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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

NY Unlocking Futures Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of Unlocking Futures, Inc. is to reduce the at-risk behavior of youth and to enhance the effectiveness of the adults who live and work with them. Unlocking Futures has found that youth take action that correlates with the future they see for themselves. Thus, Unlocking Futures aims to provide youth with the skills that are sufficient to change their perspective from one of resignation to one of possibility and opportunity.

Target demographics: empower individuals aged 8-80

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 300 families by reaching a total of 1660 children throughout New York City

Geographic areas served: NYC

Programs: The Unlocking Futures programs have been shown to substantially and positively impact individuals aged 8-80, who seek to move to the next step in their careers, relationships or general well-being . The program participant may be at risk in some area or may simply want to experience a breakthrough to move to progress. Unlocking futures will design and tailor a service or program that meets your or your organization’s needs. Courses can be co-ed or single gender.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Gregory Q J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at NY Unlocking Futures since 2010. At the time when I joined the organization, my mother was terminally ill and died a few months after I joined. I truly felt lost and had no purpose. Fate brought me to this organization. A candidate I was interviewing for a job listed the organization on his resume. I was curious and I came to investigate. What drew me to the organization most was its focus on empowerment. They weren't trying to teach kids (people) what they should want but give them the tools to decide for themselves what they want and how to hold themselves accountable for achieving their goals. The volunteers go through the same basic training as the children do. If we weren't willing to be open about our life experiences, how can we expect the kids to be?I've learn so much about the value of volunteerism, the role it plays in building community and just how much we all are fighting our own quiet struggles. We're not alone. We don't have to struggle by ourselves. We can struggle as a community.I learned to dream again. I found meaning and purpose. I found the courage and inspiration to leave everything I know and pursue my dreams of being a professional writer. I learned to recognize when my thoughts turn dark and how to overcome. I went to help save children but, in the process, I was saved.The work this organization does is truly inspiring. Just talk to one of the kids who have gone through one of its programs. I am not a particularly religious person but I am truly blessed to have been part of this organization. Simply no other way I can put it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met this Amazing woman, Mrs. Claudette C. Faison and her Staff for the first time in the 1990's. I became a Mentor, not knowing what I was about to embark upon and how much this opportunity would change my life as well as my children's life; "New York Youth at Risk," which is what it was named at the time. I met such wonderful, committed individuals from all walks of life, who like me, believe that "it Takes a Village." Well I learned that Mrs. Faison is that Village and Vision for youth. I met and mentored some of the most awesome and courageous youth I have ever seen.
The Retreat was beyond what I could imagine. And I am so grateful I was given the opportunity along with my son to experience such a phenomenon.
That was some time ago, but I have never forgotten the experience, the program or the woman. New York Youth at Risk, has allowed me to continue with Mrs. Faison's vision, although it could never touch what she has done for the masses or me.
In my career, I sought out Mrs. Faison and her program. However, as I looked and searched for Youth at Risk, through the internet search engine, it was like going through a never ending maze. I did however find many SUBSTITUTES. Then I remembered, and listed the data and behold there she was. But it was not an official website, it had the address and contact number, however, the information was written in a foreign language, but listed the last address I remembered on West 36th Street, NYC, with a contact number,, I called the number to no avail. I continued my search and there she was, given testimony on you tube, again that is not what I was looking for; I did however happen upon A T.O.U.C.H. and quickly signed up.
I then FOUND NY Unlocking Futures Inc. and there it was testimonies and information on THE GREATEST NON-PROFIT. Mrs. Claudette C' Faison, I salute you.
PLEASE GET A WEBSITE WITH INFORMATION ON HOW TO CONTACT YOU AND YOUR AMAZING PROGRAM FOR OUR YOUTH.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve went to the PA retreat twice. I’ve always been a struggling teen. Battling issues within And beat myself up about my mistakes. I am 20 now , My first time going I was maybe 16/17 and very stuck in my ways. I meant Claudette and she literally changed my life. The girls I’ve meant in there changed my life also. They were all amazing. The experience is really indescribable. All her lessons were so good. Me and all the ladies connected so well still have some on social media till this day! My second time going, I brought a couple of my friends with me who I thought will benefit. They loved it also! Everybody who mentors and worked with us was so amazing. I loved it. Really a life changer. Thank you guys for everything! I would never forget
You guys! If I could rate them a 10 I would! STRONGLY RECOMMEND!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known Claudette Faison and Ade Faison since 1990. Claudette is was a strong woman and so was I back then. We did not see eye to eye lol lol. My name is Gail Davis-Carter. Why do i start off like this. Because this woman, Claudette believes in the communities of people worldwide. She never played around. She created programs with her staff that we can only dream of. She went thru the lean and the prosperous times with dignity and authenticity supporting youth and older generations into the people they would be for themselves that wasn't clear to them before they met Claudette. I can say this with true love for this woman. She is still a strong woman and as what I could not see then because I was younger and had a different perspective, Claudette had her vision and new her purpose was to support the world community. And she had to do that with tenacity and movement forth. I ask that every person support this organization. This is a woman and team who have the highest level of integrity you will find. Claudette has given us LEADERS IN SOCIETY.

