Collier Youth Services to Host “Hearts of Hope” Breakfast

February 12, 2019
Collier Youth Hope Breakfast

Collier Youth Services, a non-profit organization that provides educational, residential, and recreational programs to young people in need, is proud to announce that its second-annual “Hearts of Hope” breakfast will take place on Tuesday, February 12 from 8:15-9:30 a.m. at Buona Sera Catering at the Palazzo, in Ocean Township. The keynote speaker for the women’s breakfast is Marybeth Walz, Co-Founder of the Hope for Children Foundation.

Proceeds from Hearts of Hope will support Collier’s residential program in two locations: Collier Group Home in Red Bank and Collier House in Keyport. This unique residential program serves teenage girls who cannot live at home because of abuse, neglect, and trauma as well as young women, ages 18-21, who have “aged out” of the foster care system.

Collier’s residential program offers a safe, structured, and supportive place to live. Essential services include counseling, life skills, mentorship, and personal development. Residents attend local high schools and colleges, work and volunteer, and contribute to the Collier community.

When Collier Group Home first opened in 1973, it was the first residence of its kind for teenage girls in Central New Jersey. Decades later, when the State of New Jersey approached Collier about operating a transitional home for young women discharged from foster care, Collier opened Collier House in 2007.

Today, Collier is proud to operate the only residential program in New Jersey, tailored for young women, that is certified in the Sanctuary Model. This structure empowers teenage girls and young women to develop tools for identifying past trauma and creating positive changes for life success.

As Sister Debbie Drago, executive director of Collier Youth Services, explains, “When young women arrive at Collier Group Home and Collier House, their hearts are full of hope. They are hopeful because they have a safe roof over their head and food to eat. They are full of hope to overcome their trauma and live a life free of abuse and neglect. Their hearts are full of hope for a happy, healthy, successful future.”

Sister Debbie continues,  “Collier’s residential program is an extensive, 365-days-a-year operation run by our highly trained professional staff. We’re uplifting teenage girls who struggle with anxiety, depression, isolation, and other mental health challenges. They’re at high risk for homelessness, human trafficking, and opioid abuse. And these problems certainly don’t disappear when the girls turn 18.”

The Hearts of Hope breakfast helps to raise awareness of the Collier residential program among women in the local community.

“We can’t do this alone,” Sister Debbie admits. “Once other women learn of our residential program, we hope they’ll be inspired by the girls who have survived so much in their young lives. Your heart funds their hope!”

Tickets to the Hearts of Hope breakfast are $40 each. Tax-deductible sponsorships are available from $250 to $2,500 – signifying possibility, dream, hope, and heart for the young women of Collier Group Home and Collier House.

The Hearts of Hope venue, Buona Sera Catering at the Palazzo, located at 1033 West Park Avenue in Ocean Township. To purchase tickets and reserve sponsorships, please visit:

For more information, please contact Mary at 732-946-4771, x213, or

The mission of Collier Youth Services is to empower at-risk youth to grow toward their potential in an environment that promotes belonging, dignity, and hope. This mission is built on an unwavering belief in the worth and potential of all individuals and their capacity for change.

Since 1927, Collier Youth Services has provided unique and dynamic programs that assist young people and their families in building the necessary skills to overcome the adversity, heal from past trauma, and grow toward their potential. This is accomplished through Collier School, Collier Residential Program, and Kateri Day Camp.