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Our Mission

YouthPlaces develops the skills of the youth we serve, and in doing so, we increase their opportunity for success. We focus our efforts on under served youth in high-risk communities where few other agencies operate. Our high-quality afterschool programs engage youth from within their community, and are responsive to input and feedback from youth leaders and the community as a whole.

Our Vision

We believe in the youth we serve. We commit ourselves daily to our mission because, in the end, our youth deserve a chance to succeed. To us, success takes no single form. Our steadfast hope is that through our help, youth find their own way in the world as they transition into happy, healthy, productive and responsible adults. And as they do, we firmly believe that they will lift their communities with them, helping to realize a better future for Pittsburgh as a whole.

Our Values and Beliefs

Through our mission and vision, we have set a direction for YouthPlaces. That direction is reinforced by the values and beliefs that are shared within our organization.

  • We embrace a positive youth development approach, which focuses on building key developmental assets as a means to achieving youth success
  • We provide safe, accessible sites where youth can engage in activities without physical or emotional barriers
  • We are responsive to youth, actively involving them in planning, implementing and governing the programs in which they participate and incorporating their needs, their interests and their abilities into our operational decisions, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or cultural background
  • We are a consistent and reliable presence in the communities we serve. • We collaborate with the communities we serve, engaging families, schools, other youth serving agencies, and grassroots organizations to provide the best possible services to youth.
  • We employ individuals who are comfortable with and respectful of the youth they serve.

Talk is cheap, so our adherence to these standards is crucial in order to demonstrate our commitment to our mission and vision. By embracing these values in all that we do, YouthPlaces earns the trust of our youth, the communities we serve and the partners who support our work.

Our History

YouthPlaces was founded as a community response to an overwhelming need for afterschool programs for teens in high-risk, under served communities. Established in 1997 through the Youth Crime Prevention Council comprised of civic, community and corporate leaders, YouthPlaces began with 5 sites and 500 youth, and has evolved to seventeen sites serving over 4,000 youth annually. In 2005, YouthPlaces incorporated as an independent not-for-profit, and in 2012, YouthPlaces established a hub center on Pittsburgh’s Northside that houses managerial offices and program opportunities.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Mike Denove
Ernst & Young

Juan Garrett
Executive Director
Riverside Center for Innovation

Dr. Quintin B. Bullock, DDS
Community College of Allegheny County

Board Members

Dara Ware Allen, Ph.D
President & CEO
City High

Debra L. Caplan
Executive in Residence 
Forbes Funds

Brandi Fisher
Founder & Executive Director
Alliance for Police Accountability

Sabrina Saunders Mosby
President & CEO
Coro Center for Civic Leadership

Christopher Ragland
Commander, Zone 1
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

William J. Sheridan, Esq.
Reed Smith, LLP

Deanna Sieberkrob
Carlow University

James E. Taylor, PhD
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer 

William Thompkins
Executive Director (retired)
The Pittsburgh Project

Mike Woychek

Damon Young


Honorary Directors

Diana A. Bucco
The Buhl Foundation

David J. Malone
President & CEO
Gateway Financial

Frederick W. Thieman
Chair for Civic Leadership
The Buhl Foundation

Our Team


Cynthia L. James
President & Chief Executive Officer
412.434.0851 x101

Finance Office


Uwe Calloway
Chief Operations Officer

Desiree Johnson
Operations Manager


Weston White
Director of Leadership and Engagement

Jane Lee
Director of Education

Natalie Jones
Regional Site Manager 

Natasha Kennedy
Regional Site Manager

Ayodeji Young 
Regional Site Manager

Tammy Brown
Site Manager – Wilkinsburg

Demetra Franklin
Site Coordinator – East Hills

Brenda Sawyer
Site Manager – McKeesport

Northside Central 412-434-0851

New Site Open!!

YP Central YouthHub 1037 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh PA, 15222.

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