STATE COLLEGE – Yesterday, the board of directors of The Second Mile accepted the resignation of Dr. Jack Raykovitz, who has been its president and chief executive officer for the past 28 years, according to a press release on the organization’s Web site.
Both Raykovitz and the board believe it’s in the best interests of the organization. David Woodle, the current vice chairman of the board of directors, will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of The Second Mile. Raykovitz issued the following statement regarding his resignation.
“I have submitted, and the board has accepted, my resignation as president/CEO of The Second Mile. Providing any statement beyond that sentence takes the focus from where it should be – on the children, young adults and families who have been impacted. Their pain and their healing is the greatest priority, and my thoughts and prayers have been and will continue to be with them. I continue to urge anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238,” he said.
“A mother wrote to The Second Mile this week, ‘I am saddened by the prospect of people losing faith in this amazing organization. . . What you have built in my child is a confidence, a sense of belonging, respect, joy in helping others, and most importantly, his self-esteem.’ I hope that my resignation brings with it the beginning of that restoration of faith in the community of volunteers and staff that, along with the children and families we serve, are The Second Mile.”
Although the allegations against its founder and former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the alleged incidents occurred outside Second Mile programs and events, the press release stated that it neither changes the fact that the alleged sexual abuse involved The Second Mile program children, nor does it lessen the terrible impact of sexual abuse on its victims.
The Second Mile’s mission is to help young people – particularly those in need – to achieve their potential. The safety and well-being of the children participating in our programs is central to fulfilling that mission, the press release stated. To that end, the board made the following decisions:
- We will conduct an internal investigation to assess our internal policies, procedures and processes; and make recommendations regarding the organization’s future operations. We hope to have those findings by the end of December.
- We have engaged as our General Counsel the firm of Archer & Greiner, including partner Lynne Abraham. Archer & Greiner succeeds Wendell Courtney, who resigned from that position last week.
In addition, the board will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s office.
The press release stated that over the past week, the families of many participants have urged them to maintain programs, saying they continue to believe deeply in their mission and the value it provides young people in our community. The board remains committed to The Second Mile children, teens and families.
The board stated that its continued prayers, thoughts and concerns go out to all those affected. Just as The Second Mile is making reports of any information it receives, it continues to encourage anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238.