COA Youth & Family Centers
Nov 09, 2018
Tom Schneider Ex. Dir. COA Youth & Family Centers
COA Youth & Family Centers

COA Youth & Family Centers was founded in 1906 by a group of women who sought to provide families in poverty the means to achieve self-sufficiency and raise healthy, productive, successful children. Following the framework of Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, they established Milwaukee’s first Settlement House, and through this holistic model of community service, they provided an array of resources for families.

Today, COA's mission is to help Milwaukee children, teens, and families reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational, and social work programs offered at its urban community centers, rural camp facility, and partnering Milwaukee Public Schools. COA’s philosophy is that the best way to achieve positive outcomes for youth is through a family-centered approach that engages parents in their child’s education, growth, and development. This philosophy is woven through COA's entire programming continuum, which is comprised of three core focus areas: Early Child Development (ages 0-6), Youth Development (ages 7-18), and Community Development. COA programs will serve over 10,000 children and families this year. All programs are inclusive and provided regardless of the participant's ability to pay. And 110 years of experience and innovation make COA Youth & Family Centers a smart investment.

Over 90 cents of every dollar donated to COA goes directly to our family-centered programs. Plus, Charity Navigator (a national evaluator of nonprofits) has awarded COA its highest four-star rating for 13 years in a row, highlighting COA’s transparency and financial accountability. COA is in the top ten rated nonprofits statewide and is the highest rated children and family services agency in Wisconsin.

Thomas P. Schneider has served as COA’s Executive Director for since 2001. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Tom currently serves on the Board of the United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM), Safe & Sound, and the Campaign Cabinet of United Way of Greater Milwaukee. He is the founder of Milwaukee Weed & Seed and co-founder of the Milwaukee HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) and Safe & Sound (a community-wide crime prevention initiative).