eNewsletter June 2018

A Message from the President

June marks an important milestone in the educational journey for many and the beginning of transitions to new ventures and challenges. We salute our PHILLIPS graduating class of 2018 who completed their high school career this school year. At PHILLIPS we have a vision of success for all of our youth and help to instill that belief in them as they gain the necessary skills to move on from PHILLIPS. 

Every day we strive to prepare our students for the next step in life as young adults; however, despite this preparation there are concerns about the availability of sufficient options as our youth leave school or transition to work.

That is why we continue to expand our Career Partners program to provide the skills and experiences to ensure our youth will thrive. We are close to the end of our Changing the Employment Landscape for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs capital campaign to expand Career Partners. We are seeking corporate partners to complete the start up costs for this transformative program.  Why become a partner?  First, it is the right thing to do.  Furthermore, companies need to support the safety net in our community to maintain relevance and ensure equality and dignity for everyone where we live, work and play.  If you would like to help us complete the funding  and enable our vision for transitioning youth, I'd love to hear from you! 


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Piper Phillips Caswell

President & CEO



Building Futures ~ Fairfax Students Earn OSHA Certifications

Congratulations to three seniors in PHILLIPS Building Futures ~ Fairfax for earning their OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certification. The OSHA course is a series of online classes focused on safety in the construction trades. This course was above and beyond the students’ normal senior coursework. These dedicated students studied the material presented in each chapter and passed the end of course exam receiving their nationally recognized OSHA card! These seniors are graduating with both experience and industry certification in the building trades.

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3D Design and Print Students Create our Inaugural 5K Medals!

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Our students created the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Men’s and Women’s medals at our inaugural 5K held at Burke Lake Park on May 19. Read about this fabulous event in the Connection Newspaper by clicking here!

Graduation Celebrations

The month of June was filled with four special days at PHILLIPS School ~ Fairfax, PHILLIPS Building Futures ~ Loudoun, PHILLIPS School ~ Annandale, and PHILLIPS School ~ Laurel as we celebrated the accomplishments of our students during our schools’ graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies were attended by the proud families, friends, peers and staff of our graduating students and special guests from the community. Guest speakers from the Chesapeake District Civitan and Rotary Club attended the Annandale ceremony to present two students with awards to recognize their accomplishments not only in the classroom, but in the community.

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On June 6, 2018 the PHILLIPS School ~ Laurel celebrated ten students with a very personal graduation including messages for each graduate from their teachers, thank you videos from the students and awards and presentations! One student summed up PHILLIPS to cheers when she said, "PHILLIPS is not a school - it is home." Tracey Millings, President and Founder of G.R.O.W. by Networking attended the event to learn more about Career Partners - especially our "Snip Snap Saute" Culinary Arts program. All of the reception food was prepped by the students and cooked by Chef Eric. Atiba Wise II was the guest speaker. He understood the path of the youth and provided sound advice and provided a personal example of how hard work can pay off. He is now a decorated Baltimore City Police officer!

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Five students graduated from PHILLIPS ~ Fairfax on June 13, 2018.  The staff worked hard to prepare a meaningful ceremony at the second graduation at our newest campus.  First a 10th grade student opened the ceremony singing the Star Spangled Banner. Mrs. Beth Asiello welcomed parents, friends, family and staff. The Student Council Vice President addressed the gathering and a beautiful 4th grader read "Oh, The Places You Will Go!" The Keynote address was presented by Mrs. Kat Rader, who completed her Masters in Education this year. Mr. Joseph Phillips, Ms. Lawrencia McEachin and Ms. Erin Goodman personally recognized each graduate with tributes filled with special memories of their time at PHILLIPS and charges to reach for the stars.  They also shared their plans following graduation. Each student and staff member who spoke echoed the theme of the day: believe in yourself and pursue your dreams. And always remember that PHILLIPS believes in you.  Program Director Alteasha Ervin closed the day with the following, "Your graduation should serve as a launching point, projecting you to wherever your futures are meant to take you. Remember that the only person that can make your dreams come true is you. You and you alone possess the ability to turn your ideas into reality. If you don’t do it, it can’t happen. My hope, my prayer, my desire, is that you DREAM IT, BELIEVE IT & DO IT!"

