Mission: We are committed to provide high quality programs, advocacy and supportive services. We connect youth, young adults and their families in metro detroit to resources and opportunities that enrich their lives with special attention to those who are underserved.
Programs: Dnr summer youth employment program. The youth connection, in partnership with the michigan department of dnr and economic development corporation, provides paid summer internships, career training, and outdoor activities program for 120 youth ages 16 19 interested in outdoor careers. Youth learned expectations and skills necessary to succeed by participating in hands on training and exercises directly related to careers. The youth participate in a one week orientation regarding what is expected of them at their job placement and to develop the soft skills resume writing, interviewing workshops, financial literacy and credit, business attire, etc. Needed to prepare for a career. Youth were interviewed and gained employment at one of 22 job sites and learned all aspects of career training. In addition to their skill-building and internships, youth also participated in outdoor recreation activities and community service projects. The participants of our program complete archery sessions, hiking, trail maintenance, outdoor sports, and other activities that allow them to experience pure michigan. While camping, they rebuilt picnic tables and rehabbed hiking trails at state parks to give back to the community.
substance abuse prevention program. The youth connection tyc substance abuse prevention program is a dynamic, participant-centered program that addresses the prevention and abuse of atod alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in metropolitan detroit through the administration and delivery of the following services targeting youth and their immediate families botvin lifeskills training - we were contracted to provide this research-validated substance abuse prevention program to 125 students and young adults. We completed the training for 200 students and young adults.
other programs. Included after school fair, gdyt, ally, ticket to float, and others.
When my husband and I retired after decades of teaching in special education, we both agreed that we needed to give back. This need was fueled by our faith-based doctrines that required that we do and not just believe.
During our careers as special educators we experienced many wonderful opportunities that took us beyond our teaching duties, through volunteering. Our time, energy, skills and experience were given to students to expand their opportunities of success academically, culturally and vocationally. However, it was not until we met the very special Dr. Grenae Dudley, CEO of The Youth Connection (TYC), that we recognized what volunteering was all about. This amazing, articulate, fireplug of a woman opened a door that allowed our dreams of giving back to become a reality at a level we never dreamed could come true.
As teachers we experienced repeated frustrations and limitations in our efforts to deliver academic success combined with social and cultural mentoring. We became academic coaches at TYC under Dr. Dudley’s leadership, which has allowed us to be more than just teachers. Now we are able to change a student’s life journey! Through a specialized reading program, small group workshops, tutoring sessions and mentoring, students have grown in reading comprehension, math application, expository writing, school grades and self-esteem. What a rewarding and thrilling experience! Every young life matters and we have found ourselves in the amazing position to matter in those young lives at a level we never imagined. Lives that have often been deprived of so much of what, for most of our lives, we have taken for granted. For that we will be forever grateful.
Now our life and legacy have been permanently altered by Dr. Dudley and TYC. We are humbled and yet proud.
Coleman and Gail Castro, Academic Development Coaches The Youth Connection, Inc.