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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Renaissance Youth Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Performing Arts Centers, Physical Fitness & Community Recreational Facilities, Sports, Youth Centers & Clubs

Mission: To maximize the potential of at-risk, inner-city youth to become law-abiding citizens with something positive to offer society.

Results: Renaissance serves over 3,900 youths every single week, offering programs in 30 public schools, 8 community-based organizations, four satellite after-school sites, and our 10,000 square feet center on Third Avenue. Our programs work with students holistically, teaching them skills in the arts or athletics, and delivering social development and academic enrichment through mentoring, tutoring, and SAT prep. Program participants that spend at least four years with Renaissance have a 100% high school graduation rate, and 97% of them go on to attend college.

Target demographics: At-risk, inner-city youth in the Bronx and surrounding boroughs, ages 2-19.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,900

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Performing Arts Program - this program provides music instruction at our center to youth ages 2-19. Students can take guitar, drums, keyboard, dance and vocal instruction. Music On Wheels - this program provides music classes to over 30 public schools in NYC, instructing more than 1600 kids each school year. Music With A Message - our youth band that travels around New York City and beyond during the summer, playing live concerts and spreading positive messages. They've performed in several states, Yankee Stadium, Carnegie Hall and most recently Lincoln Center. Basketball - our basketball program teaches discipline and work ethic to all ages. There are two travel teams for teens, and personal development is valued above pure athletic performance. Academic Tutoring - we provide SAT/ACT tutoring each school year, and have summer tutoring to keep students sharp while they're out of school.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sharon70

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was part of the PennPAC team from the University of Pennsylvania that was working with Renaissance this fall. I had the opportunity to speak with many of the students, teachers, administrators and board members of the organization. I have worked with lots of other organizations and their leaders. Renaissance stands out among them as unique. The level of impact that they have on the community is extremely impressive. The passion and commitment of the Mr. Harris and Coach Q are outstanding. They create an environment that is open, honest, caring which nurtures and grows the participants in ways that would have been impossible without their support. They have high expectations and encourage the students to reach above and beyond them. The music and sports programs such as Music With a Message, Teens to Tape Live and basketball training provide incredible opportunities for personal growth and developing a sense of pride in what they have accomplished. They couple these enticing opportunities with educational mentoring and tutoring to ensure that they are good students. Every day Renaissance is making a difference - transforming hundreds of kids by helping them overcome the obstacles of growing up in the inner-city and to enable them to see a future of hope.

1 pennpac

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am a member of PennPAC, an organization of University of Pennsylvania alumni-volunteers that provide pro-bono project-based consulting services to New York City non-profits. We partnered with Renaissance on a 10 week project focused on strengthening Renaissance's brand message and identifying best practices from other non-profits. Over the course of the engagement, our team gained an understanding of Renaissance and its impact on the Bronx community. We conducted multiple site visits and interviewed various board members, staff, teachers, and students to understand what makes Renaissance so unique. The greatest strength of the organization is the leadership team. Mr. Harris and Q are fully committed to the success of the organization and remain deeply connected with the students. The music and sports programs are extremely effective and enticing, drawing in many student into the organization. I find programs like 'Teens Live to Tape' or 'TLTsquared' to be truly unique and unparalleled. Lastly, Renaissance goes beyond traditional youth organizations by creating a family environment for everyone involved. The connections here run deep. As a management consultant, I have advised many non-profit and for-profit organizations and I have never made as strong of a connection as I have with Renaissance.

Sophy M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel a proud that my daughter destiny is in renaissance program. She's being learning a lot in the programs of piano. I invite anyone to be involve in the program that is very helpful for your kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with the Renaissance program in the summer of 2010 when my granddaughter started taking piano lessons. It has been a positive experience for her as she has developed the techniques to play on the piano. She looks forward to coming to the program to learn her lessons. She has becomes self motivated by the encouragement that the teachers have instilled in her. The school that she attends does not have a music program and she always wanted to play the piano from a little child. Seeing her play has brought joy to my soul. I commend the teachers and the entire staff for the accomplishment that I have seen in her.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel that Renaissance is an excellent music, educational school. I truly feel that the people running the school are very caring, dedicated to the children and to the community. My two boys love going to renaissance, they feel welcome and are treated as family. Thank you Renaissance for all your hard work and dedication..

