In 2007, Vera was awarded a grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to participate in the Models for Change initiative, an effort to create successful and replicable models of juvenile justice reform through targeted investments in key states. The initiative seeks to accelerate progress toward a fairer, more effective, and more developmentally sound juvenile justice system that holds young people accountable for their actions, provides for their rehabilitation, protects them from harm, increases their life chances, and manages the risk they pose to themselves and to the public.