In 1976, Roy Maas was instrumental in founding a new agency for boys named the Bridge, with 16 beds and a $100,000 budget. He served as its Executive Director. In 1977 the Bridge merged with Girlsville, and was subsequently named “Youth Alternatives” in 1978. The Board of Directors renamed the agency, Roy Maas Youth Alternatives (RMYA) in 1993 to honor his service. Roy passed away the following year from cancer at the age of 46.
Roy was born in La Grange, TX and was raised on a farm. He was a gifted college athlete in football and golf at Texas Lutheran College and still holds Texas records in football while on the Texas All-State Team. Roy also attended Texas Christian University where he received a Master’s Degree in Counseling in 1973.
Roy chose to dedicate his life to children who had no one and nowhere to go. The children were abandoned, abused, starved, and neglected. They needed a safe place to live, to be loved and to heal from the trauma of their past. We continue to hold true to the values that Roy set back in 1976.
Since 1976, Roy Maas Youth Alternatives has continued to serve children who are in the foster care system and have suffered severe abuse and trauma through no fault of their own. Through our therapeutic programs and residential care our children can heal from their past and go on to live healthy lives. RMYA has consistently served more than 84,000 youth and families over the past 45 years.
Roy’s Reminders to All of Us
Roy often said he heard someone say “People need three things to be happy: someone to love; something constructive to do with their time; and something to look forward to.”
That is what he worked to provide for all of our children. Roy’s commitment to helping children, whose young lives have been scarred by sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, made RMYA what it is today. Here they heal, they learn to cope with their trauma and they are loved. As Executive Director, Roy talked about the agency’s work through the Youth Alternatives newsletter. He talked about the children, and their difficult lives. He used the newsletter to share his experiences with our supporters.
In one of his last articles, Roy shared these thoughts:
“My hope for you is that you use my experience to improve the quality of your own life: Live one day at a time. Be positive. Be good to others. Be compassionate. Don’t argue. Be thankful for the things you do have. Don’t take your health for granted. Pray for others and yourself daily. Smile a lot. Be sure you let the people important to you know how special they are.”
Now, many years after Roy’s death, his dream continues. Our hope is that with your help RMYA will continue to make Roy’s dream a reality and that our children will continue to experience Roy’s love and compassion through all of us.
Thank you for your caring support!