Director of Operations
Yaridania Betancourt, Director of Operations, has worked in the children’s welfare sector since 2002. Previous positions include Senior Youth Development Counselor, Permanency Unit Caseworker for Good Shepherd Services, and Program Coordinator of Alternative to Incarceration with YAP, Inc. Bronx AIM program. She joined You Gotta Believe (YGB) in 2016 as the Nobody Ages Out Program Coordinator. She was responsible for overseeing contractual relationships with foster agencies and is still the primary staff member collecting, analyzing, and presenting data on program outcomes. Yaridania entered the foster care system at 13 and endured several placements in group residences. At the age of 19, she signed herself out of foster care, returning to her biological mother; however, the family dynamics and needs that existed prior were not addressed, and it was not long before Yaridania found herself “couch-surfing” with friends, while she searched for her extended family members whom, she wanted to be with. After a year, she reconnected with her Godmother and went to live with her. It was a critical decision that started to shift the trajectory of her life for the better. A few years later, Yaridania took an opportunity to work as a youth development counselor (YDC) at the same group home she signed herself out. Her career to give back and become an advocate for youth in foster care was born. During her time as a (YDC) Yaridania connected with a 13-year-old youth who, at age 21, aged out to an NYCHA apartment. Though she had a biological family, they could not actively support AE. Yaridania remained in the youth’s life, and not soon after, AE asked her to be her “second mom.” AE, now 33 years old, lives independently, is thriving, and continues to have the unconditional commitment, support, and love of Yaridania.