eNewsletter January 2018


Save the Date! 

PHILLIPS Programs 23rd Annual Gala will be held Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner!  The gala is PHILLIPS largest annual fundraising event, which ultimately helps raise funds to benefit our youth.  In honor of our 50th Anniversary, this year's theme is Celebrating the Decades!  Visit our event website to learn more. For sponsorship opportunities contact Debi Alexander, Development Director at 703-941-8810. 

Thank you to our  sponsors to date!

EJF Philanthropies

Martin & Dina Friedman

Dr. Sally A. Sibley


Carl & Roberta Berquist



Rob & Stephanie Arnall

Akin Gump

Cross Country Consulting



Dave & Pat Williams

Megan Malone

Phil & Piper Phillips Caswell

Herbert Engert

Charitable Fund 

Paramount Mechanical

Joy Sibley

Ann Lane


Debbie Dogrul Associates


Special Thanks to our Gala Executive Committee!

Joe Burke

Dan Irvine

Anne Stewart

Michael Barr

Nicole Lee

Greg Smith

Scott Boli

Janet Parker

Dina Friedman

Megan Malone

Dr. Sally A. Sibley

Piper Phillips Caswell

Debi Alexander

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Thank You for Supporting our Capital Campaign!

At the end of 2017 four donors, the Philip L. Graham Fund, David Perry, the Harris Family and Sonja Shockey, contributed significant gifts to our Capital Campaign bringing us to sixty percent of our goal for the physical space!

PHILLIPS Growing Futures is on Instagram!

PHILLIPS Programs Growing Futures program is on Instagram!  Visit growing.futures to keep up with this exciting project! Students in both science and Career Tech Ed are producing micro greens which are included in tasty dishes in our culinary arts program. This month Eric Kilgore of Say Cheese! food truck visited our Laurel campus and met with our high school students including the culinary arts class on being an entrepreneur (and fed them  delicious grilled cheese sandwiches).

In-Kind Donations Serve Our Programs Well!

Guest Services donated small wares to our culinary arts program this month!  In Kind donations are a great way to support our program. We have received gently used winter coats, a 3D printer, games, books, a ping pong table, key board, gym equipment and school supplies.  Consider a snack or school supplies drive at your place of business!  

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Become a Sustaining Donor with a Monthly Gift!

The only way we can provide all of the resources our youth need is with lots of people chipping in what they can afford. You can join the team at PHILLIPS by making a fully tax deductible gift to support our youth. Consider a monthly contribution of $5 or $10.   Any amount you can contribute will make a difference. Help sustain our programs over the long haul with a monthly contribution today. Please visit our website to make your gift today.

Support PHILLIPS when Shopping through Amazon Smile!

There are two ways to support PHILLIPS! 

When you shop online for birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions or routine purchases  be sure to use AMAZON SMILE and please designate PHILLIPS as your charity of choice! 

You can also support PHILLIPS new kitchen by purchasing a mixing bowl or set of spoons to support our Culinary Arts program! Click here to view our Wish List!

Thank you for supporting youth with behavioral health needs!

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Our Philosophy

"Our Society should be judged by its concern for the quality of life for all its members without exception."

- E. Lakin Phillips

Founder, Leader, Philanthropist

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A Message from the President

This month two publications came across my desk that created a heightened sense of urgency and prompts me to ask you to ACT NOW!

The Children’s Defense Fund released its The State of America’s Children 2017 report.

The data compiled in this publication highlight an insidious crisis facing a disproportionate percentage of our nation’s youth. The findings for children are overwhelming. For example, children continue to be the poorest age group. Every day thousands of children are arrested – one every 31 seconds.

As a nation we invest our resources into punitive rather than positive measures. The pervasiveness of the school to prison pipeline defies common sense. As a nation we spend three times more on prison than on school. Consider the annual expenditures per person for our 3 regions:

  • Virginia $30,424 prison $10,656 school
  • Maryland $47,618 prison $13,871 school
  • District of Columbia n/a prison $19,847 school

 DC does not have a prison system, so costs were not reported. (However, you can extrapolate from other states where their prisoners are sent).

Greater progress would be achieved for our nation’s children if we ensured practices that include social-emotional wellness, positive behavior supports and other evidence-based models. At PHILLIPS we have spent 50 years advocating for our youth particularly in the arenas of education, juvenile justice and child welfare. Those we serve are the most vulnerable.

Shortly after this report came across my desk I was struck by an article in The Washington Post, “World’s largest money manager: CEOs must do good for society” (1.17.18).

Laurence D. Fink, the chairman and chief executive of Black Rock reportedly used “stronger language” than in previous years expressing a growing expectation that companies address societal good in addition to environmental and governance practices in his annual letter to global CEOs. Black Rock’s chair is absolutely correct!

 So what can you and I do today? The most effective tool is your VOICE. Familiarize yourself with legislation, policies and practices and let your schools (and their boards) and elected officials hear your opinion. Do you work for a company that promotes its ESG rating? Do you have a voice through local business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce? Will you select one strategy (emails, blogs, phone calls, letters to the editor, attendance at meetings, or volunteering) to express your concern? Your local and state officials will need to listen to the roar. Join the PHILLIPS chorus.


