(Marlborough, Mass.) – As SADD moves towards its milestone 35th anniversary, Dawn M. Teixeira, a Massachusetts native, takes the helm as President and CEO. Together with the national board of directors, staff, and thousands of volunteers across the country, Teixeira’s vision will advance the strategic work of empowering young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them daily.
“SADD students are the best and brightest, our future leaders,” remarks Teixeira. “These young people are taking control of their lives, making healthy and safe life decisions and committed to being the positive peer influencers in their schools and communities. I am honored to lead SADD into its 35th year anniversary and beyond.” The CEO’s top priorities are four-fold: enhancing programming; strengthening the bond between chapters and the National office; showcasing the caring, hardworking and intelligent young people who are making a difference in the world; and further diversifying the organization’s funding streams. Highly experienced in working with nonprofit boards and working collaboratively with a broad spectrum of high-level corporate, civic and government leaders, Teixeira is passionate about helping others.
“We enthusiastically welcome Dawn Teixeira to the executive leadership of SADD, a role she assumes at a critical juncture for the organization as we implement a five-year strategic plan to engage our young people, their families, and community leaders across the nation in carrying out our mission” remarks Danna Mauch, national chairman. “We are confident she will have a transformational impact on the future of the organization and on the lives of those SADD serves.” According to SADD’s strategic directive, the national organization creates, equips and sustains a network of thousands of chapters across the country, empowering young people to save lives in their neighborhoods and across the nation through peer-led programming and the support of an inclusive peer community. SADD fosters a sense of belonging and promotes resiliency, leadership and advocacy skills so that young people make positive life choices.
Prior to the SADD appointment, Teixeira served as a nonprofit consultant assisting a variety of organizations in the fields of military support services, housing, healthcare and education in Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. She is a founding member and past executive director of Homes for Our Troops, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the nation dedicated to rebuilding the lives of our nation’s most severely wounded veterans and their families by providing them with new, specially-adapted and mortgage-free homes. A North Dighton resident, Teixeira is a summa cum laude graduate of Northeastern University.
Dawn Teixeira succeeds Penny Wells, who served for 15 years as SADD’s executive director, president and CEO.
For 34 years, SADD, Inc., headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., has been committed to empowering young people to successfully navigate the risks and pressures of everyday life. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD has become the nation’s leading peer-to-peer youth health and safety organization, with thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
An inclusive organization, SADD welcomes all youth seeking support for healthy and safe development. SADD promotes broad understanding of the risks facing youth and the importance of reinforcing protective factors. This is accomplished through scientifically-supported programs and practices and by sharing youth voices and youth perspectives on issues, laws and policies involving the education, culture, health, safety and treatment of youth. We will be effective in accomplishing our mission through caring, compassionate, committed reinforcement of protective factors and elimination of risk factors for individual teens, and by pursuing best practices, sharing scientific knowledge and integrating evidence-based approaches into our work from concept to implementation to evaluation.
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