STARS Nashville
1704 Charlotte Avenue
Suite 200
Nashville TN 37203
Mission Statement

STARS mission is to support young people in overcoming social and emotional barriers through creative and innovative programs centering on prevention, intervention, treatment, training and compassion.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Rodger Dinwiddie
Board Chair Ms. Jillian Waters
Board Chair Company Affiliation C3 Consulting, LLC
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1984
Former Names
Center for Youth Issues, INC.
Project 714
Students Staying Straight
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Projected Expenses $3,996,779.00
Projected Annual Revenue $3,715,756.00 (2017)

STARS mission is to support young people in overcoming social and emotional barriers through creative and innovative programs centering on prevention, intervention, treatment, training and compassion.


Founded in 1984, STARS was originally known as Students Staying Straight and affiliated with the National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI), the founding national organization located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1988 the name was changed to STARS, a program of Center for Youth Issues-Nashville, Inc.(CYIN) and has since expanded to multiple counties throughout the Middle Tennessee region. In April 2007 after recent mergers with Kids on the Block and another Student Assistance Program of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, CYIN was dropped and we became STARS Nashville. STARS developed its programmatic approaches on the basis of the best available research in the field of substance abuse prevention/intervention. Original services included; individual student counseling, small groups focusing on students impacted by substance abuse, their own or family members, students who had participated in inpatient treatment and those who desired to remain abstinent. Training for school personnel was a significant focus of the program. The services of STARS were defined as Student Assistance Program services to be consistent with the best practices in the field of chemical dependency for youth. Through several strategic planning processes, STARS revised the mission statement and governing goals/ objectives to address changes in the educational environment and youth culture. While STARS was a single focus student assistance program in its early years, the services are now referred to as “broad-brush.” Services now address student disruptive/violent behavior, school failure, repeated suspensions, bullying prevention, dating violence prevention and student leadership. STARS is also known as one of the leading providers of violence prevention/bullying/ harassment/ training for schools/ community organizations in the United States. In 1986 our goals were largely quantitative. These goals included projections of how many students/teachers would be served, the cost per school of providing services, and a budget, which would help guide the financial management of the organization. Today, the goals reflect both qualitative and quantitative outcomes and include a focus on collaborations to maximize program effectiveness in the community. In 9 counties, over 60 school and community sites, STARS serves over 100,000 students. In 2009, STARS, along with Oasis Center, opened the Youth Opportunity Center - home to 9 youth-focused agencies all working together to share space and integrate services and thus begin to close the opportunity gap that exists for youth in our community. In 2011, with the dissolution of the Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, STARS strategically adopted three of their existing programs: Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA), Deaf & Hard of Hearing Prevention, and Recovery Support Services. STARS is now a licensed drug and alcohol substance abuse treatment facility recognized by the State of Tennessee.



The Student Assistance Program of STARS is recognized by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Association as an evidence-based practice. Our SAP is only one of three evidence-based intervention practices listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices and Programs (NREPP).  STARS services have produced consistent outcomes to include increased school attendance, improved grades, increased youth attachment to school and community, increased individual resilience and reduced suspensions, expulsions, bullying, violence, delinquency and alcohol and other drug use.    In 2011 STARS officially adopted three programs of the former Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee: Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA), Deaf & Hard of Hearing Prevention Program, and Recovery Support Services.   Accomplishments for 2015:  STARS increased our social media presence and re-branded, incorporating a new mission statement and logo(s) that point to each of the programs within the STARS "family" so they can be recognized for what they do and that they are a part of the STARS brand also. 2. Jr. Board held  their inaugural fund raising event, "Meet A Mentor" and it was very successful. 3. Named a Top Workplace for the 3rd year in row by the Tennessean 4.  Trainings for both youth and adults are expanding in geographic coverage and in offerings.  See our website for a complete listing.  5.  Partnered with MNPS and received a federal grant (Project Prevent) to expand STARS services in MNPS schools and to train the entire staff of eight MNPS schools in Restorative Practices, to improve and equalize discipline practices and outcomes. Goals for 2016:  1.  Kids on the Block (KOB) has begun a 6 week pilot program in Literacy  in Davidson County.  Tier 2 students are selected, reading skills are addressed in groups, and pairs (and with puppets) and each child will leave with 3 books, more reading ability, and hopefully, with a newfound love of reading. 2.  Our Student Assistance Program (SAP) is beginning a new "enhanced" program for student needing more than SAP currently offers.  This is now in the beginning stages. 3.  YODA, our co-occurring capable, substance abuse treatment program, is such a needed and beneficial program, areas beyond Metro Nashville desire to have it.  We are striving to find means to implement this program in surrounding counties.  4.  In line with that, we are in the process of securing our CARF accreditation as we continue on the path to third party billing.  Every process is being closely examined, improved, and documented as we strive to become CARF accredited. 5. To make STARS better known so we can better reach those needing our services.   

