Department of Youth and Community Development
2002-2013: A DYCD Retrospective on Quality, Equity and Accountability.
T H E C I T Y O F N EW Y O R K O FFI C E O F T H E M A Y O R N EW Y O R K , N Y 1 0 0 0 7 December 2013 Dear Friends: All children, in every neighborhood, deserve a first-rate education – and all the support they need to pursue their dreams. Over the past 12 years, our students have made enormous progress, with high school graduation rates increasing 42 percent. Our children, parents, teachers, and principals deserve enormous credit for those gains – but so do all who work supporting our children through youth and community development programs. In 2002-2013: A DYCD Retrospective on Quality, Equity and Accountability, DYCD highlights how – under the strong leadership of Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav – New York City has become a national leader in youth services. For example, DYCD’s Fatherhood Initiative helps fathers better connect with their children. Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, young people are gaining the early experience that can then lead to success in careers of their choosing. And a range of initiatives – from Out-of-School Time to programs at New York City Housing Authority community centers – are ensuring that young New Yorkers have the daily support now that, as studies show, can make a significant difference later in their lives. DYCD continues to create great opportunities for kids, families, and entire communities. I invite you to learn more about that vitally important work in this comprehensive report. Sincerely, Michael R. Bloomberg Mayor Dear New Yorkers, I am delighted to present 2002–2013: A DYCD Retrospective on Quality, Equity and Accountability. Under the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has conceived and undertaken creative initiatives to serve the needs of youth and families at every stage in their growth and development—school, work and life. Since 2002, DYCD has grown tremendously and experienced unprecedented transformation—expanding from a budget of $165 million to more than $400 million. Entrusted with a critical oversight role, I am proud to have led DYCD through a period in which the agency has collaborated closely with nonprofit providers, advocates, educators, foundation and business leaders, and program participants, to effect change and strive for excellence. Based on the guiding principles of quality, equity and accountability, our fundamental goal has been to strategically invest in communities, introducing and evaluating new ideas for programming, adopting evidence-based strategies, and fostering a culture of high standards, continuous quality improvement and acceptance of responsibility for results. The reforms we have introduced are making a significant impact. Our processes are fair and transparent and stakeholders have a voice. Our funding decisions are equitable, grounded in collection and analyses of demographic data. In addition, program enhancements and adjustments are informed by “lessons learned” from previous efforts. Ultimately, DYCD’s approach reflects the City’s commitment to providing a broad spectrum of high-quality youth and community development programs. Building on their strengths and assets, our aim throughout has been to enable young people to meet their academic goals and successfully transition to adulthood, and to help individuals, families and communities thrive. On the following pages you will learn about the rich history of DYCD services in New York City and meet some of our talented and dedicated staff. You will get an inside look at the range of programs DYCD supports and the outstanding organizations that provide them. But the real stars of DYCD’s legacy will be our program participants whose successes and inspirational stories are celebrated in this publication. Together with our partners, we have made significant progress and established a solid foundation for future growth. It’s been a privilege to serve as the Commissioner of DYCD for close to 12 years, and our agency looks forward to continuing its work on behalf of the residents of our great City. Sincerely, Jeanne B. Mullgrav Commissioner Department of Youth and Community Development INTRODUCTION // 01 Rocking the Boat, 2007 IN THE BEGINNING // 02 SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SYEP) In 2003, as part of the Cityâ€™s effort to consolidate and streamline social services, Mayor Bloomberg relocated youth employment services to DYCD. The administration recognized that locating youth development programs within a single agency would improve the quality of a wide range of workforce initiatives while maintaining efficient service delivery. Responding to the Mayorâ€™s charge, DYCD immediately began reshaping the 50-year-old Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) with quality in mind. SYEP reforms include quality job placements in line with youth career and educational goals; encouraging diverse private-sector placements; emphasizing services in high unemployment areas; increasing opportunities for youth with disabilities; offering a flexible program schedule; targeting opportunities to vulnerable youth populations; introducing educational workshops; differentiated programming for younger youth; and implementing an employer-paid internship model for more experienced young people. SYEP, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Queens, 2013 DYCD also implemented the comprehensive Youth Employment Program System (YEPS) which provides online administration of SYEP and other workforce programs. YEPS accepts over 140,000 applications annually and provides random selection of program participants through a lottery system. YEPS also provides payment to participants using debit cards and direct deposit; hosts a database of enrollee and worksite records; and delivers W-2 forms and payroll statements among other features. SYEP, New York Aquarium, 2007 6,724 64% INCREASE 4,100 140K 70K 2005 2013 Number of diverse worksites up 64% (Since 