1 Djenne G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had such a beautiful and enlightening experience working with Unlocking Futures. I had a summer working with them and I know that I’ve grown so much. Claudette and Ade always pushed me to do better and to see myself differently. I truly value the experience I had with them this summer. It was a truly positive experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Unlocking Futures in June 2018 and I have been truly astonished by the work of this organization. I went to one of their residential programs to help set things up and make sure that everyone had everything that they needed, while doing this I was able to see the process of how they help youth. By the end of the residential I was able to see that lives had been impacted even of kids who were really opposed to going. There was a lot of growth during the trip for them and it was amazing to witness it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Unlocking Futures, Inc. (formerly known as New York Youth at Risk) in 1992 by a friend and was immediately impressed by the difference the organization was making in youth’s lives. Since then I’ve served as mentor, course leader, fund-raiser and donor. This organization is changing youth’s lives by making them more responsible for their attitudes and behaviors. The youth realize they themselves have a role in what they want their lives to look like.

1 Luther G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

20 yrs. volunteering! creating possibility for youth!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with Unlocking Futures for the past 15 years. There is no other organization where you can be part of such an amazing transformational experience. This program not only changes the lives of the youth that are served but the volunteers too!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Unlocking Futures for over 13 years and am still inspired by the work that is done and the lives that are transformed from doing this program! I have watched countless youth and adults be moved to take action in their own life to create something they love every day! The curriculum applied is unique and those involved with the development and facilitation of this work are masterful. I truly can not imagine not being part of this powerful organization and what they create in the world.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Claudette and her team do amazing work that impact young girls that are at risk of falling into the sad cycle that claims so many of our promising young black and latin american girls. I M SO THANKFUL i was able to sit in on a few of their meeting last year and facilitate a gavel club with Ade'. I wish the organization much success and increased impact.

Desiree10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization that supports youth to create a better future for themselves despite the past and the circumstances they have been born into. I have had the privilege of mentoring 2 young teen moms and I, as a volunteer received, just as much from the program, as the girls I mentored. They are both college grads, married with children. I'm very proud of both of them and their achievements.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am not only a mentor but I am a Board member. I have witnessed first hand the work of this great organization. unlocking Futures transforms the chaotic lives of the young people and adults it serves. I've seen young people avoid teen pregnancy, violence, incarceration, and elevate themselves to being their best selves through the compassionate mentoring of youth at risk. You have never experienced anything like this and you should. The results are sustainable and amazing. The outliers are the ones who don't succeed because the norm are the young people who turn out to be productive and effective, contributing citizens in society.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Unlocking Futures for almost thirty years. I have been privileged to see the loving support and transformational results over many years. The organization is committed to each youth they serve recognizing the strong, capable and loving person they are.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

My association with Unlocking Futures goes back to its beginnings. I have been a board member and have maintained a close relationship over the years.
The commitment to transform the lives of young people and the results produced is extraordinary.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have a history with this effort and it's earlier manifestations that goes back to the 1980's. This work has surpassed many other agents in re-directing humans from social disasters. The work is greatly evolved and should reach higher visibility, in order to be replicated and spread to broader lengths of society.

1 Jeffrey G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got started as a a mentor in 1991 and by just listening to my young person and hearing what he wanted his life to look like unlocked a future for him that had him go from group home to mentoring other young people to now being a responsible father and family man. Just one of hundreds I have witnessed and I am still in communication with via social media, a profound and lasting difference.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Have had associations with UF for 5 years through staff, former staff and volunteers.....have found UF and its leadership not only to be high-minded but also very determined to make a difference......in nonnegotiable tenacity in fulfilling on its mission it has advised me as an activist on how to fulfill on my commitment to youth....despite my own ill health it and it's actively listening leadership have worked generously with me in staying true to my promises to youth wherever I find them....thank you UNLOCKING FUTURES

