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May 23, 2016

SUCCESSFUL KIDS: URBAN YOUTH IMPACT

by PBUnitedWay

At the Town of Palm Beach United Way we believe that there is no better investment than education.  We see education as a community responsibility.   It takes all of us parents, teachers, mentors, and caring adults to help a child succeed in school and in life.

Urban Youth Impact has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency since 2010.  They provide services in the at-risk areas of Tamarind Avenue and surrounding West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Boynton Beach.  These areas have been identified as those with the most at-risk children based on numerous indicators such as poverty levels, school readiness, graduation rates, teen birth rates and percent of children on free/reduced lunch among others.

One program funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way is The Leadership Academy.    The Academy serves 148 students grades K-9 through tutoring, computer-based literacy learning, life-skills, and character development.  Most recently Urban Youth Impact added a healthy eating component as well as a STEAM (arts and sciences) curriculum to further expand students’ interest and involvement.  The goal of the Academy is to prepare each student it serves to succeed in life by providing academic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual enrichment through these students’ formative years.

Kelsey** began attending programs at Urban Youth Impact when she was 7 years old. She grew up in a single parent home and lived in Dunbar Village, a highly violent neighborhood in West Palm Beach.

“Over the past 14 years, my family has been impacted by the following UYI programs: The Leadership Academy Afterschool Program – helped with homework, focused on academics and reading and provided me a mentor who worked one on one – always encouraging me to grow as a person.  Summer Jam – kept us busy and off the streets during the summer so my mom did not have to worry about us.  The Summer Work Program – gave me the opportunity to learn different skills every summer.  I participated for four summers and each year was different.  I worked at the VA Hospital, Palm Beach Zoo, a summer camp and a local book store. Family Empowerment Program – gave my mom the opportunity to get the encouragement and direction she needed as a single mom.  UYI also provided my mom and family with back to school supplies and Christmas toys, so that we would have these things.   I am currently a senior at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City.”

How it Makes a Difference

Programs run by Urban Youth Impact and other Town of Palm Beach United Way funded agencies make a huge impact on our community.  Every time a child, like Kelsey is exposed to a quality afterschool program or a caring mentor it makes an impact on their life and potentially changing it forever.    That same child will one day grow up to be a proficient reader who will read to his or her children, impacting generations and communities everywhere.

How You Can Help

To learn more about Urban Youth Impact or to get involved please visit their website here.

Note: Our monthly Partner Agency Spotlight recognizes Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agencies that are passionate and dedicated to bringing about change in our community.

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