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Piper Phillips Caswell

President & CEO



2017-18 Annual Campaign Raises Vital Funds for Several Programs!

Changing the Employment Landscape for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs is Progressing!

PHILLIPS Programs renovated 3,380 square feet within the Laurel campus to create a commercial kitchen, vertical farm and learning lab. The renovated space houses a job training program for transitioning youth.

The new program, PHILLIPS ~ Growing Futures is a career and technical education program providing opportunities for youth to thrive through culinary arts and urban agriculture curriculum and job training. Students engage in hands-on experiential curriculum that includes working in both a commercial kitchen and indoor vertical farm growing and cooking fresh products.

Students earn ServSafe Certification, build technical and academic skills required for employment in the food service industry, participate in internships, receive mentoring and support in job placement during the transition from school to work.

We are very close towards our goal of raising $800,000 for the space. To date, sixty percent of the funds have been raised through events and large gifts from individuals, organizations and foundations. Do you want to ensure that our youth have the training and skills they need?  Vulnerable youth are twice as likely to be unemployed and live in poverty.  The outcomes for youth with disabilities transitioning from school to post school activities are poor.  Studies show that the number one predictor for a successful transition from school to employment for vulnerable youth is "employment training and work experiences in high school."

You can ensure the youth we serve develop marketable career skills by supporting our capital campaign.

Eagle Scout Project Enhances Our Annandale Campus!

Over the Winter break, PHILLIPS was able to host Jordan Bell's Eagle Scout  Project. Jordan is a member of Troop 55 from Great Falls and is the grandson of PHILLIPS School ~ Annandale principal Trudy Bell.  He has volunteered at PHILLIPS multiple times, so he knew how much this project would mean to the students.  Jordan's main goals of his project was to renovate the side garden used for planting vegetables during the year.  He rebuilt five of the flower boxes out of wood, replacing the original plastic frames, and also laid new soil down.  Jordan also built a new picnic table to sit underneath a previously unused overhang.  The project was a complete success!

PHILLIPS Education for employment Students Enjoy Working with Animals!

An important part of the Career Education Department’s off campus work experience program is to give students an opportunity to work in a variety of career fields. By volunteering at different sites, students are able to not only gain work experience and practice social skills but to fine tune their interests in certain career fields.

One of the most popular career areas is in the field of animal care. Students are not only interested in taking care of the animals, but their work with the animals has a positive effect on the students. PHILLIPS has been very fortunate to have developed several community relationships with agencies that are focused on helping animals.

The Fairfax Humane Society is located in the heart of the City of Fairfax. Twice a week, two of the students along with their PHILLIPS Job Coach go to the shelter to fulfill two important tasks. The first task involves maintaining the general cleanliness of the reception area and stairways. The second task is to socialize the cats that are ready for adoption. By playing and handling the cats and kittens, the students help the animals become accustomed to being with people and will aid in the adopted cats starting out their new life with a family more socialized.

The Fairfax Animal Shelter in Fairfax County is the main shelter for dogs and other small animals in the area. Students who go to this site help the shelter keep the re-usable supplies clean and ready to use again. The students wash/dry and fold towels and sanitize the animal toys. After the tasks are completed, one of the students actually “earns” time with the shelter’s rabbits. This particular animal is a favorite of the student and he is motivated by this special time with the bunnies.

The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program in Clifton is a special place that offers equine therapy to individuals with disabilities. Our students have worked there for several years and have done everything from mucking the stalls of the horses, to clearing the fields of debris and polishing tack. Students like the quiet environment of the farm and have enjoyed being around the horses.

At Riverbend Park, our students assist the staff in direct animal caretaking by keeping the reptile areas clean. Students who particularly like reptiles are able to handle the animals while cleaning their cages and providing the animals with fresh water and bedding. The students help in both the Visitor Center and the Nature Center on separate days. They also help take care of the rabbits at the Visitor Center on one of the work days. It has been surprising to see how many students like handling turtles, snakes and other reptiles.

In addition to the above sites, the students also help take care of the rescue cats at a local pet store. The students are asked to clean the cat cage, write impressions of the cat’s state at the time of the visit and then hold the cats for a little time to cuddle them.

Future plans involve PHILLIPS developing a “farm” work experience program at Frying Pan Park. This program will help the students develop their stamina by working longer during the day at the site. The new volunteer work opportunity will begin in February focusing on general farm tasks and animal care and then include some gardening and horticulture farm tasks as spring arrives. We are very excited about this new opportunity! Overall, the relationship we have built with the different animal agencies is a great benefit to our students and gives the students a variety of experiences in the animal care career cluster of jobs. In addition, the students are able to give back to the community by helping in the agencies’ mission of saving, and protecting animals.

Save the Date for our 1st Annual 5K!

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On May 19, 2018 PHILLIPS Programs is hosting our first annual 5K fun run/ 1k walk to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and support our Food for Thought program.  Join us for a wonderful morning at scenic Burke Lake Park.  Plan to walk, run or roll and support your community!  Sponsorships are available!  Contact Debi.Alexander@phillipsprograms.org or call 703-941-8810!

"Their potential, our commitment"

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eNewsletterEvan Szymanski