1. We always need dedicated individuals who will tell others about us; tell both those who need our services and those who would like to donate to help provide these services.
2..  We need consistent gifts, of even small amounts such as $10-$20 monthly.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Due to the confidential nature of our services, we do not use volunteers for service related needs. However more than 300 active volunteers serve STARS through various roles. School faculty core team membership numbers approximate 250; STARS Board of Directors is comprised of approximately 37 members and the Jr. Board has approximately 14 members; approximately 10 volunteers help at the Annual Golf Tournament; and numerous college students and parents volunteer for events.  It is impossible to keep track of the hundreds of parents who volunteer in their children’s schools with numerous activities. Volunteers also help with our annual fundraising events including a golf tournament and a benefit concert with art auction.  Also, we can always use monetary donations, of even small amounts, which can be sent via designation to local United Ways or on Giving Matters, Network for Good, on our website, by direct check, or by credit card by phone. 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Children's and Youth Services
Secondary Organization Category Mental Health & Crisis Intervention / Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Cheatham
TN - Cumberland
TN - Davidson
TN - Dekalb
TN - Dickson
TN - Fentress
TN - Franklin
TN - Giles
TN - Hickman
TN - Houston
TN - Humphreys
TN - Jackson
TN - Lawrence
TN - Lewis
TN - Lincoln
TN - Macon
TN - Marshall
TN - Maury
TN - Montgomery
TN - Moore
TN - Overton
TN - Perry
TN - Pickett
TN - Putnam
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Smith
TN - Stewart
TN - Sumner
TN - Trousdale
TN - Van Buren
TN - Warren
TN - Wayne
TN - White
TN - Williamson
TN - Wilson
TN - Bedford
TN - Cannon
TN - Clay
TN - Coffee

Our services and trainings are made available across Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee, West Tennessee, the Upper Cumberland Plateau and the rural and suburban communities surrounding these areas.  Basically at this point, we offer services statewide. We are also doing trainings and workshops in a few other states.

