Scottsdale Leadership efforts provide local nonprofit with recreational space

Community members gathered for a ground-breaking at The New Foundation on Wednesday, April 19. (submitted photo)

Students at a south Scottsdale behavior health facility will soon be enjoying a completed outdoor “stress relief” and activity area after the Scottsdale community banded together to raise over $20,000.

Located in south Scottsdale, non-profit organization The New Foundation has been providing teens and families therapeutic behavioral health and education programs for over 40 years.

Designed for teens aged 11-17, the New Foundation provides a way to break the barrier of the typical residential treatment program in the way they provide care, according to a press release. The approach taken by staff is one example of the unique organization.

“Our first priority is to establish a feeling of safety through structure and predictability,” said Tiffiney Johnson, VP of program services, in the press release.

A team is formed with the adolescent, family, case worker, court, and clinician, to explore causes and functionality of behaviors, and then utilize intervention strategies that lead to skill development.

Raffle participants at Black Starr & Frost. (submitted photo)

“We relentlessly and strategically pull the child into new patterns of success through therapeutic and behavioral management strategies,” Ms. Johnson explained of utilizing a “Nurtured Heart Approach,” in the press release.

The success with this approach has helped many families and adolescents feel hopeful, optimistic, and motivated for their own future, the press release stated.

The New Foundation believes hiring experienced staff who are compassionate and dedicated to working with adolescents is the key. They call this “expertise with a heart.”

“When I enter the doors of The New Foundation, I know what I am doing will change a life,” CEO and President, Cindy Quenneville, said in the press release.  “The compassion and dedication that each staff member has for the students is why I chose to work here. The team here believes everyone can succeed.”

Along with a customized treatment approach and excellent staff The New Foundation understands that creating a wellness program that is holistic in nature is vital for recovery.

This includes integrating education, counseling services, talk therapy, medication management, and a healthy diet and exercise. It has been proven that regular exercise can relieve stress and reduce depressive symptoms, the press release stated.

The current campus has an open space for “stress relief” that is integrated in the curriculum but it lacks turf or a soft surface for recreational activities. The vision of the staff, Board of Directors and youth was to create a fun, safe place where they can play football, hopscotch, soccer, etc.

It was Scottsdale Leadership’s Team Two Infinity who wanted to help with this project. They formed focus groups with the youth and staff to listen to what they wanted for this space.

Within a week, Team Two Infinity named the new project “Their Backyard” with a campaign to spread awareness, raise funds and request in-kind gifts to give the students a new multipurpose space with turf, lighting, sports equipment, and a safe place to play.

Monday night Team Two Infinity had a “draw” party at Phoenix jeweler, Black Starr & Frost, hosted by Al Molina.

Mr. Molina had provided The New Foundation and Team Two Infinity with a $14,700 diamond necklace to sell raffle tickets to raise funds for “Their Backyard,” the press release stated.

The community showed up as well as celebrity Chef Eddie Matney who provided food for the celebration.

Over $18,000 of ticket sales alone were raised.

“I didn’t have a backyard growing up either and I wanted to help these kids have a better life,” Mr. Molina explained in the press release, when asked why he had had helped.

Team Two Infinity has raised an additional $5,000 and is continuing its fundraising efforts on behalf of The New Foundation.

“I hope someday we can play on turf or a soft surface, especially after dinner when it’s usually too dark,” one child shared during a focus group, the press release stated.

“Stress relief is my favorite part of the day.  It’s the time I get to have fun with my friends.  I also learned how important it is for me to have time like this to cope with my anxiety and depression. ”

On the morning of Wednesday, April 19, Team Two Infinity broke ground on “Their Backyard.”

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Scottsdale Police Commander Rich Slavins, Scottsdale Fire Department representatives and The New Foundation’s leadership team were all in attendance.

In a few weeks the project will be completed and the kids will have “Their Backyard,” paid for in full by the generous donations of many in the community. When members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Team Two Infinity were asked to comment, their only response was that “it’s not about us, it’s about the kids”.

In 2016, over 470 youth and families were treated by The New Foundation, more than half of those individuals suffering from depression. Depression is just one of the diagnosis that is treated in the residential and outpatient programs at The New Foundation.

Among others include anxiety, bipolar, mood instability, substance abuse and trauma.

If you know a teen who is suffering from a mental illness or addiction or for more information about the programs at The New Foundation call 480-945-3302 or email

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