A column by Allison Lake, executive director, Westchester Children’s Association

What is your vision for WCA they ask?

I answered this question as part of my interview for the current executive director position and shared responses with my board, staff and funders — but the curiosity remains. I guess it is only natural, as I have recently taken the helm of this 105 year old, children’s advocacy organization in Westchester County.

My answer “that WCA will be a dynamic agency that remains relevant in rapidly changing times”. Translation — We are fierce advocates and defenders of children.

Six months into the executive director position and I vacillate between still learning and feeling like “I got this”. Leadership, particularly…


Quick! What’s the age of criminal responsibility in New York State?

As of today, the answer is 17. One year from now, on October 1, 2019, it will increase to 18. This means that youth under the age of 18 will no longer be tried in the adult criminal justice system. My organization, Westchester Children’s Association (WCA), worked long and hard with other organizations and individuals across the state to make this happen.

When New York State passed the Raise the Age (RTA) law last April, it brought our state into line with the rest of the country. Until then, New York was one of only two states that automatically charged…


Do you have time for a second cup of coffee?

September 1st marked 2 months for me as the new executive director (ED) of Westchester Children’s Association (WCA). I was on the road for much of that time, first with my up-for-any-adventure husband on a 30th anniversary trip to the Pacific Northwest and California, then at a retreat for new EDs in Park City, Utah, with Partnership for America’s Children. So this job is still new, yet not brand new. I was with WCA for the past 10 years as deputy director and before that for 10 more as project coordinator.

I have a lot of history with this organization…

Allison Lake

Executive Director of Westchester Children’s Association

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