Board Chair Statement
Comment from 2016 Board Chair forthcoming.
CEO Statement
Innovative. Proven. Compassionate.
Three words that capture the heart of what STARS has been about for the last 31 years! We’ve constantly been
on the cutting edge, implementing proven and researched principles, all with a commitment to compassion for
those we serve. While the strategies, methods and programs have evolved over the years, STARS remains a
leader in school and community-based solutions that have, at the core, the necessity of positive adult
relationships to foster connection, build resilience and help young men and women gain important social and
emotional competencies for the rest of their lives.
We’ve always believed that young people need support, encouragement and love from caring adults. We set
out 31 years ago to find the most innovative, proven and compassionate methods to build connection through
deep and meaningful relationships with young people and their families. Whether the issue is substance abuse,
violence, a behavioral or mental health need, or whether it’s a program for pre-kindergarten children on
accepting differences, a youth development training, or professional development training for adults, STARS has
been a leader. Our mission to support young people in overcoming social and emotional barriers through
creative and innovative programs centering on prevention, intervention, treatment, training and compassion,
has never been more important.
Innovative, proven, compassionate----that’s STARS! Whether you’ve been a friend of STARS for over 30 years, or
just found out about us, thank you for believing in us. On behalf of all those served through the dedicated work
of our “connectors,” thank you for all that you do to support the important work being done by this amazing staff
and board of directors who care so deeply about our young people.
Description STARS provides many levels of student prevention services, including universal prevention aimed at broad student populations, selective and indicated services targeted for at-risk students, & indicated for students already engaged in substance use and/or violence. STARS SAP was recognized by SAMHSA's Nationa Registry of Evidence based Programs and Practices (NREPP).  Service components of the program include health promotion for the general student body; attention to students who are at special risk for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, violence/bullying, academic failure, school suspension, or dropping out; and early problem identification, referral, and intervention for students exhibiting problem behaviors. SAP is in the very early stages of planning an Enhanced SAP to serve students whose needs exceed what is currently being offered.
Budget $2,294,092
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), ,
Short Term Success
Based on SAP Counselor-reported data across schools for the 2014-2015 school year, STARS’ SAP Counselors provided:
2,609 small group counseling sessions
1,374 Peer Mediation Sessions
13,272 individual counseling sessions
 405 Core Team Meetings
534 student leadership meetings
attended to 4,419 Crisis Episodes
and served 3,553 students with additional services

Completed 3,341 intake assessments for students referred to STARS;

Conducted 14,408 individual counseling sessions with 2,054 students (61% of students enrolled in STARS across counties);

Served 1,287 students through small group counseling (39% of enrolled students);

Attended to 2,597 crisis episodes;

Facilitated 1,297 peer mediation sessions;

Facilitated service learning projects or community volunteer projects for 7,138 students (count may reflect duplicates as some students may have participated in more than one service event);

Facilitated 488 Core Team meetings, and 650 Student Leadership Team meetings

Program Success Monitored By

Data Collection and analysis method: Students who participate in STARS SAP small groups or individual sessions complete the STARS Post-Service form at the end of services. The STARS Post-Service form is designed using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS) 2013 High School Survey and National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), to assess change in students’ knowledge and attitudes associated with a particular topic. Students are counted toward achieving this performance target when they self-report increased knowledge directly related to feeling more positive about their future.

We know our methods are valid as SAMHSA looked at over 10 years of data for certifying our SAP program as evidence-based.
Kids on the Block's mission is to educate children & the community about health & social concerns.  Using puppets & other tools, KOB promotes understanding & acceptance of all children & adults regardless of differences. KOB addresses psycho-social problems, (prejudice ,bullying ,learning differences,child abuse social & personal problems,substance abuse.)  Programs include: Sticks & Stones-how words can hurt/promotes caring & respect; Awareness of Differences- promotes understanding of all persons; Child Abuse Prevention-helps students to identify child abuse/ neglect -promotes talking to trusted adults; ; Be A Hero-Identifies and explains various forms of bullying and introduces alternatives to violence.  The program integrates best practices around bullying prevention.  KOB is also piloting a literacy program to help Tier 2 students strengthen their reading ability and enjoyment. Preliminary results have been outstanding!

Budget $171,922
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short Term Success In 2014-2015 , KOB was in 94 schools and community sites across 10 Middle TN counties. KOB did 422 presentations to students in grades K-6. The presentations focused on issues such as name calling, child abuse, disability awareness, and bullying; as well as obesity, divorce and autism. KOB presented to 38,863 students and 2,019 adults.  Evaluations were collected from 1,661 teachers, administrators, parents and guidance counselors present for the presentations. Based on teacher and counselor-reported data across all KOB presentations in the ten counties (Cannon, Davidson, Dickson, Macon, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson) for the 2014-2015 school year, KOB performers:

KOB  Received hundreds of letters from students who saw presentations;

