Chris Garr: CEO of Youth Challenge

Chris Garr

Chris Garr

Chris Garr is the CEO of Youth Challenge (YC), a Northeast Ohio nonprofit. YC brings together children with physical disabilities and youth volunteers who enrich each other's lives through one-on-one participation in adapted sports and recreational activities. Chris started volunteering at YC as a 6th grader at St. Angela Merici School in Fairview Park. It was the spark that ignited a passion for working with children, adaptive athletics, and service. Education, advocacy, and access to recreational activities are his professional passions. In addition to his duties at YC, he serves as co-chair of ADA Cleveland, president of the St. Mary (Berea) CYO Athletic Commission and Youth Group coordinator.

The Youth Challenge (YC) Board of Trustees appointed Garr CEO on February 4, 2019. He replaced Founder and Executive Director, Mary Sue Tanis, who is transitioned into a new role as Director of Planned Giving.

As YC’s long-time Director of Program Services prior to becoming CEO, Garr had years of experience in leadership, adapted sports, and inclusion for people with physical disabilities. He believes that adapted sports and art, with a focus on fun and friendship, is a conduit for participants and volunteers alike, to become leaders, advocates, stewards, and innovators in the field of human dignity. Prior to his time at Youth Challenge, Garr taught high school Social Studies and English.

About Youth Challenge:

For 42 years, Youth Challenge has been fulfilling its mission of bringing together young people with physical disabilities and teen volunteers who inspire each other through adapted sports, recreation and social growth activities. The organization provides free programming and transportation to children and young adults from Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake, Geauga, Medina, Summit and Stark counties.


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