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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fresh Youth Initiatives, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Fresh Youth Initiatives’ mission is to engage youth in positive, community-building activities while guiding and supporting them through childhood and adolescence. Located in Washington Heights, our programs introduce students to college, careers, and community service while helping them to navigate three key life transitions: immigration, middle school to high school, and high school to college. We envision this community of Latino youth as successful, healthy, lifelong learners with access to post-secondary education and a strong sense of citizenship and self-identity.

Results: Last year, 90% of FYI'ers passed to the next grade level in school; 150 middle and high school students volunteered 16,000 hours of service to their community. 95% of FYI high school seniors graduate and enroll in college.

Target demographics: We support 600 Latino youth to become avid learners, confident leaders, and to succeed on a healthy journey to adulthood.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 Washington Heights youth in grades K through 12 by providing academic, cultural, social, and recreational programs and activities.

Geographic areas served: NYC

Programs: (1) The Welcome Program for 120 immigrant/1st generation children in grades K-5 that develops students’ reading and writing skills by engaging them in literacy activities with multicultural and multilingual literature; (2) afterschool programs for middle school and high school students that develop leadership skills while supporting their path to college; (3) Summer Day Camps for grades K-5 and 6-8 that focus on supporting students’ social, emotional and academic development; (4) Summer Job Training for youth ages 16-24

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

FYI is an incredible organization that truly cares about every individual that walks through their doors. Sincerity and authenticity run through FYI and it doesn't take more than one visit to see it. In my experience, it is rare to find a nonprofit that runs as fluidly as FYI!

1 Paola P.

Advisor

Rating: 5

FYI is a great organization that has been a pleasure to work for. You can see their commitment to the youth they serve as well as the commitment to the staff. FYI makes all members ( whether staff, interns or students) feel part of a family.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

FYI is awesome! They have provided me an opportunity of a lifetime of learning and working with an amazing community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a mentor to my "mentee" for almost 20 years. FYI matched me with an 11yo girl when I was in my early 20's and we've been part of each other's lives ever since. She's now a 30 yo successful attorney, happily married and such a "success story." FYI was a wonderful organization to work with. They do do honest, salt-of-the-earth development with the kids, and I love that the kids have to "earn" a mentor through their community service. Highly recommend.

1 Majj F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I remember when I first joined FYI in 1998 I was eager to help my community any way possible and to be able to do that with awesome people by my side made it all the better. The friendships I made and the lessons I learned on life and humility have stuck with me all these years I can't wait for my daughter to join FYI and follow in my footsteps as well.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

fyi is such an amazing its like why is their no 6 star
what keeps me coming is that all my friends are here and we enjoy every single second at fyi

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with FYI as a homework helper last fall. Sadly, my work schedule no longer allows for the afternoon commitment, or else I'd still be going each week! The team there is truly dedicated to their many students; each student is truly supported and encouraged. The many programming offerings at FYI also allow it so that all the kids find something they love to focus on, no matter what their interests are. I was blown away by the growth and talent I saw from the students each week. I look forward to getting involved again in the future!

1 Derek14

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my second home. FYI helped me learn English and this is really helped me do well in school to. We all treat our self like brother and sister FYI IS THE BEST PROGRAM EVER.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I LLLOVE TIS TIS PROGRAM THIS IS THE BEST PROGRAM IN HISTORY OF PROGRAMS. I LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOVE IT HERE WE TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE BROTHER AND SISTER SOMETIMES WE ARGUE BUT ITS ALL RIGHT FYI FRESH YOUTH INITIATIVES

Client Served

Rating: 5

Its the best program eeeeeee-vvvvvvv-rrrrrrr . you should come. FYI ROCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I LOVE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. ITs the BESTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

i love this program its awesome its so fun i heart the activities i heart the staffs the food is aaaa-mm-azing but mostly i love love love this camp its called camp scatico its so fun we eat smores and their is a lounge where you just hang out its funnn, sometimes everynight at midnight we gather around the camp fire and tell scary stories and eat smores. I had never been outside of the city this was my first time and i am grateful fyi is like my family and everyone is so silly.i been here for 4 years and 5 months its been really good you do your homework here and you earn hours their like points you earn to go to camp scatico well i said too much how about you come and check it out i hope you have the same experience that i did yay!!!!! my name is yinel by the way

