Who We Are
Lead4Life, Inc. (L4L) was founded in 2008 in an effort to reduce the number of youth and young adults entering the juvenile justice system, as well as many out-of-home placements, and the youth recidivism rate in our surrounding communities. Our programs are developed utilizing restorative justice, strength-based models, trauma-informed approaches, client-centered practices, and community service initiatives. Together, we are the village making a difference.
Our story began in 2008, after our founder, Jennifer Gauthier, known to our participants and their families as “Ms. Jen,” had dedicated countless hours working with multiple non-profits and decided that she wanted to start one of her own. As a child, Gauthier overcame the challenges of domestic violence and teen pregnancy, and as an adult she turned homelessness into financial independence—so she understood the fundamental need of empathy and compassion.
From her own life experiences and from serving the community, she recognized her calling to “serve the underserved”—by helping youth and adults in the criminal justice system—and set out to make her vision a reality. With hard work and determination, Lead4Life has evolved into a family of inspiring individuals—staff, mentors, volunteers, and participants—who come together to make a powerful, positive change.
Lead4Life’s mission is to empower individuals to overcome adversity by providing the tools to guide them through their journey with authenticity and transparency.
Integrity: We demonstrate the qualities of honesty, equity, and moral principles. These unify us as a team while we uphold the highest level of ethical standards as we serve the community and our participants.
Balance: We acknowledge that achieving a good work-life balance is essential to high performance which translates directly into success and unparalleled results within a productive work environment and in the lives of each participant.
Accountability: We take the initiative to own our responsibilities and to exceed expectations. We are accountable to one another, our participants, our partners, and the organization.
Teamwork: We work collaboratively to be more effective, efficient, and enhance each individual’s leadership abilities and goals to ensure participants and team members reach their fullest potential while ensuring equality.
Commitment: We are devoted to having a growth mindset to do what it takes to support our participants, team members, and community members to contribute to our vision as an organization.
How We’ve Helped the Community
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Provided to Families
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Founder & Executive Director
As the Founder and Executive Director of Lead4Life, Inc., Jennifer Gauthier brings personal experience and professional training to her work of empowering adolescents and young adults in the criminal justice system.
Gauthier graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Social Work. With her ample knowledge from working with high risk youth and their families, Ms. Gauthier utilizes her voice and natural passion to inspire and promote positive change in the daily lives of the young men and women she encounters. As a firm believer in restorative practices, strength-based programs, and accessible services, Gauthier hopes sharing her own challenges and victories will help at least one person on their journey to self-discovery and successful independence.