1 Danie W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a former volunteer for Unlocking Futures. I would still be a volunteer, but I moved out of state. This is such a powerful program for teens! It truly gives and teaches the tools needed to transform your life. I've seen some of the mentees in the program, choose to make a powerful difference in their own life, when they thought they had no way to change or be happy. I've seen them repair relationships, get into college, turn around their High School GPA or get out of abusive relationships. All of these decisions were made because they learned that they had the ability to make them, and they learned HOW to make them. I can't say enough about Unlocking Futures. My life was changed by volunteering here.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for NY Unlocking Futures for over 16 years. I started by helping out at a residential intensive just doing whatever they needed me to do. I also did a fair amount of fund raising, but the real impact hit me when I signed up to be a committed partner mentor in the Woman to Woman program in 2000. The experience was life changing for the mentors and the young people. As mentors, we were trained and supported in the technology throughout the entire program. Not only did I witness infinite breakthroughs in the young people, but I experienced my own breakthroughs too! I cannot say enough positive things about this organization and it's impact on the lives of young people (and adults!) who participate!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Unlocking Futures has been part of my life since I first volunteered to mentor a teenage father and then a child of an incarcerated father. The difference this organization makes is seen in the results these kids achieve. Personally, I have benefited from meeting people I would never have interacted with in my life and positive lessons and education I got from them. I am a better father to my three little ones because of what I learned from being part of Unlocking Futures. I give to this organization because I can see the returns coming back to all of us. Surely among my top choices to give my time and money to.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Back in 2001 when looking to become a mentor volunteer for a youth program I stumbled upon NY Unlocking Futures (Formerly NY Youth at Risk). I enrolled and went through their mentor training program. A very impressive & professional approach. I was amazed at how much I learned about myself. After mentoring three separate programs over the following three years I was invited to be part of the Junior Board founding members. Immensely rewarding, later becoming a full Board Member. This organization works people! The transformation of the lives of the youth that go through these programs is remarkable. A huge bang for the buck with very minimal overhead cost. I invite everyone to check NY Unlocking Futures out.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The training that I received to become a volunteer 1.5 years ago was life altering. I thought I would come in and be left to my own devices and "freestyle" at making a difference to a woman who needed a mentor. But instead I got worked, I got coached, I got mentored and empowered with tools to help me live a more powerful life and to be a greatly impressionable/effective mentor. They prep their volunteers in a way so that they become empowered to really relate to the women that they will eventually support. I have nothing but gratitude for this organization, their wisdom, and their influence on communities at large.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with this organization for ten years. The changes I have seen first hand in the youth we serve is inspiring to say the least. The youth that come to camp are not the same young people that leave four days later. It is a physical change,that happens before your face. I have seen so many successful transformations., they have become resourceful, responsible productive members of society. Some of them become the first person in their families to graduate high school much less continue on to college. I have seen families reborn, gang members quit, drug abusers get clean and a self esteem within themselves to match nothing. The process and the way it is delivered is extremely powerful and the satisfaction I feel being a part of it is beyond anything I have ever experienced. I look forward to many more years of partnership with Unlocking Futures.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Unlocking Futures for about 3 years and I can honestly say that the work that they do is life changing. I have seen the clients completing the program with a whole new outlook on life which shows and their demeanor, while taking the steps to make the life better. The staff is also welcoming and inviting which makes it easier for the client's to open up.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been my privilege to have supported the organization for the past 23 years, both as a staff member since retiring for 11 as a volunteer, Their programs are like no other. They are all based on a curriculum that has been evaluated by 3 universities and their results are extraordinary! Young people in trouble are no longer adults in trouble. At the center of the programs is a mentoring component. Mentors are trained to be with their mentee so that they both succeed in producing the results they say they want in their lives. Since 1989, they have worked with over 12,000 young people and their families. Those who have graduated from the programs have become productive citizens in their communities and many give back in service to their community. Did you know that it costs to keep a young person in NY $126,000 for a bed in the juvenile justice system? $129,000 in a group home and $15,550 to attend a public high school. Their
young people "show up" and "turn out".

1 Darryl L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

1995 was the beginning of my life and the continuation of that resulted in me believing. Everyone at youth at risk knows you and acknowledges you with a smile and that's more then any achievement. I'm protecting the streets and serving the community abroad thanks to you (nypd).......

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an Educator, I witness the curriculum of Unlocking Futures Inc as an empowering compliment to traditional education. Years later Unlocking Futures graduates are living with determination and responsibility, demonstating healthy attitudes and being contributors to their communities. They are unrecognizable as young adults from when they were teenagers. They have developed positive character, abilities to adjust, to move from living in Shelters to being Social Workers for families in shelters, from disruptive students to police officers, from being relegated to group homes to childcare business owners. Unlocking Futures provides youth mentees and adult mentor coaches a nurturing environment for sustainability and possibility to thrive. I like their new direction to offer the Unlocking Futures curriculum and training as a resource to youth development organizations.

1 Candice H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

By helping others we help ourselves. This organization is the embodiment of that statement. Volunteering is a great way to spend your time, and feel as though you're contributing to your community. Volunteering with Unlocking Futures is life transforming. Most importantly, it saves the lives of our communities young people in different ways every day. This is the kind of organization that truly speaks to the connected one-ness of humanity and literally makes the world a better place.

1 Diana77

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have witnessed how Unkocking Futures' loving staff and ground breaking curriculum changes the lives of the population served and it's own volunteers every year since 2007. I continued volunteering my time and energy year after year because I knew we were changing he world one young person at a time. Being involved with this organization is the best thin I've done for myself as an adult and I will continue to support them in any way I can!

1 Heidi Natasha W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered with the organiztion in August 2010, I went into help a young person and came out with a new sense of self. I continue to come back because I believe in what the organiztion is doing. While here I have always had the sense of family. I look forward to continuing with NY Unlocking Futures and the hopes that it continues growing as it has.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This Organization is Truly Life Changing!!! I have never been involved with an Organization whereas you think you are volunteering to offer someone else support but never would have I thought that I was the one in need of support. Since becoming a volunteer with Unlocking Futures my life has a greater a sense of purpose and I feel much more connected to my family and my community.