 million, until the new leader is announced. Treehouse will launch a nationwide search for her successor.
“Treehouse is in my heart forever, and I hope it is in yours,” Avery says. "Please continue to share your love for everything we do and encourage others to get involved. Community support is how we became the organization we are today, and it is the cornerstone to how we will continue evolving in the years to come.”