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found my favorite sport,soccer at FYI. It helps me because in school I need the skills to play kickball. I started to play the drums . I also restarted to play the guitar. There is also girls group which allows us to tell the staff members how we feel. This the best program ever because they had a sleep over and I went to central park for the first time ever. I always return because they support our decisions. I also found a woman that has the same last name as me. They are really fun. They also give us food. They are the best foundation in the world.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

lo que me gusta de fyl es que nos yudan sienpre
y me gusta como nos tratan me gusta los programas que eyos asen tanbien me gusta cuando nos yeban al parque y me gusta las comidas que asen me gusta como yerry nos trata todos me gustaria que ubiera algo de musica pero esta bien el programa es bueno y me gusta mucho a los que no estan se lo recomiendo mucho.


-yulenny blanco gracias

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

fyi is the best because we have a lot of fun. The staff do a lot of fun things like go to the park and if you what to come to this program to see all things that the lovely staff do you can talk to Jerry. thanks

-jorgely tejada

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

this program is the best you always have lots of fun they help us with the math and much much more other stuff we do tons of projects and met new people

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I come to this program because I get to meet other people. To me it is a second home to me an i have been here for 3 years.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I always have a lot of fun at FYI. I see my friends in the afternoon here. It is an awesome organization and place. I have met tons of great people here.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FYI played a major role in my life. I started at 10 Years old and now that I'm 27 I am still using the skills they taught me. I learned about responsibility and professionalism. I also learned how to be a good citizen in my community and the importance to serve.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My story with FYI began back in 1999. It was the height of my career with no time to spare but I knew I needed to balance my life and do something to give back to others. I found FYI and was attracted to them due to their model of implementing community service into their program. I was first matched with a girl who was struggling and surrounded by walls she had built to protect her heart. It took months to get her to trust me, but she finally did. It was a special friendship and sadly changed when she moved to MA. I continued to stay in touch and went up to visit her periodically. FYI asked me if I was ready to be matched again to which I was certainly was. This time, the match was flawless. Here I was thinking I was giving back and doing something for someone else when I met my new mentee. She was going thru so very much in her life but she was hungry. Hungry for love and adventure, to learn and to be exposed. She was 11 and trying to find her way in a tough world. We spent every Saturday together, walking Central Park with my dog (she LOVED dogs) and talking. She came to the magazine I worked for and saw a life she could never have imagined. We mostly did simple life things but I also took her to Radio City at Christmas and always celebrated her birthdays in a big way. Our most special adventure was a trip cross country. Wow, the talking and learning and sharing we did. She had big dreams and a bigger heart. I had a wonderful relationship with her Mom as we went along in co-raising this special girl. There were many hurdles and some big issues that came up in her life but her Mom knew I was there to help and always reached out for my input and assistance. Some tough conversations, some tough love and a whole lot of happiness and love given to her, she came through. She came through brighter than she should have, she came through with confidence and inspiration, she came through with a love of people and giving back and doing the right thing. I now have an 11 year old daughter and she has a baby. My friends all told me when I first talked about becoming a mentor that this was not a good time, I was so busy and stressed with my work - to look back at that time, my goal was attain balance in a busy world, the result was beyond any hope. I know I made a mark on my sweet girl as we are still just as close but, wow...did she sure make a mark on my life. By far, the greatest experience in humanity and love. Thank you FYI for being a part of my life. May you continue your great work with the support you need. I am always here to help in any way.

1 AndrewRubinson

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I saw a group of FYI youth around the neighborhood painting a mural. I was impressed with the ways that the older kids and young kids worked together, you don't often see young people of different ages communicate like that. Clearly FYI is helping to make my neighborhood look better with their community service activities, and developing leadership qualities in their participants. Impressive

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

FYI runs its program with integrity, passion, and creativity. The young people who participate provide so many different types of community service help to others in the neighborhood (seniors, the hungry, other youth) and in so doing help themselves grow and move forward. Every neighborhood and every city should such a high-quality and innovative youth organization.


- Andrew Rubinson