St. Francis House’s Briana Schissler Named Nonprofit Excellence Award Finalist

Special to the Journal

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) has announced, Briana Schissler, a Revere native who is a Clinical Supervisor at St. Francis House in Boston, has been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Award for Young Professional.

The winners of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony, MNN’s 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Awards: Celebrating Idealism and Achievement presented by Citizens, on Wednesday, June 23 at 10:00 am.

“We are excited to recognize Briana for her invaluable contributions to the Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “We look forward to recognizing her and the other Excellence Award finalists and announcing the six winners on June 23.”

The Young Professional Excellence Award recognizes an emerging nonprofit professional who has made a significant contribution to their organization through their vision, innovation, interpersonal skills, and hard work. This professional may work in any role within a nonprofit. This award is for professionals 35 years of age or younger.

Founded in 1984, to meet the needs of the poor and homeless, St. Francis House is now the largest day shelter in Massachusetts, providing refuge and pathways to stability for more than 6,000 adults experiencing homelessness and poverty each year. Briana provides intensive case management services for guests at the shelter on a one-on-one basis, including support with housing, mental health, and substance use needs. As a Case Manager of the Day, she triages the needs of guests who are searching for services as they come through the door. Having previously worked at St. Francis House, Briana came back on as a clinical supervisor in the summer of 2020 at the height of pandemic-related challenges. 

St. Francis House is driven by the idea of second chances and everyone’s capacity to change, and Briana shows her commitment to this philosophy every day with great patience. In the case of one particular guest who expresses repeated paranoid and sometimes frightening delusions, Briana meets with him consistently to try and find concrete goals to support him in finding greater peace in his own life. She explores conversations with him that are challenging and could be overwhelming for many, making him feel supported and heard.

The Nonprofit Excellence Awards will highlight the work of the nonprofit sector and raise awareness of important causes throughout Massachusetts. The Awards will be presented to one finalist in each of the following six categories: Advocacy, Innovation, Leadership, Small Nonprofit, Young Professional, and new this year, Resilience.

This year, an independent panel of judges reviewed over 180 nominations for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The 29 finalists range from large innovative social enterprises to a small rural family support group and represent different regions of Massachusetts.

In the weeks leading up to the 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Awards, nonprofits across the state are engaging in a social media campaign with the hashtag #MAkingadifference to raise public awareness of nonprofits’ important contributions to Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) brings together nonprofits, funders, business leaders, and elected officials to strengthen nonprofits and raise the sector’s voice on critical issues. MNN’s mission is to strengthen the Massachusetts nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building. The network has more than 750 nonprofit member organizations and more than 150 business affiliate partners.

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