Long term Success We have many high school students and adults who tell us about seeing the program when they were in elementary school and what an impact it had on them at that time.  We survey some of our high school aged participants in other programs concerning what they remember about KOB.  They usually remember not only the puppets, but the life lessons too. We are currently in the process of developing other evaluation tools for KOB.
Program Success Monitored By
Pre-and post-tests are given to the students and post-tests are also given to all attending adults.  Students are asked to write letters to the puppets, and their letters also reveal much of what they learned.  As mentioned earlier, surveys are randomly given to high school aged students involved in other programs to see what they retained.  
Examples of Program Success
 The kids letters tell us so much, "We learned we can prevent prejudice by learning about the person before judging them.  We also learned that you should not judge someone by their skin color or religion.  I learned many things that will help me in the future."  Letter from a 5th grad student.
  "Always awesome!  Thank y'all for consistently, year after year, presenting such important topics in such a fun, learning format.  Problem-solving techniques are definitely what students need to know."  Letter from a 1st grade teacher.   
Description Nationally recognized, STARS' Executive Director, Rodger Dinwiddie, trains entire school districts and systems in the areas of substance abuse, violence and bullying prevention and intervention, as well as Student Assistance Program implementation and Restorative Practices.  STARS has staff who have been professionally trained in the evidence-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and Restorative Practices. Dinwiddie, a certified master level trained national expert in Olweus, provides support and consultation to schools across the country.
The goal of this program is to engage student athletes and leaders to address the common issues schools experience through bullying, harassment, racism, violence and other social pressures that contribute to negative school climate and school culture.
M2S has enhanced positive school relations across the state and in other states as well.
Building Strong(er) Working RelationshipS helps adults have crucial conversations with others in life, be that at work, home, school, or community. 
Restorative Practices:  This Whole school change program includes 11 essential elements:  Affective statement, restorative questions, fair process, small impromptu conferences, proactive circles, responsive circles, and restorative conferences. 
Other Trainings:  STARS offers a myriad of trainings covering topics from Suicide prevention intervention, postvention; Abuse prevention; strengthening families; work relationships, bullying prevention  and more.  See our website for a complete listing   
Budget $344,024
Category Education, General/Other
Population Served , ,
Program Success Monitored By Every program has an evaluation component!

STARS has clinical services for youth 13-22 yrs through the Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA) program, providing case management, intensive outpatient groups and individual counseling for uninsured youth with substance abuse problems and their families. YODA also has both male and female specific groups as research points to the effectiveness of single gender counseling groups. The participants of the YODA program include youth with:

  • substance abuse problems and:
  • no insurance or their insurance benefits for treatment are exhausted
  •  in DCS custody
  •  juvenile probation
  • court orders to complete IOP treatment or assessment Recovery Support Services which include services for parents in the Family Treatment Court under Magistrate Alan Calhoun.
 Besides case management and individual counseling, YODA offers the only known “in courtroom” support group for women seeking to gain child custody. And gender specific treatment groups.  Research has shown that girls do better when treated separately from males.

The Life Management Group meets once a week, offering support to those who've completed treatment or are in recovery, but still need support & education on issues relevant to those with past substance abuse issues. A primary focus is relapse prevention.

Budget $311,577
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other
Population Served , ,
Short Term Success
YODA's clientele :  100% were in danger of probation violation due to a positive drug screen; 99% had used one or more substances in the past 30 days; and 40% had a mental health diagnosis.  
  • 61% of patients who met diagnostic criteria for substance abuse completed treatment services at YODA’s IOP as a result of assessment and brief intervention
  • 60% in treatment reported after 60 days, change as evidenced by at least two indicators including: disengagement from gang activity, increased drug refusal activity, increased scholastic activity, increased participation in sober social activities or participation in self-help groups.
60% of patients reported two or more indicators of abstinence from substance abuse at a six month interview; involvement with a peer support group or mentor, disengagement from the criminal justice system, reported negative drug screens by probation officers, increased employment or scholastic activities, and improved school/job attendance, no suspensions or criminal charges, increased community service activities.

