You can’t just tell a child to stay in school, graduate and go to college. You must commit to providing the skills, mentors, resources and opportunities for them to excel along with removing the daily barriers they experience. The students and families we serve experience the daily stress of living in extreme poverty. Students attend failing schools, live in neighborhoods plagued by violence and are in desperate need for resources and opportunities.
We have proven that our solution of providing long-term, wraparound services and building relationships changes the odds and creates an opportunity for economic mobility. We have been serving the same community for twenty-five years and have developed lifelong relationships with our families built through loyalty, trust, and kinship. This foundation allows for transformational change and undeniable success that directly correlates to improved living conditions, and an increase in economic opportunities.
Our expertise in working with the children we serve is understanding the barriers they face daily and knowing the resources they require to overcome and excel. These barriers range from having proper shoes and clothes to walk to school to receiving mental health services after witnessing domestic abuse. We have also sent 98% of our graduates to college and understand the complexities of being a first generation high school graduate and college student, which has allowed for our outstanding post-secondary degree attainment.
CYD raises expectations and hold students accountable, while instilling confidence and hope, and helping students identify their strengths and talents. We provide the opportunities that give their affluent peers an advantage as they begin their adult lives. According to National Center for Education, only 14% of low-income students earn a college degree vs. 60% of high-income students. When 80% of our graduates have earned their degrees or are still enrolled, have an average income of $46,000, it is evident that our solutions work.
Marcus Lee began his CYD journey in the 3rd grade and earned his college degree in 2016.