Our wonderful YAP/Baltimore Director Derrick Jones has passed on. These words are so hard to believe and to bear.
Derrick was truly among our best and brightest, most committed to our youth and mission and most skilled and talented. His passing is a tremendous loss to his family, staff, community, YAP leadership and our world.
Derrick hosted a delegation from Morocco some months ago. He organized his staff, youth, parents and community stakeholders to meet with judges and social workers from the Morocco juvenile justice system. Derrick's staff and youth so embodied our principles of strength, resilience, dedication, realizing success and overcoming all challenges by never giving up. Derrick and his crew were superb! He so impressed the Moroccan officials, one called Derrick and his Advocates, "Angels sent from Heaven."
Derrick is also credited with turning the program around into one of our most successful and prominent. Only last week YAP/Baltimore was chosen as one of two programs for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study due to working with the highest risk population of young people and having outstanding outcomes. The Maryland Deparment of Juvenile Justice also has our program targeted for expansion.
Last October, we highlighted Derrick's accomplishment of being honored at the White House by President Obama for his amazing community work. He was awarded as a Champion of Change.
The nicest, most generous, genuine, effective, committed leader, dedicated father and family man, community activist, musical talent and creative force for good, Derrick will be painfully missed.
- Jeff Fleischer, YAP CEO