Program Success Monitored By

Data Collection and analysis methods: Youth receiving services from the YODA are evaluated during intake, at 60 days and after 6 months with the Teen Addiction Severity Index (T-ASI). The T-ASI is a semi-structured interview developed to fill the need for reliable, valid, and standardized instrument for periodic evaluation of adolescent substance abuse. It uses a multidimensional approach of assessment as an age-appropriate modification of the Addiction Severity Index. It yields 70 ratings in seven domains: chemical (substance) use, school status, employment/support status, family relations, peer/social relationships, legal status, and psychiatric status. Youth are also evaluated upon intake and discharge using the Socrates 8D. SOCRATES is an experimental instrument to assess readiness for change in substance abusers. It yields 3 factorally-derived scale scores: Recognition, Ambivalence and Taking Steps. YODA collects data via the Teen Addiction Severity Index (T- ASI) upon intake and discharge as well as the YODA exit form to measure decrease in symptoms related to substance use and/or mental health disorders, including involvement with a peer support group or mentor, disengagement from the juvenile justice system, reported negative drug screens by probation officers, increased employment or scholastic activities, and improved school/job attendance, decreased suspensions, and increased community service activities. A client is counted as having reached this target when he/she completes a cycle of treatment services and demonstrates a reduction in unhealthy behaviors and/or drug use as recorded by the T-ASI and exit form.

Examples of Program Success
Upon exit of the YODA program, clients exhibited:
   Increased employment activities
   Activity in community service tasks
   Improved job and school attendance
   Increased scholastic activities
   Involvement in a support group
   Few or no new criminal charges or suspensions
   Tested negative on drug screens

Services for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) are designed to prevent usage of  tobacco,alcohol and other drugs among deaf and hard of hearing, grades K-12.Students who are deaf or hard of hearing are at higher risk for drug & alcohol abuse due to increased difficulties with learning, communicating, isolation, depression, and family connection. Weekly classes are offered in MNPS K-8 classes for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Classes are taught using American Sign Language (ASL) & in a visual format. Other topics taught are self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, and problem solving. DHH literacy coach works with ~29 students per week in 3 schools, Eakin Elem,West End MS & Hillsboro HS. She works 1-1 and in small groups on reading comprehension, writing skills, & vocabulary. Testimonial from the Deaf Education teacher at Hillsboro HS:“I have seen huge gains in both receptive and expressive language in the students who are receiving services from STARS.” DHH offers in-home services working 1-1 with families, focusing on ASL & any support needed (counseling, resources, or academics). Statistics show 80% of those who are deaf or hard of hearing have hearing parents, & only 23% of those parents learn ASL. DHH also offers services at 2 local after-school programs.

Budget $118,828
Population Served , ,
Examples of Program Success 35 students were served at Eakin, Sylvan Park elementary schools, West End MS, Hillsboro HS  50% of students showed an increase in their social coping skills/ 46% of students showed an increase in connectedness / 39% showed an increase in self-esteem.

DHH in-home services work one-on-one with the families of students. Services focus on teaching ASL & offering support through counseling, resources, & educational support.Based on teacher reporting, 100% of students of the 7 families taught ASL in this program showed school improvement.

STARS offers services at 2 after-school programs:Bridges-Mary McKinney Youth Center and Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church.37 students received after-school services/ 50% of students showed an increase in their social coping skills/ 46% of students showed an increase in their connectedness to peers or teachers/39% showed an increase in self-esteem

Camp Rise and Sign: STARS services Camp Rise and Sign’ students. STARS also offers services at “Camp Summer Sign” at Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church  for 8 wks during the summer for DHH children and siblings ages 6-16. 63 youth were served this year.50% of students showed an increase in their social coping skill-46% of students showed an increase in their connectedness to peers or teachers-39% showed an increase in self-esteem

Working to help DHH High Schoolers to learn information about their future, a cross-sector collaborative leadership team met & decided to create a College & Career Readiness Retreat -- 27 Students attended (10 more than last year)/25 of the 27 students reported improved knowledge in planning for the future. A Counselor works one-on-one with graduating high school seniors to make a transition plan.  Help includes: Interest testing, researching & applying to colleges, completing FASFA, setting up Vocational Rehabilitation services -4 students/ 100% graduated with a transition plan and are registered for college in the fall

