Community Youth Advance is one of very few nonprofits in Prince George’s County offering comprehensive mentoring and academic support that includes one-on-one tutoring, high-quality instruction, and learning through exploration, problem solving, character development, and play. We have continued these services virtually throughout the pandemic, serving nearly 1,000 youth, including a caseload of more than 400 academically disengaged youth in 12 Prince George’s County High Schools. These students include those who receive special education accommodations, those that have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and those who have not achieved success in traditional high school settings. High School students across the district have seen a 10% increase in failing course grades for the 2nd quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, and nearly two-thirds of state-wide school systems saw failure rates double, triple or increase even more for middle and high school students.
During this same time, CYA provided an average of 300 one-on-one virtual tutoring sessions per week, and the grade point averages of CYA students increased by up to 8% across all grades.
With the support of Giant Food, we also institutionalized an internship program to support the career development of young men of color in our Mentoring to Manhood program. Through this program, mentees have organized and presented a community and political forum, and are currently working on a career festival to provide on site training, applications and interviews, as well as vouchers & gift cards for interview attire and shoes.
Our Junior Leaders (7th – 12th grade boys and girls) organized and led our first annual Let’s Get Into Good Trouble Youth Conference, which engaged nearly 200 youth throughout Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, as well as Washington DC and Northern Virginia.
Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Monica Goldson, Super Bowl XLIV Champion & Philanthropist Usama Young, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Chelsea Morales, and Podcaster Tyree Qwamae Bell were among many community leaders who provided videos of encouragement, participated on youth panels, and provided insight on youth advocacy initiatives and ideas.
As proud and excited as we are by the success and perseverance of our students this past year, we anticipate an increased need and demand for our programming as students return to school this fall. These youth will still face academic gaps as a result of disengagement during distance learning, especially in math and reading.
We are preparing to meet this challenge through summer curriculum-writing work groups and efforts like Project Backpack and Train-The-Trainer, which will provide students with the materials they need to succeed, as well as prepare high school students for paid internships as tutors for K – 5th grade students. We will also maintain a portion of virtual programming this fall to ensure students have access to high quality academic support and intervention in ways that are easily accessible to families facing varying circumstances.
We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our community in the form of grants and partnerships with Prince George’s County Public Schools, Giant Food, Many Hands DC, The Greater Washington Community Foundation, Brighter Bites DC, The Prince George’s County Council including members Dannielle Glaros, Todd Turner, Tom Dernoga, Jolene Ivey and Vice Chair Deni Taveras, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and many others. This support is the definition of what it means to “harness the power of community”.
We hope you will continue to support us this upcoming year. Here are some ways we need you:
- Advocate for federal, state and local funding to be directed to nonprofit organizations like Community Youth Advance. This funding will help CYA expand critical wrap around services designed to get students back on, and keep them on track for graduation.
- Like, Share and Spread our upcoming calls to action. This summer and into the fall, across social media, email and even through curbside billboards, we will be recruiting mentors with the goal of matching 25% more youth with a 1:1 mentor.
- Direct your funding. There is no way around it, we need to raise funds in new ways, from new sources, to meet the new challenges our youth are facing. We must respond as a full community to their needs. This includes individuals, our elected leaders, our neighbors, friends of our colleagues, and so many more. Please consider investing and seeking investments into Community Youth Advance to Teach, Reach and Keep youth on the path to success.
You can visit www.cyadvance.org/donate to make an investment today.
Thank you so much for your continued support! We look forward to sharing more success with you later this year!