Connecting the Pathways to Success for Youth and Young Adults
Families, schools and communities look to out-of-school time programs as much more than a place for kids to go and be supervised while their parents are at work. Today, it’s more about providing them with safe spaces where they can flourish, relax and just be themselves.
YouthPlaces inspires youth and empowers them to succeed. Our specialized programming and community connections provide under served youth with the hope and life skills needed to overcome their obstacles to success. Our youth are at the center of everything that we do, and we challenge them to unlock their full potential by providing all the tools they need along the way. By investing in their strengths and abilities, we are able to refine their focus and help them along their path to success.
YouthPlaces has a successful history of engaging the region’s hardest to reach youth, and working with teens that are at-risk and under served, improving their opportunities for a successful transition to the next phase of life. YouthPlaces’ promise of success lies in the organization’s ability to effectively outreach and involve youth in positive experiences and support their personal development as demonstrated in an evaluation of YouthPlaces, by The Office of Child Development, which concluded:
“Well before coming to YouthPlaces, youth have typically been on an incremental path of disengagement… As staff begin to engage participants in more directed youth development opportunities such as academic tutoring, mentoring, and job readiness programs, with sustained engagement youth begin to see pathways for positively engaging/re-engaging in mainstream educational and employment opportunities and are thus in a better position to achieve outcomes such as high school graduation, secondary education, and employment.”–OCD, University of Pittsburgh
Over the past 20 years, YouthPlaces has expanded to operating in 10 sites serving more than 3,000 youth each year. Nearly all of our youth are African American, with males comprising 60% of our population. We serve a population that averages 16 years old. 72% have been involved in the human service system. Nearly 50% reside in low-income or public housing.
“As a founding board member of YouthPlaces, I have seen first hand–over nearly two decades–how this organization has helped to shape and change the lives of youth that are often overlooked and forgotten in our region.”–Frederick W. Thieman, Former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of PA
“The culinary training program and the YouthPlaces staff helped me see life from a different point of view. I really enjoyed the one on one attention and the instruction. They inspired me to continue my education at Community College of Allegheny County.”–Tyler Beatty, Culinary Program Graduate
“Youth places had a positive impact on my life because, it helped me stay out of trouble. It was a safe place to hang with my friends, play sports, and develop leadership skills. The staff supported me and helped me achieve a lot of my goals because they pushed me to be great. Without YouthPlaces and the staff there, I would probably just be another statistic of Homewood. It’s a positive gateway for kids in the hood to focus and find their self.”– Keshawn Books, Class of 2016