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After an extensive search, the Rye Youth Council welcomed Diane Rosenthal as its new executive director June 20.

“We believe that Diane’s considerable experience in youth development, her fundraising skills, and her many years working in the non-profit sector will help take our organization to the next level,” said Board President Lisa Dominici Faries.

Rosenthal worked previously as executive director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and in the same position at Literacy Volunteers prior to that.

In just a few short weeks Rosenthal already has a good feel about the job and the community. “I am glad to have the opportunity to continue working with young people and pleased to work in a town with such an involved and committed community,” she said in an interview at her office on the second floor of the Rye YMCA this week. She added, “And I’m proud to be a part of an organization like the Youth Council, which provides a safety network. With its long history as a youth advocate, it’s unique in Westchester.”

While Rosenthal is still getting her feet wet — with internal tasks, paperwork — she has already met with school principals and a number of local leaders, and she is thinking ahead.

“I’d like to be a thought leader, addressing the increasing challenges youth face, working together with other local organizations,” she stated. “I want the Council to be both a partner and a player.”

She has been working with the Westchester Children’s Association in White Plains and is excited about their GPS (Global Policy Solutions) for kids.

Among her goals at the Youth Council is expanding the kinds of workshops offered and the youth employment field. “We’re taking a closer look at where we’ve had success and we will build on that. We’re also focusing on ways to ensure teens make healthy choices and not succumb to peer pressure, which is enormous.”

Rosenthal earned her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and her M.A. in Education at Fordham. She went on to doctoral studies in Dance History. What wasn’t in the Youth Council press release is the fact that she was also a professional dancer, with the American Dance Theater. (We hope to learn a few steps from her at the Youth Council gala at the Capitol Theatre November 18.)

Married and the mother of two grown children, she is happy to share that her children are following in her footsteps — her son is head of the upper school at a New York City private school and her daughter works for a nonprofit. “They’re both safely out of the nest.”

 

— Robin Jovanovich


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