Our beginnings go back to 1909, when an Episcopalian priest at St. John the Evangelist Church in Boston, was looking for a place to care for the orphaned.
A young woman, Etheldred Barry, offered her home, grounds, and a small chapel she had built as a Sunday school for neighborhood children. She agreed to provide not only the space, but also her services as caretaker. She and the other women working with her established the Order of St. Anne convent.
As the orphanage grew, so did its campus, and in 1928, St. Anne's School was established to educate the children. St. Anne's School thrived as a private, Episcopalian boarding school for girls for 50 years.
In the 1960's and 1970's, the Department of Social Services and local school districts began to rely on St. Anne's to educate girls who were struggling in public schools because of family or behavioral issues.
By the late 1970's, the tuition of all the girls at St. Anne's was being paid by the state. The girls needed more support than what a traditional boarding school model could provide. Pressure was being put on the Sisters to develop more structured programs. The Sisters decided to legally separate the school from the Order. In 1978, a lay Board of Directors was formed and in 1979, they hired David Hirshberg as the Executive Director.
In 1980, Germaine Lawrence School was established as a residential treatment center. The name, Germaine Lawrence, was chosen in honor of Mother Germaine, the Mother Superior of the Order of St. Anne, and her family (the Lawrence's) who had contributed significantly to St. Anne's School.
In 2012, Germaine Lawrence merged with the national nonprofit Youth Villages, becoming the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus.