children from friends of the children celebrating

Friends of the Children – Boston

Friends of the Children is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing youth facing the toughest challenges with 12.5 years of relentless professional mentoring from kindergarten to high school graduation, no matter what. The Friends of the Children model was developed in Portland, OR in 1993, built around a simple idea: enter the lives of children who face the toughest challenges early and provide them with a dedicated, caring adult who stays by their side. Friends of the Children-Boston was founded in 2004 as an independent 501(c)(3) using that same national model. They were the first organization established in Boston by the GreenLight Fund, a venture philanthropy firm that brings innovative nonprofits from around the nation to Boston.  

Yi-Chin Chen, Executive Director

Yi-Chin Chen serves as the Executive Director of Friends of the Children–BostonShe is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and managing the day to day operations. Since joining Friends–Boston in late 2015, Yi-Chin has led the effort to successfully elevate the organization’s public profile as the only organization in the state of Massachusetts making a long-term, unconditional, commitment of support to children facing the highest risks utilizing a professional mentoring model. 

As an immigrant born and raised in Taiwan, Yi-Chin is a strong advocate for building a pipeline of leaders of color in the city of Boston. She currently serves on several cities and state-wide boards and committees, including Boston Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Board of Directors, Boston University School of Social Work Alumni Board, and Harvard Catalyst Community Advisory Board. As a graduate of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP), she serves as a Senior Fellow and a mentor to several up and coming nonprofit leaders through INP. In her spare time, Yi-Chin volunteers with several animal rescue organizations and participates in local Help-Portrait events as a volunteer portraiture photographer.