Breaking
Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

In a triumphant conclusion to Fiscal Year 2023, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has achieved a series of groundbreaking successes, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of 423,000 New Yorkers.

Under the leadership of Commissioner Keith Howard and Mayor Adams, DYCD has not only surpassed previous benchmarks but has also demonstrated its unwavering commitment to community development.

In a noteworthy revelation from the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) in September, DYCD showcased its dedication by serving an impressive 343,673 young people and 80,066 adults across various agency-funded programs. The surge in participation extended to afterschool and community initiatives, solidifying the department’s role in addressing the diverse needs of the city’s residents.

The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) emerged as a flagship success story for the second consecutive summer, providing 100,000 employment opportunities to NYC youth aged 14-24. Collaborating with NYC Public Schools, the Summer Rising initiative engaged 115,000 young individuals with enriching academic activities. Simultaneously, the Saturday Night Lights (SNL) initiative expanded with seven new sites, offering diverse programming on Saturdays, while the inaugural Summer Night Lights initiative brought baseball to the Bronx through a unique collaboration.

DYCD’s commitment to providing youth employment opportunities continued with the expansion of the Work, Learn and Grow (WLG) program to 7,000 slots. This initiative strategically targeted high-crime areas identified by the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Additionally, SYEP Pride successfully connected 3,500 LGBTQIA+ youth with supportive summer jobs.

The department’s dedication to public safety was underscored by the inclusion of the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), with activations in all five boroughs. DYCD actively addressed community concerns through impactful initiatives such as the “Subway Surfing Kills – Ride Inside, Stay Alive” campaign. The department fostered open dialogue by hosting youth townhalls, providing a platform for discussing strategies to reduce gun violence.

DYCD played a pivotal role in supporting mental health, providing assistance to over 1,000 youth and young adults through Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Drop-in Centers. Collaborating on the Healing the Hurt Conference during National Mental Health Awareness Month, the department focused on strengthening communities amid challenges related to trauma, violence, and mental health.

In a bid to enhance community involvement, DYCD conducted a record 28,491 Community Needs Assessments (CNA). These assessments serve as a critical tool in shaping service and funding priorities in neighborhoods most in need. The establishment of “satellite” offices at Cornerstone centers across all five boroughs and collaborations with faith-based organizations further underscored the department’s dedication to community outreach.

Partnerships with esteemed sports teams like the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and New York Knicks provided unique opportunities for youth, including career panels, cultural experiences, and sports clinics. Empowering events such as “We Trending” reached nearly 300 young individuals, while DYCD’s prompt registration of 99 percent of Fiscal Year 2024 contracts ensured continuous support for community-based organizations.

Inclusivity was at the forefront of DYCD’s initiatives, actively reaching out to immigrants through English language classes offered in collaboration with community-based organizations. The inaugural Community Moms and Dads event celebrated parents and caregivers, recognizing their inspirational role in supporting families and communities.

The first-ever Step It Up finale honored the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, positioned as a marquee event under the Mayor’s Cup, managed by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sports, Wellness and Recreation.

Commissioner Keith Howard expressed profound pride in DYCD’s achievements, emphasizing the department’s unwavering commitment to exceptional service, engagement, enrichment, and opportunity in the upcoming year. The collaborative efforts with community partners underscore DYCD’s pivotal role in fostering a stronger, safer, and more vibrant city for all New Yorkers.

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