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On June 14, PHILLIPS ~ Annandale graduated 28 students. It marked the 46th year that our beloved program director, Trudy Bell, has worked at PHILLIPS. Our President & CEO, Piper Phillips Caswell announced a new award to forever commemorate Trudy's 46 years of service, saying, "In recognition of all Trudy has brought to us: her superb leadership, guidance and mentoring to thousands of students and staff, unparalleled commitment and ultimate devotion to our students and our staff, we are announcing a new award, the Trudy Bell Award." The award was presented to a young lady by Sarah Tinsley, a third generation member of the PHILLIPS staff!  The PHILLIPS graduations are a very moving time of year.  Staff at each campus work hard to make our Seniors last days memorable.  Special thanks to Erin Bischoff for coordinating the Senior breakfast and Jasmine Ramirez for planning the graduation ceremony.  It takes hundreds of hands to create  this special day, but their leadership is a key to the huge success!

A Senior's Story:  Heading to Prince George's Community College!


"K" has been attending PHILLIPS for four years.  He had difficulty focusing on academics.  He is very bright which enables him to skate by with less effort that he should put forth.  He also had problems interacting positively; and had difficulty maintaining appropriate social interactions.  He would internalize his feelings and is very quiet.  "K" is a really good kid and plugged along making small but significant gains throughout his time here.  He was a very successful participant in both our Education for Employment and 3D design and print programs and is graduating with his diploma.    "K" was accepted by both University of Maryland and Prince George's Community College.  He will pursue an Associates Degree in game design.

Celebrating the Decades 50th Anniversary Gala Results

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our community, the 23rd annual gala raised $301,000!  Proceeds from the event were applied to our Changing the Employment Landscape for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs campaign! 

To view photos from the gala click here!


Support youth with behavioral health needs by recommending a gift to PHILLIPS  Programs through you donor advised fund!  Contribute today by clicking on this DAF Direct Link!

You can close the gap!

Please select "Capital Campaign" under the drop down Program Menu

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Contact PHILLIPS ~ Career Partners Director Lindsay.Harris@phillipsprograms.org for information about the career programs we offer across campuses including Building Futures (building trades skills), Growing Futures (culinary arts and urban agriculture skills) and Designing Futures, (3D design and print) along with over 40 years of Education for Employment (partnering with businesses in the community to gain job experiences)!

BDO Counts Day at PHILLIPS ~ Laurel

Wow!  What a lot was accomplished on the BDO Counts Service Day at our Laurel campus!

We are so grateful for the outpouring of community service!  Murals were painted, students were interviewed, our home grown zinnias were planted, the paths were cleared for outdoor education access, cars were washed and many other tasks completed. 

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On behalf of the students and staff we hope your team felt the enormous benefit of the day as we did. Everyone at PHILLIPS was inspired by your team's hard work and willingness to come and help us. This is our only service day so its impact is great. Thank you again for all the coordination and the generous spirit of the BDO team.

Tower Club YEX Golf Classic Benefits PHILLIPS On October 1, 2018!

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PHILLIPS Programs is delighted to share that the Young Executives Committee of the Tower Club is hosting a Charity Golf Outing with proceeds supporting the PHILLIPS "Changing the Employment Landscape for Youth" capital campaign to build a commercial kitchen, vertical farm and support our Career Partners Program!



  • Do you want to serve on the exclusive Host Committee?
  • Volunteer time, treasure or talent?
  • Reserve your slot or foursome?
  • Donate an item to the raffle or auction?

Become involved in the Inaugural YEX Charity Golf Outing today by contacting YEX Chair Justin Fleshman at jfleshman@valiantsolutions.com.

Thank you to our staff!

Every year the staff from all of our campuses band together to create our signature baskets at the gala.  Their generous donations of time, treasure and talent raises significant funds and is 100% donated - a huge benefit to our largest fundraiser each year!

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PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families is a private, non-profit organization serving the complex needs of children and youth living with cognitive, emotional and/or behavioral challenges in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Through excellence in specialized education, community programs and individualized support services, we provide our children and families every advantage to ensure they develop to achieve their greatest individual success. Their potential is our commitment.