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YouthTruth Executive Director Jen Vorse Wilka to Leave Role in February 2024

Date: January 17, 2024

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Media Contact: Chloe Heskett, Editor & Writer, Programming and External Relations, CEP | | (617) 395-4092

CEP’s Jen Vorse Wilka announced she will be leaving her position as executive director of YouthTruth at end of February 2024. Wilka has led YouthTruth through a period of rapid growth since she became executive director in 2015. She first joined CEP in 2011.  YouthTruth, an initiative of CEP, harnesses student perceptions to help educators and education funders accelerate improvements. Under Wilka’s leadership, YouthTruth has surveyed millions of students in addition to families and staff, informing feedback-driven change and improvement among schools, school districts, and education funders. Total revenues have grown by more than five times during her tenure and the staff has increased dramatically and now numbers 18. “Jen Vorse Wilka has been a transformational leader,” said CEP President Phil Buchanan. “She has provided strategic clarity and direction and taken YouthTruth from a promising idea to a national force.” In addition to providing tailored comparative feedback to education funders, school districts, and schools, YouthTruth draws on its massive data set to publish research reports on the student experience of key issues, from math education to bullying. “Too often, the most relevant voices are the ones least listened to,” said Buchanan. “Under Jen’s leadership, YouthTruth has sought to change that.” “I’ve cherished the work that we do, the incredible people I’ve had the privilege to work with, and the mission we strive towards,” said Wilka. “I’m so proud of YouthTruth’s journey, what we’ve built together, and the impact we’ve had on countless schools, districts, funders, and students – and I’m leaving with the utmost confidence in the team to carry forward this critical work uplifting student voice.” YouthTruth’s Director of Organizational Learning and Communications Jen de Forest, Ed.D. will serve as interim executive director as CEP and YouthTruth launch a national search for new leadership in the coming months. 

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