2005) QUALITY // 10 2013 95% of all applications submitted online (As of FY 2013) 2006 2013 Online access has more than doubled the number of applications (Since 2006) YOUTH CONNECT DYCD’s Youth Connect is a resource and referral service for youth, families and CBOs utilizing web-based strategies and a confidential, toll-free hotline (1.800.246.4646). Youth Connect’s mission is to increase access to and visibility of New York City’s opportunities for young people, and is dedicated to being a one-stop shop for all youth-related resources in the City. Whether through the Youth Connect hotline, social media or the E-Blast newsletter, DYCD is committed to providing accessible information to the youth and communities we serve. Additionally, by employing the City’s language translation services, Youth Connect is able to communicate in 187 different languages. (For more on Youth Connect, see story on page 40.) Top DYCD Facebook followers by country United States United Kingdom Canada Spain Italy India facebook.com/nycyouth twitter.com/NYCYouth Launched in September 2009, Youth Connect’s three social networking sites hosted by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have a combined total of over 12,000 fans/followers who receive updated information daily. youtube.com/DYCDNYC SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) National research increasingly points to the importance of exposure to STEM learning for youth. DYCD is dedicated to creating opportunities for youth to engage in high quality inquiry-based STEM programming that builds problem-solving, analytical, logic and reasoning skills that are the foundation of STEM fields. DYCD has developed key partnerships with leading STEM organizations to expand the number of resources available to providers and enhance their programming. Because the availability of STEM learning may vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, DYCD has prioritized making those opportunities more equitable through innovative events and partnerships. For example, Time Warner has invested in technology labs as part of the Cornerstone program; the American Museum of Natural History hosted overnight education experiences; The Wallace Foundation, through a partnership with IBM, supported a youth robotics scrimmage; Cornell University has exposed young people to the study of hydroponics; and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences provided training on their math curriculum, which uses games and puzzles to explore math concepts and to develop logic and reasoning skills that are integral to mathematics. DYCD has also collaborated with the New York Academy of Sciences, resulting in more than 20 universities and research institutions assigning hundreds of STEM mentors to volunteer in youth programs. EQUITY // 21 DARRYL RATTRAY Assistant Commissioner Beacon, Cornerstone, and Service Learning Programs I n 1990, after two of Darryl Rattray’s childhood friends fell victim to violence in the Bronx, there was growing anger and talk of retaliation in his West Farms neighborhood. But rather than getting revenge, Darryl decided that getting involved was the right way to go, and the organization Young Hope—a collaboration of friends living in Lambert Houses—was born. As president of the youth group, he soon found himself organizing community rallies, hosting National Night Out events and traveling to Morehouse College in Atlanta to learn about, and become certified in, Kingian Nonviolence practices. He even helped students organize a peaceful campus protest while there. Darryl, 1990 “At the time turning negative energy into positive action wasn’t just our mantra, it was literally what we did,” recalled Darryl. “When people ask me how I got into this field, I often tell them that I’ve actually been doing this work since I was 14 years old. It’s the work that kept me on a positive path, out of jail and, in many ways, saved my life.” As news of Young Hope’s success spread throughout the Bronx and beyond, Darryl and the group were asked to serve as teen voices for a funding proposal being written by Phipps Community Development Corporation to run a Beacon program in West Farms. The Beacon initiative was created by Mayor David Dinkins to establish much-needed community centers in schools that would otherwise be empty at the end of the school day. Thanks in part to Darryl’s input based on focus groups he organized with members of Young Hope, as well as young people who had been incarcerated or were selling drugs, Phipps was awarded the contract. It marked the beginning of a relationship between Darryl and the Beacon initiative that continues to this day. A pivotal point in Darryl’s career came in 1995 when he landed work as Youth Development Coordinator and MIS Coordinator at the Beacon program he helped get off the ground. Over the next several years, Darryl continued to make a name for himself by creating a teen employment program and a retreat, where the young people under his guidance formed their own youth group and learned the community organizing and advocacy skills that helped him turn the senseless deaths of his friends into a positive force for change. Darryl’s growing expertise in youth development, the Beacon program and technology would serve him well when the Fund for the City of New York and DYCD came calling. A new contract management system at DYCD was in the works in 2000, one that would allow the agency and Beacon providers to track such things as contracts, documentation, schedules and budgets. Darryl was brought on as a consultant by DYCD and the Fund for the City of New York to help the City develop and design the system and train staff on how to use it. Knowing they had a rising star in their midst, DYCD hired Darryl on September 24, 2001, as fulltime Beacon Coordinator. This was followed by promotions to Special Assistant in 2003, Director of Out-of-School Time Programs two years later and, in 2007, to Assistant Commissioner of Beacon, Cornerstone and Work Readiness Programs. DYCD BEHIND THE SCENES // 38