Starting January 2024, MCCOY will welcome Elizabeth (Liz) Coit as our next executive director to bring a new era of leadership for youth development in Central Indiana.
We had the opportunity to ask Liz a little about herself and what she looks forward to as the next Executive Director at MCCOY. Here’s what she had to say…
Can you share a little about yourself and what interested you in becoming Executive Director at MCCOY?
I have spent years working in the not-for-profit sector supporting youth and their families, and those who work with youth. Before that, I served in various leadership roles in the for-profit sector creating new products, serving and growing new markets, designing systems and building teams to succeed. This experience gives me an interesting perspective as we focus attention on the challenges facing youth in Central Indiana.
We are seeing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety among young people, stresses on our education system, and too few resources available to support those who serve youth. MCCOY serves an important role in these areas, focusing on the bigger picture ways they can serve our community and the future of our young people – through advocacy, capacity building, resource sharing, and by connecting us to each other to do better. I am excited to join my experience and talents with those of the team that is MCCOY to continue MCCOY’s important work!
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe in the power of collaboration, the value of diverse thoughts and style, leveraging the skills and talents of as broad a network as we can to achieve the mission. I like to think and be creative in solving the issues we face. As the daughter of an engineer, and someone who holds degrees in analytics and strategy, you will find that I am data driven and impact oriented. I will annoy you with the questions: How do we know it is working? Can we do more? Can we do better? And there will be a day when I will drop an outrageous new idea that might just work. But above all my goal is to embrace the mission and enjoy the work we do.
What do you see as the most pressing challenges facing youth in Central Indiana today?
Choices! I am struck by the choices today’s youth are faced with and how little our community and systems have adapted to support them. From questions of gender identity to school choice to the complicated web of public health and politics that confront us all and affect our youth directly – kids today are asking and facing questions generations before them have not. And all of that on top of the challenges they already faced – adequate housing, access to and support in education, violence in their neighborhoods, etc. Our ability to recognize these challenges, frame the questions and design a system of support is lagging the need in real ways.
MCCOY’s roles as youth advocate, connector, gateway to resources, and as a leader in capacity building are critical as our community addresses these pressing issues facing youth. Our existing and evolving programs are so well designed to fill the gaps. From the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council which continues to give voice to youth leaders, to the coalitions we support, the Learning Network, and the exciting Mental Health Matters initiatives, MCCOY plays a key role in serving youth in Central Indiana. I am excited by the opportunity to take these programs further and deeper to fulfill MCCOY’s important mission.
What are you most excited about for MCCOY in 2024?
MCCOY is poised to make a difference in new ways. Exciting initiatives coming in 2024 include the Youth Worker Well-Being initiative — bringing telehealth and virtual mental health services to 10,000 youth workers in Indiana; continuing our Closing the Gap project — bringing community partnerships/resources into schools; Youth Day at the Statehouse – teaching our youth to advocate in a system that generally operates without their voice. MCCOY fulfills an important role as a leader in supporting youth and youth workers in Central Indiana. And this is work that MCCOY is uniquely qualified to do. I am excited to join this team at such a critical time in the development of youth services!