The Village Making a Difference


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ABC47 Interview on August 30, 2017

ABC47 Interview on June 26, 2017

Voted Top Ten by Ebony Magazine!

Americorps Members Engage Youth on Lead4Life Renovation Project

Harris' Heroes: Lead4Life program empowers boys to turn their lives around



Lead4Life Golf Tournament Fundraiser (September 2017)

View photos from our amazing golf tournament. Thank you to everyone for your support in Lead4Life's mission to improve the lives of youth across the State of Maryland!!

View Photos

Non-profit organization expands; offers guidance for youth - WMDT

Watch the Eastern Shore 47ABC interview with Lead4Life Executive Director, Jennifer Gautheir.

Watch at ABC-WMDT, Channel 47

Americorps Members Engage Youth on Lead4Life Renovation Project

"...students from Good Counsel High School joined RTMC’s AmeriCorps members Claire Durst and Lianna Harbeson in performing a facility renovation project on the Lead4Life nonprofit in Rockville..."

Read more at Rebuilding Together MC

Voted Top Ten by Ebony Magazine!

"...Teach our girls how to communicate through nonviolence...We can find ways for girls to center their stories and communicate with tools that will give them the capacity to be genuinely empowered, rather than temporarily feared..."


Harris' Heroes: Lead4Life program empowers boys to turn their lives around

"...Inside the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services Frederick Office, a group of young men are writing new chapters in their lives. It's part of a program called "First Chance for You" run by the nonprofit organization Lead4Life..."

Read more at ABC News - WJLA

Troubled Teens Blossom in Strength-based Program With Caring Adults

"...Lead4Life, Inc. in Maryland provides community-based gender-specific programming for girls who are involved with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of being placed out of their homes due to negative behaviors displayed in the community, school and home...Throughout the program, we are able to see these girls blossom..."

Read more at Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

Staff Who Work Directly With Youth Need to Feel Appreciated to Avoid Burnout

"...As an executive of programs that serve a majority of youth who are underserved, I recognize that it is key for every staff member to feel empowered, that their opinion matters and that their input aids program development and implementation. ..."

Read more at Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

About Us

Lead4Life, Inc. (L4L) was founded in 2008 in an effort to reduce the number of youth entering the juvenile justice system, the number of out-of-home placements, and the youth recidivism rate. L4L’s programs are developed utilizing restorative practices, strength-based and Positive Youth Development models. These programs help youth and their families address negative behaviors that all too often result in involvement with our criminal justice system.

L4L staff, mentors, and volunteers work together to empower individuals to develop positive life, social and competency skills, enabling them to become productive community members. Services such as alternative to detention programs, diversion, and grassroots mentoring are provided both in the community and in youth detention facilities.

Lead4Life is a community-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that serves Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Board of Directors

Linda Currie, Vice Chair
Tony Hernandez, Executive Member
Phillip Perry, Executive Member

Our Founder

Jennifer Gauthier “Ms. Jen” is the Founder and Executive Director of Lead4Life, Inc. Ms. Gauthier’s life experiences are not a prerequisite for working with troubled teens. However, Ms. Gauthier brings both life experience and professional training to her work of empowering young people and young adults in the criminal justice system.

Gauthier graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Social Work. As a child, Gauthier overcame the challenges of domestic violence and teen pregnancy. As an adult, Gauthier turned homelessness into financial independence.

Gauthier has found her voice in her vocation. She has ample experience working with high risk youth and their families. She has a natural passion to empower and believe in the power of young men and women; and to make positive changes in their daily living. She has empathy and truly understands where many youth are in life.

Gauthier is committed to working with youth and adults. She hopes her challenges and victories will help at least one person.

Sponsors and Partners

Ausherman Foundation

Ausherman Foundation

Logo of Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention

Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention

MC Collaboration Council

MC Collaboration Council

Logo of MC County

Montgomery County Government






I’m not a regular member, but just by sitting here, I can tell that this group is different from all the other groups I’ve been in. In those groups, they help because they’re getting paid. They don’t really care. But, this group – you can feel the love."

Female visitor in FC4U Girl's Group

People used to call me heartless. I could be mean. I didn’t care about other people. But L4L and Ms. Jen opened their arms. She doesn’t judge. This program makes me become a better person. It makes me want to help other people. You see things differently. It used to be all about me. Now, I care about how I think about people. I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I put it in a nicer way."

Hasina, FC4U Girl's Group participant

The first time I came to the group, I came late. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t care about this.’ But, then after a while, I got closer to Ms. Jen. Me and her got together, and we became close. It just made me realize that in life, it’s not about giving up. It’s about pushing yourself. I was, like, a junior when I came here. When I was in 12th grade, I started getting my grades up. I became an Honor Roll student, I got a job and everything. Everything was going well for me. If Ms. Jen can put up with us and all we’ve done in life, I believe that I can make a change in life. I chose a major to be a social worker to help others. Ms. Jen led me to become someone who can help others."

Mona, FC4U Girl's Group participant

It was a wonderful program that kept me from having a juvenile record. "

Youth in the JEDI program

I want to express my deep appreciation for the work that the Lead4Life program has done for my family, and namely for my precious 15-year old daughter. My experience with the Lead4Life team has been nothing short of a great experience. During the time-frame of August 2012 to mid-October 2012, I found myself completely at a loss and deeply troubled with my daughter’s behavior, as she was on a path of destruction. I was completely at a loss and feeling like I had nowhere to turn for answers. I was starting to become hopeless, as I was on the brink of having to send her away. I am truly thankful to the Lead4Life program and Kelsey…for everything they have done. It is greatly appreciated, and has made a tremendous difference in our lives. I can really see it in my daughter."

Mr. Fleming, Father of a JEDI participant

Lead4Life has helped not only my child, but my family. They worked with us to make sure our family received the needed community-based programs. They went above and beyond to get us food, clothing, and needed house items. My family is extremely grateful. "

Mother of a participant in the Mentoring Program

The Care Coordinator listened very carefully. I felt the program Lead4Life was very effective. I believe this program is proactive and not reactive. All persons involved were realistic, positive, and encouraging to the youth, definitely to my young man."

Parent of Youth in the JEDI program

Contact / Volunteer

Employment Opportunities

Lead4Life, Inc. is actively recruiting for the following positions.

Email for more information and to submit your resume.No phone inquiries please.

Part-time Therapists

Deadline: Ongoing

Part-time LCSW-Cs and LGSWs who are licensed in the state of Maryland to work w/individuals at our Evening Reporting Center, in the community, or in one of our offices. Employees are compensated on a fee-for-service basis which allows for flexible hours and high earning potential. Expected annual income averages from $25,000-$35,000 per year. Benefits and clinical supervision are also available. Positive and supportive work environment. Part-time employment only, in-state/ active MD licensure required.

Job Description - Part-time Therapist