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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

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just finished volunteer with FYI, and really enjoyed my experience. During the Fall semester I volunteered to take a group of students to the farmers markets and teach a small nutrition lesson. In the Spring I volunteered as a tutor, and got to know one of the students very well. The FYI community is caring and delightful, and I would recommend this organization to others.

Richard Alexander S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i have been in fresh youth initiatives for almost 6 years now. i really enjoy coming to FYI everyday because everyday its a new experience for me; FYI keeps me motivated and on track in my school work, even though sometimes is hard for me to come to the program i still find a way to make it. i can say that FYI really change my life because it kept me away from the streets; FYI thought me qualities of being a leader and i really thank them for that.

1 Alexander4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been in FYI since my freshman year in high school. I love coming to FYI after school because it allows me to do something more special with my live and time. Since coming to FYI I have change a lot as a person because I'm more open to suggestion and critiques, have develop my leader skills more. Something that i'm going to us a lot when I join the work force.

1 Andres A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been in FYI since the 8th grade. i really enjoy going everyday after school and seeing all the new friends i have made. FYI means the world to me and every day is a new adventure, starting from the good energy that you get from walking in and the way the staff treats the kids like a real family. If it wasn't for FYI i don't know were i would be by now. FYI also teached me on improving leadership skills for the future. its a really good place if you want to get somewhere in life

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

i have been in fresh youth initiatives since i was 8 im 17 now Fresh youth initiatives has been a very life changing place FYI has taught me the values of being a role model and leader i am grateful to be a part of an organization that helps out my community

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Fresh Youth Initiatives for five years now and even though I have recently started to come less because of all the work I need to do in high school, always have time to come to FYI. FYI is really a life changing organization that I am very thankful for, that is why I always try to introduce my close friends to FYI and most of my friends have came and stayed for a while. FYI is one the best things in my life right now.

2 Kevin52

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been going to FYI since the 8th grade and trust me when I say this FYI literarily saved my life , it is a family , I recently stopped going for personal issues but ill go back as soon as possible , I would recommend any one to freely visit he center and see how real family treat each other

Lewis S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Fresh Youth Initiatives by a friend and am very glad I was. While the work FYI does helps young people access a future that would otherwise be extremely difficult to reach, the impact of FYI is felt much farther and wider.

What makes FYI, and all organizations like them, so amazing is the talent and passion that they bring to their constituency. FYI provides a family environment for young people searching for role models. The executive director, Steve Ramos, and his staff never skip a beat when it comes to serving their kids and it's a delight, as a board member, to help facilitate those relationships.

All the stakeholders (parents, youth, staff, funders, the community, board members) are of one mind when it comes to the outcomes we seek at FYI: using community projects to teach leadership skills to young people. It's something we're all passionate about and we're thrilled to bring that to FYI.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 3

well i love this program but i wish that the program would give more oppurtunities to those who are age 15 to 17, these teens need help in getting involved in the community and its unfortunate that they arent able to join this program.

22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FYI is a great organization. It empowers kids and helps them connect with their community through service. It even taps into their entrepeneurial spirit by encouraging them to organize and lead their own community-service projects.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For me, Fresh Youth Initiatives is not just an afterschool program or summer day camp program, but it has become like a home for me. Here, community service is a priority, from painting a mural to creating over a hundred sleeping bags to give out to the homeless. I’ve enjoyed working in New York City’s only youth run food pantry, the Helping Hands Food Bank where we provide bags of canned and dry goods to clients around the Washington Heights/Inwood area. To know I have changed a person’s life or the life of a community makes me realize that a little change makes a big difference. Community service is important in this organization, but the meaning of family, friends, fun and respect is just as vital. Children, young adults, and adults alike learn the impact of working as a team, becoming friends and discover that to get respect, you must give it. As well as learning values, participants learn how to act and grow in the work place. I myself have gotten a chance to grow from just a participant to a significant part of the organization. FYI integrates the entire community as a part of the business and in the process creates a safe environment for its children. I am glad to have found FYI because it has helped me grow in many ways