Positive Youth Development Program

Our priority is to enhance and support youth educational and social development and achievement and help to combat the dismal statistics faced by the youth of this struggling Bronx community. At a minimum, we provide a safe space conducive to learning and achieving positive outcomes (e.g., computer, internet access, mentors, and tutors). By keeping at-risk youth well occupied with a quality after school program, the PYD works to bolster educational achievement, reduce negative behaviors such as juvenile crime, and help to develop positive outlooks and hope and the support needed to stay on track academically for a brighter future.

The youth development framework in general, is designed to meet the developmental needs of youth, build on their assets and potential, and it views young people as resources and builds partnerships with youth to create positive, sustaining change. However, the basic premise of PYDP as it pertains to a more at-risk youth population, is that even the most disadvantaged young person can develop positively when connected to the right mix of opportunities, supports, positive roles, and relationships. Youth justice agencies traditionally focus their treatment efforts on the problems and deficits that affect justice-involved youth, including drug use, mental health problems, violence, and anger. Positive youth development on the other hand, focuses on protective factors and building new social assets for youth. Therefore, if youth development principles provide a clear pathway to pro-social futures for low-risk youth, it should be possible to apply the same principles, albeit in more creative and intensive ways, to facilitate the social development of at-risk youth.  






Over the last five years, all of our students have stayed free of criminal activity and all 17 participating seniors have graduated high school; all but one enrolled in college.

According to the Citizens Committee for Children, the Bronx had the lowest rates of public elementary and middle school children meeting state and city reading and math standards in school year 2011-12, with only 33.2% of children meeting reading standards and 46.6% meeting math standards.

The Children's Defense Fund advocates the importance of school age programs, especially for the children of working parents under age 12. They report: "Programs that provide academic support and structure greatly enhance a child's success in school. Research continues to show that positive, reliable and structured activities for school-age children after school can help children's development, safety and academic performance, as well as reduce the risk of behaviors that lead to more serious trouble, such as drugs and alcohol."

The Harvard Family Research Project states, “children who attend these well-supervised after school programs display better work habits, task persistence, social skills, pro-social behaviors, academic performance, and less aggressive behavior at the end of the school year.”