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Transforming Juvenile Probation Series: A Conversation with Tracee Perryman

Transforming Juvenile Probation is an Instagram Live series hosted by the Center for Public Justice. Throughout the month of June, CPJ’s Juvenile Justice Fellow Yasmine Arrington will interview four experts in the field to discuss juvenile probation, why reform is needed, and the role the faith community can play. Tune in each Tuesday at noon EST at @centerpublicjustice.

In the final episode of Transforming Juvenile Probation, Yasmine Arrington interviewed Dr. Tracee Perryman, executive director and co-founder of the Center of Hope Family Services in Toledo, Ohio. Throughout their conversation, Yasmine and Dr. Perryman discuss the role of faith-based leaders and faith-based organizations in juvenile probation reform.


  • Building individual and cultural identity in youth is an important part of the prevention process; “children who feel good about themselves are happy, and happy children don’t get in trouble.” 
  • Center for Hope provides social development and life skills programming to teach older youth how to think critically and solve problems.
  • Children often act out when there is family breakdown; Center for Hope’s Family Navigators program aims to support families and prevent family breakdown. 
  • In addition to working with families involved in the juvenile justice system, Family Navigators helps equip parents to cope with adverse situations and connect them with other needed resources, such as counseling, mentorship, or employment opportunities.
  • Starting by addressing contributors to juvenile justice involvement is a way to prevent future contact with the justice system.
  • Starting transformation programs with youth you already have connection with is an important step toward transforming juvenile justice on a broader scale.

Learn more about the speakers

Yasmine “YazzieSpeaks” Arrington was born and raised in Washington, DC. She is a 2015 graduate from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications and History. Yasmine earned her Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Divinity in May 2018. Yasmine was a 2020 Center for Public Justice Sacred Sector Fellow where she had the opportunity to serve as an advocacy intern with Prison Fellowship. 

In 2010, while a junior in high school, Yasmine founded the nonprofit ScholarCHIPS (, an organization that provides college scholarships, mentoring and a support network to children of incarcerated parents, inspiring them to complete their college education. ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $300,000 in college scholarships to 76 scholars, with 30 graduates to date. 

Yasmine is the author of Daily Reflections for Social Entrepreneurs Journal. Yasmine has been featured in TeenVogue, Essence, Black Enterprise, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, the Baltimore Times, and on ABC7 News WJLA and NBC4 for her community work with ScholarCHIPS. Yasmine is a recipient of several awards for her community work including the Linowes Leadership Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Peace First Prize, the DC Social Innovation Prize, Angel Among Us Award by the Negro Council of Women, the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, the Samuel Halperin Public Service Award, Radio One WKYS Top 30 Under 30, Washington Business Journal Top 40 Under 40, and others. 

Tracee Perryman, PhD, is the executive director and co-founder of Center of Hope Family Services, whose mission is to improve the life outcomes of individuals and families living in urban settings. Dr. Perryman has expanded CHFS to provide an array of evidence-based programs centering around positive youth development and adult/family Support. The nonprofit now serves 500 clients annually, with 25 employees. Dr. Perryman started with a budget of zero, and has built a $1 million annual budget. Dr. Perryman has also demonstrated tangible success for Center of Hope and the community through a social return on investment, conducted in the summer of 2020. Results showed that Center of Hope generates $6.00 in savings for every $1.00 invested. Highlighted programs include its Ohio Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) – a comprehensive, academic-focused, extended learning opportunity in partnership with Toledo Public Schools. In 2011, Dr. Perryman and Center of Hope was rated as a High Quality Center and model for tutoring programs, statewide. Dr. Perryman and Center of Hope received the 2018 Ohio Department of Education Statewide Summit for Enrichment Education, 21st Century Community Learning Center Award in Student Reading/Literacy Improvement. Dr. Perryman and the Center of Hope were also awarded the 2018 Excellence and Innovation Award for innovative programs. Dr. Perryman’s evidenced based parenting education and support programs are utilized by Lucas County Job & Family Services, Juvenile Courts, and Child Support Enforcement. Since 2016, Dr. Perryman and Center of Hope have partnered with Lucas County Juvenile Courts to implement an innovative approach to parent support and advocacy, which is only 1 of 4 in the nation. In September 2019, Dr. Perryman completed the Goldman Sachs Fellowship, to learn and implement strategies for creating job growth and economic opportunity within the Center of Hope Family Services. Dr. Perryman was 1 of 32 individuals selected out of a pool of 500 applicants. 

Dr. Perryman graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, where she majored in psychology. Dr. Perryman earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Bowling Green State University, where she also taught and supervised education students majoring in early childhood education. Dr. Perryman earned her PhD from the Ohio State University College of Social Work, with a minor in education in August, 2016. Her dissertation focused on the relationships between racial socialization and reduced violence in African American young adults. Dr. Perryman has provided numerous presentations at national conferences in the areas of education, juvenile justice, and mental health counseling. During her tenure at The Ohio State University, Dr. Perryman received the Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship Award. During her tenure at Ohio State and after, Dr. Perryman teaches several courses in the areas of lifespan development, social welfare, and social work practice with diverse cultural groups. 

Dr. Perryman now teaches in The University of Toledo Social Work Program. Dr. Perryman has represented the State of Ohio through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, speaking at the Goldman Sachs National Capitol Hill Day, and through serving as a Captain for the Goldman Sachs Storm the Hill Initiative. Dr. Perryman has been an invited lecturer in the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the City University of New York. Dr Perryman has also been invited by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to provide technical assistance to Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative sites in the areas of improving community and family engagement. 

Dr. Perryman is also an accomplished songwriter and performer. In October, 2017, Dr. Perryman released her first full album, “Today.”  Dr. Perryman has been invited to perform live at several venues such as the University of Toledo John Savage Arena and ProMedica Health Systems. Her latest single, Break Through, has garnered over 300,000 streams on Spotify.  Dr. Perryman also writes/produces songs and jingles for nonprofit marketing and promotion campaigns. Her current creative work has brought awareness to COVID-19 prevention, through a partnership with the City of Toledo Community Development Block Grant. Dr. Perryman is currently writing music for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Governor’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives, to promote mental wellness during the holiday season.

Learn more about this series

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