CEO Comments  STARS is referred to as a student assistance program, based on the effective practice of employee assistance programs for businesses. STARS is a member of the National Student Assistance Association (NSAA), an association of thousands of Student Assistance Programs across the United States who are concerned about the problems of student substance abuse, violence and academic under achievement. The Association has criteria and components which must exist in order for a SAP to be deemed effective in its implementation. There are 9 components. Several are highlighted:  Internal Referral Process and Case Management ; Ability to identify, refer students and serve students with academic and social concerns via a multidisciplinary problem solving and case management team; Student Support Groups; Ability to provide information, support and problem solving skills to students • Cooperation and Referral with Community Agencies and Program Evaluation STARS Nashville is rigorously evaluated by outside evaluater, Evaluation Design. Of special interest to the public is the following statement from the National Registry of Effective Programs, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) panel reviewers included the following statement in their commentary about STARS Nashville: “The evaluation data indicate that the program is effective in reducing suspensions, improving attendance, improving grades, and preventing dropping out of school. The majority of school personnel agree that STARS is helping their students, that STARS is a positive influence in their school, and recommend STARS as a way for students to get help.”
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Jillian Waters
Company Affiliation C3 Consulting, LLC
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Board Members
Mr. J. Robin Barrick Smith Seckman ReidVoting
Ms. Edie Bass Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. James C Bradshaw Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLPVoting
Ms. Daphne Butler Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Jacques Cabell Kelli Haas & Associates, PLLCVoting
Mrs. Karla Calderon Kirkland'sVoting
Mr. Mike Coupe Place of HopeVoting
Ms. Shelby D. Cowman Regions BankNonVoting
Mrs. Beth Cox Sumner County Board of EducationVoting
Mr. Kevin Dyson M.Ed.EducationVoting
Mr. Bryan Edwards Hughes-Edwards BuildersVoting
Mr. Hilton B. (Buck) Forcum Cresa Nashville--The Tenant's AdvantageVoting
Mr. LeShane Greenhill Pishon ConsultingVoting
Ms. Patricia Hart Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Orrin H. Ingram Ingram Industries, Inc.Voting
Mr. William (Tinker) Kelly VEBAVoting
Ms. Paige Kisber Hospital Alliance of TennesseeVoting
Mrs. Mary C. LaGrone Attorney at LawVoting
Mr. Darwin Mason Ed.DLEAD AcademyVoting
Mr. Derrick Mason Self-EmployedVoting
Mr. Brackney J. Reed Gresham, Smith & PartnersVoting
Dr. Arliss L. Roaden RetiredVoting
Mr. John R. Robinson Nashville Lawn EquipmentVoting
Ms. Sabrina Ruderer HCA HealthcareVoting
Mr. Bill Rutherford HCA Healthcare--Outpatient GroupVoting
Mr. Christopher Sabis U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle District of TN>Voting
Mr. Nick Shackell EnterpriseVoting
Mr. Julius Siegrist Self-employedVoting
Ms. Sperry Bell Simmons ABF FreightersVoting
Mr. Doug Smith UPSVoting
Mrs. Tricia Spehr Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Sammy Swor Education--retiredVoting
Mr. Geoffrey Vickers Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, PCVoting
Mr. Christian Paul vonAllmen JacksonVoting
Ms. Jillian Waters C3 Consulting, LLCVoting
Ms. Kimberly Watts athenahealthVoting
Mrs. Karen Weisser Hospira WorldwideVoting
Mr. Richard Winstead Crosslin & AssociatesVoting
Mr. Luther M. Wright Jr.Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.Voting
Mr. Ron York York and Friends Fine Art GalleryVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 33
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 25
Female 14
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 43%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Raising
Risk Management Provisions
Accident & Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Computer Equipment & Software
Crime Coverage
Directors & Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employment Practices Liability
General Property Coverage
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Professional Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
CEO Comments
STARS was established by a local regional committee in 1984, as a result of its affiliation with the national program, the Center for Youth Issues, Inc. located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While the Regional Committee was structured as a board, its establishment as a committee was due in part to the affiliation with other sites around the United States. Shortly afterward the committee became the local Board of Directors of the Program in the Middle Tennessee area. Currently, the STARS Board is a policy board. The Board is a group of individuals representative of the communities STARS serves. Primary responsibilities for the day to day operation are delegated to the CEO and the Chief Operations Officer, Chief Finance Office, Chief Development Officer, VP of  Youth Development, Program Director and Staff. The STARS Board utilizes an active committee structure with the primary oversight delegated to the Executive Committee, which meets monthly or more often as necessary, and consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Development & Marketing and Social Enterprise. Additional committees are Nominating, Finance and  Program. Within each committee there are specific tasks and responsibilities that are related to the goals of the organization's strategic plan.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Rodger Dinwiddie
Term Start Oct 1986
Experience  Rodger Dinwiddie is the Chief Executive Officer of Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS-Nashville), in Nashville Tennessee. He has served as the Executive Director since 1986. 

