GOLD2023

Friends: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter

If you stutter, you have Friends.

aka Friends   |   Langhorne, PA   |  www.friendswhostutter.org

Mission

Friends is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education, and a sense of empowerment for young people who stutter and their families. Our vision is to help build a world in which all young people who stutter feel empowered to communicate whenever, wherever, and however they want to.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Caryn Herring

Main address

278 Shady Brook Drive

Langhorne, PA 19047 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3295898

NTEE code info

(Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose) (O20)

Family Services (P40)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

One out of every 100 people stutter. That’s over 3 million people in America, which means there are still millions of underserved children and families. For each child, stuttering can have far-reaching effects on academic success, social interactions, and career choices. Children who stutter are more likely to experience bullying than children who do not. While the physical struggle to speak is occurring at the surface, a child is often feeling an array of fears – fear of being mocked, fear of rejection, and fear of being mistaken as intellectually inadequate. Stuttering impacts the child in every moment of social contact – whether speaking to a classmate, making new friends, participating in class, ordering food at a restaurant, or answering the phone. In adolescent years, doubts about potential careers arise and teenagers who stutter start to feel limited in the professions they can pursue.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

One-Day Conferences

The Friends one-day conferences are an opportunity for families to come together locally and learn about stuttering while meeting others dealing with similar struggles. Childrens programming is activity-based and focuses on feelings and strategies for dealing with stuttering. Parent programming is education and support-based focusing on how to best support their child who stutters. Speech-language pathologist (SLP) programming is education-based providing SLPs with up-to-date research, clinical skills, experience working with the stuttering community, and CEUs. Conferences are facilitated by speech-language pathologists & members of the adult stuttering community.

The workshop format includes presentations, small discussion groups, panel presentations and group activities. Children, teens, siblings, parents, and speech-language pathologists attend sessions geared specifically toward their individual needs.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Caregivers
Families
Parents

The Friends Annual Convention is a 3-day immersive experience offering support and information to people who stutter, their families, and the clinicians who work with them.

Children, teenagers, and adults who stutter attend workshops aimed at increasing confidence, learning how to deal with teasing, all while meeting other children who stutter seeing they are not alone. Parents and caregivers meet other parents and share experiences, support, join in roundtable discussions, and find out what they can do to support their children.

There are also opportunities for speech-language pathologists and students to attend workshops geared specifically to their training, receive education on stuttering, gain confidence in working with people who stutter and their families, and return to their clinical practice with knowledge of effective strategies and support services.

Friends runs a scholarship program that offers financial support to reduce the cost of registration, hotel, and travel.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Parents
People with disabilities
Academics

Stepping Up is a mentorship program that allows for children who stutter to be mentored by teens who stutter. Teens have a chance to be role models and provide year-round support to younger individuals while children benefit from older role models who have experienced growing up as a person that stutters. Teenagers and mentees explore with one another issues surrounding their stuttering and are always encouraged to talk about life experiences apart from stuttering, as well.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Friends Virtual Programs are free monthly online support groups for children, teens, young adults, and parents, as well as special community series events. These groups are aimed at supporting one another, young people who stutter, their families, and the stuttering community. The virtual kids group offers a space for kids who stutter to meet other kids who stutter, make friends who stutter, and enjoy each other's company. Teen groups provide a space for teens to connect, inspire, and laugh with friends who stutter. For adults in their 20s and 30s, the virtual group is a space for young adults who stutter to share stories and laughs in a safe and caring space. Finally, the parent group is for parents, guardians, and relatives to connect, share ideas and concerns, and learn helpful strategies to best support their young person who stutters.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Caregivers
Parents
Families

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Friends works to instill a sense of empowerment, provide an environment where feelings of isolation disappear, and to grow confidence and self-esteem in young people who stutter. In order to reduce the adverse impact that stuttering can have on a child’s life, our efforts are aimed at providing the life-changing environment where confidence and self-esteem are fostered. We seek to reach more children who stutter and their families, improve quality and continuity of support, and offer diversified avenues for support.

Our programs provide young people with the skills they need to advocate for themselves, become empowered, and learn to live well with their stuttering. Friends gives children the opportunity to meet other children who stutter, and see they are not alone, while also meeting adult role models who stutter. The safe and accepting environment at Friends helps to make these relationships possible. Friends offers the “Stepping Up” program and a leadership training program, allowing teens to mentor younger children who stutter, as well as take leadership roles at conventions. Because we understand that attending our events is not always affordable, Friends runs a scholarship program that offers financial support to reduce the cost of registration, hotel, and travel.

Friends also provides invaluable education for speech-language pathologists and graduate students. Friends is the only nonprofit stuttering organization that offers a free, structured program for graduate students. Speech-language pathology students are given the opportunity to learn from stuttering experts and get an unparalleled experience working with children who stutter.

Friends has been a predominantly volunteer organization, receiving generous in-kind support from speech-language pathologists, adults who stutter, and parents of children who stutter – all volunteering their time to organize conventions, facilitate workshops, and serve as mentors to children. One testament to the importance of our work is the continued support we receive from the stuttering professional community, who volunteer their time and expertise year after year. For many professionals, seeing the growth in young people who stutter is what brings them back each year.

Our Board of Directors consists of some of the brightest and most dedicated leaders in the stuttering community. They put their minds together to generate new ways of reaching more children and families in order to show them that they are not alone. Our team has a deep dedication to our mission, and a phenomenal skill set that continues to grow Friends beyond expectations.

Over the past 20 years, Friends has touched the lives of thousands of young people and their families. We have increased the number of regional one-day conferences, as we continue fulfilling our mission of reaching more and more young people who stutter and their families. In addition to our annual conventions, Friends organized 11 one-day conferences in 2018, all across the United States. In 2018 alone, over 700 people were supported by Friends through local and national programs, an increase of more than a hundred since 2017.

Through academic research, our young people showed the following outcomes:
- Children and teenagers built strong relationships and a sense of community in a safe environment.
- Collaborative learning facilitated personal growth.
- Hearing and sharing personal stories increased self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
- Communicative and cognitive changes persisted beyond the Friends annual convention.
- Living with stuttering can be hard, but the convention helped normalize stuttering.

Real life changes witnessed at Friends include:
- Feeling more confident about introducing themselves to a new person
- Ordering food at a restaurant, without a parent or friend ordering for them
- Finding the strength to ask someone on a date without being stopped by fear of ridicule
- Running for student office while bravely and proudly telling their class that they stutter
- Learning that stuttering does not need to define the course of their lives

Friends will continue to build and develop programs, reaching out to those who are still feeling very alone and isolated. We plan to provide more continuous support by increasing the number of one day conferences, broadening locations of one-day conferences, and repeating our presence in certain cities. We will increase public awareness about stuttering and reach out to children who stutter in various school districts by developing and implementing an anti-stigma, stuttering awareness program.

Financials

Friends: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Friends: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter

Board of directors
as of 12/18/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Roisin McManus

Caryn Herring

Eric Jackson

Stavros Ladeas

Arin Sheeler

Rick Arenas

Joel Korte

Sara MacIntyre

Roisin McManus

Mark O'Malia

Ryan Pollard

Anthony Saleh

Adannaya Brown

Evan Kestenbaum

Tricia Zebrowski

George Daquilla

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/18/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data