Client Served

Rating: 5

Renaissance EMS is such a great place. It helped me so much. If it wasn't for this center, I don't know what kind of person I would be Today, Or how i would get through some of life problems. This program helped me grow musically and personally. As soon as you walk through the door, you become part of a family! And the people there don't only focus on one thing...No matter what program you're in, they always check up on you academically! and give you help wherever you need it! I love this place and the people in it. i wouldnt change it for the world. Personally, I feel like they deserve and award, because no matter how hard the job may become, they never give up!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great place for children of all ages to be involve in. My son started at the age of four years old. I was, and still am, very impressed with the professional staff that are educated and family oriented. Great examples of young adults growing to be responsible individuals. My son and family as a whole will definitely remains member of the Renaissance EMS family for years and years to come. I'm excited to see what my son's future holds at Renaissance EMS. Thanks for your positive influence and presence in the community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

what I think about this program is that is very good and helpful for the kids...my personal experience is that this program help my daughters at lot in school. they improve theirs abilities. I am really happy with it!!

Christina30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of the Renaissance Program for 12 years I started out as a volunteer worker and worked my way up to being a part of the Renaissance staff. 12 years later and although I don't work for the program I continue to return to support all of the positive programs that are being offered. Its impossible to know about everything that this program does for our youth and not want to be apart. I have grown and learn so much from the executive directors of the program, they have taught me professionalism and how to be a role model in my community. I learned about building relationships and taking all that I learned and sharing it with other. Renaissance is a blessing and don't know where I would be or the type of person i would be with out the guidance of the Renaissance program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Joseph Castro and i am with the Music WAM Renaissance Band and we are a band that sings songs of positivity around the community and other places. Being with this band has taught me responsibility and not a lot of people do what i do so i guess i am very blessed to be here. In this we are a family and we work together to become what we are today and i had left for a good year but i will tell you from experience that i wasn't the same when i left. This band is basically my life and it created the respectful and smart young man that i am today and when i left my grades went down tremendously. I love this band and i want to put my all into it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the way Renaissance give back to the community. My son started taking keyboard lessons when he was six in school for one year, his teacher said he had potential and I should invest in lessons. Without Renaissance I wouldn't be able to do this for my child. Its affordable and class A service. Its worth every penny, they are caring and very knowledgeable. God bless them.

Client Served

Rating: 4

i THING IS OPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE NOT HAFE MONEY FOR PAY CLASS.

Jaqua C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son joined the Renaissance EMS family in 2008. We are still here and happy to report that this program is a God Sent. Isaac, my son, started with Piano lessons. Now he has taken Drums, Guitar and Vocals. He also came in 1st place with a program competition and earned a Prize. That Prize was traveling to the EAA and enrolling into the Junior Aviators Program. All I can say is this a Valuable Program that is so desperately needed in the Bronx. In the Summer of 2011 I volunteered and worked with a dynamic team. Mr. Bervin Harris and Darren Quinlan are true role models for our Youth. The staff is diverse and professional. They are also caring and creative. In the years that I have been apart of this program, I can say, this program is evolving. We need more RENAISSANCE EMS programs not only on the local level but on a National Level as well. Continue to Bless us with your presence and behalf of My entire family and Community THANK YOU RENAISSACE EMS!

1 Pamella H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the parent of a child who attended Renaissance and can attest to the value and commitment of the program. My daughter started the program to learn about music and her experience far exceeded her expectations. Not only did she receive a solid foundation in music fundamentals, but she received the added bonus of being in a supportive environment that allowed her to blossom as a young lady. Renaissance is so much more than an education, music and sports program, it is a family that loves you to greater heights.