Astrid Wielens joins AYF as Senior Health and Safety Director

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Astrid Wielens

2020 has been a challenging year for all nonprofit organizations as reduced revenues put a strain on human resources. This month, Zebra Crossings and the American Youth Foundation advanced their organizational partnership in an innovative way: by formally sharing staff time and expertise.

Astrid Wielens will join the AYF part-time as the Senior Health and Safety Director. She will also continue in her role as Executive Director of Zebra Crossings, a nonprofit that tailors safe experiential programs for children who have a chronic medical condition.

Wielens brings deep knowledge to her new role, having worked 14 years for the AYF prior to founding Zebra Crossings. For the past nine years, both nonprofits have enjoyed collaborating to deliver programs that serve youth and families. This partnership will strengthen the operating abilities of both organizations.

The planning and decision process for the 2021 program season is the highest priority for both organizations as we explore the feasibility of running safe programs supported by strong COVID-19 protocols. Astrid’s dual role will bring efficiency and expertise to the AYF as it navigates the difficult terrain posed by the pandemic.

Wielens is grateful for the strength, expertise, and stability the AYF will bring to Zebra Crossings, and the AYF is grateful to gain her considerable expertise as it plans for the 2021 season. Most importantly, our youth and families can make decisions about participating in 2021 events with confidence, knowing two strong organizations are focused on their best interests.

Right now, the AYF is taking time to better understand how other camps operated this summer, how academic institutions navigate this pandemic, and if an effective vaccine will be widely available by the 2021 camp season. As this information is gathered, the start of the typical enrollment period is delayed. The AYF will share its plan for the upcoming summer season in early 2021.

Stay updated and engaged with the AYF community online and on Facebook and Instagram (MerrowvistaMiniwanca). There, you’ll find more information about plans for 2021, links to join us on Zoom for monthly Evening Reflections, and you can sign up to receive the AYF’s monthly Founder Sparks email newsletter.