Prior to joining STARS, Rodger served as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization working with juvenile court referrals. He also was a classroom teacher in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools for 7 years. During his tenure at STARS he has provided numerous school and community based prevention and intervention trainings and consultation services to schools and school systems throughout the United States. He is the co-author of the training seminar Anger, Violence, and You and has been providing Respect & Protect and No-Bullying training for Hazelden since 1995. He is a certified lead trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and serves as the Tennessee State Olweus Coordinator.

As Past President of the National Student Assistance Association, Rodger continues to serve on the Board of Directors and is currently a member of numerous local and state organizations dedicated to prevention and intervention. Rodger is active in the Middle Tennessee area as a Rotarian, has served as a member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s Citizens Panel For a Community Report Card on Education (Metro Public Schools) and has been one of the three honorees as not for profit CEO of the Year in Nashville, Tennessee, an award given by The Frist Foundation and the Center for Not for Profit Management. During his tenure STARS has been the recipient of many awards, including the Making A Difference given by the Frist Foundation, and most recently as a recipient of the Frist Center’s Innovation in Action Award for his role in the development of the Youth Opportunity Center, a collaborative venture between Oasis Center and STARS Nashville, housing 12 not for profit organizations dedicated to youth services in Nashville. Rodger has also served as one of the founders and developers of the Tennessee Yes2Kids Conference for youth caregivers and has been its co chair since 2000.

Rodger received his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from George Peabody College and his M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University. 

Former CEOs
Mr. Charlie Newman Jan 1985 - Jan 1986
Full Time Staff 60
Part Time Staff 16
Volunteers 300
Contractors 4
Retention Rate 98%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 3
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Sept 2014
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2001
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network2000
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce2004
Nashville Prevention Partnership2001
National Student Assistance Association1988
Metro Nashville Public Schools/Chamber of Commerce Alignment Process2002
Alignment Nashville2003
Nashville Youth Alliance2002
Society for Human Resource Management2005
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network1996
Nashville Rotary Club2001
External Assessments and Accreditations
External Assessments and Accreditations
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association/National Registry of Evidenced Based Programs and Practice2012
Finalist, Not for Profit CEO of the Year AwardBank of America2003
Making a Difference AwardCenter for Not For Profit Management2001
Board Member Patricia and Rodes Hart - Outstanding Philanthropist of the YearNashville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Executives2001
2001 Fundraising Award for Newsletter of the YearAssociation of Fundraising Professionals2001
NPP Drug Free Community Award - Best Practices AwardNashville Prevention Partnership2001
Frist Foundation's INNOVATION IN ACTION AWARDCenter For Nonprofit Managements2009
Baptist Healing Trust Compassionate Care AwardSalute To Excellence2011
Top Work PlacesThe Tennessean2013
Top Work PlacesThe Tennessean2014
Top Work Places--Meaningfulness AwardThe Tennessean2014
Top WorkplaceThe Tennessean2015
Top Workplace 2016The Tennessean2016
Senior Staff
Title Chief Financial Officer
Experience/Biography Cynthia Whetstone, Director of Business Operations has been with STARS since 1998. Prior to STARS she served as a Senior Financial Analyst to Dana Corporation for 7 years, and previous to that served 4 years in public accounting. She is a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants. BS Accounting/ Business Administration from Trevecca University.
Title Vice President of Youth Development
Title Chief Operations Officer

 Teresa has been the HR Director for STARS Nashville since 2005. She has served in human resources leadership since 1983 and is a certified professional in human resource management (PHR) through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).   She received her Bachelor's degree in Human Relations and her Master's degree in Business from Trevecca University.

Title Chief Development Officer
Title SAP Director & Evaluation Coordinator
Title Program Director-Services for Students who are Deaf or HOH
CEO Comments Coming soon
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $3,715,756.00
Projected Expenses $3,996,779.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Revenue$3,672,053$3,640,590$3,229,628
Total Expenses$3,751,941$3,536,751$3,223,666
Revenue Less Expenses($79,888)$103,839$5,962
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$645,276$627,059$608,473
Individual Contributions$475,285$640,606$560,738
Investment Income, Net of Losses$35,492$31,101$127,296
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$129,487$173,706$139,160
Revenue In-Kind$2,341$0$5,000
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$3,104,773$2,896,846$2,624,814
Administration Expense$351,781$356,022$368,079
Fundraising Expense$295,387$283,883$230,773
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.031.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%82%81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue14%13%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$5,566,494$5,667,434$4,336,158
Current Assets$1,457,418$1,466,311$1,084,920
Long-Term Liabilities$0$1,854$7,085
Current Liabilities$198,489$230,973$233,031
Total Net Assets$5,368,005$5,434,607$4,096,042
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.346.354.66
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $1,492,497Program Revenue $1,305,971Program Service Revenue $1,096,295
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederated Campaigns $813,342Federated Campaigns $767,633Indirect Public Support $690,197
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants $645,276Contributions, Gifts & Grants $640,606Government Grants $608,473
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Mar 2017
Solicitations Permit
Organization Comments

Public Funding: Over 50% of the STARS budget is related to the funding of our nationally recognized, evidenced-based student assistance program. Since May of 2012, STARS has been listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. This is an honor bestowed on programs and practices that have undergone a rigorous review of all programmatic outcomes and evaluations from a scientific perspective. In spite of having strong evidence of success, and enjoying long-term funding relationships with each school system we serve, there are still many challenges regarding sustainability of services. We have cultivated additional relationships with different departments within the schools we serve. Currently there are limited funding opportunities in the public sector at the federal, state and local levels. This poses a challenge for school systems that seek to both maintain and expand services within their districts. STARS has been fortunate in that we have been able to maintain levels of services in many counties but we have lost services in one county, completely, as a result of these reductions in funds. One large state initiative, The School Climate Transformation grant funding stream, expired in FY 2015-2016. Again, school systems have worked hard to maintain current levels of services. This has however, left school systems scrambling to find replacement dollars. The largest challenges will face school systems in FY 2016-2017, and 2017-18. In order to address the potential loss of funds we are in constant conversations with schools and with our own grant writer to scan the landscape for new sources of support for school-based services. Financial Comments
Financial figures taken from 990 and audit. 
Foundation and Corporate contributions included in the Individuals sum as they are not separated in the 990.
Financial documents prepared by Puryear, Hamilton, Hausman & Wood PLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 1/9/17.
Nonprofit STARS Nashville
Address 1704 Charlotte Avenue
Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203
Primary Phone (615) 279-0058
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Rodger Dinwiddie
Board Chair Ms. Jillian Waters
Board Chair Company Affiliation C3 Consulting, LLC
Year of Incorporation 1984
Former Names
Center for Youth Issues, INC.
Project 714
Students Staying Straight

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