Connecting Youth to a Brighter Future

The Youth Connection, a private non-profit agency, connects our youth to a brighter future. We work to increase participation in after-school programs and provide year-round opportunities for youth to explore careers and develop job skills.

The Youth Connection Career Academies provides youth ages 14-21 an opportunity to understand the duties and tasks necessary for success in various careers through its partnership with Detroit Public Schools and its Career Pathways and Internship programs.  As part of this year-round program, youth work under the direction of highly-skilled supervisors and mentors in each field.  This program is a terrific way for students to understand the real world of careers and it encourages continuing education and positive behavior amongst youth while promoting civic commitment and giving back to the community. In addition, youth receive life-skills training and information in areas such as health, nutrition, substance abuse, leadership, etiquette, conflict resolution, public speaking and more.

The Youth Connection also works to promote participation in after-school programs for all school-aged students. We know that communities that have 50% of their youth involved in after-school programs are five times more likely to be healthier communities. By hosting our annual after-school/back-to-school enrollment fair and working with over 1,000 after-school provider partners, we have increased participation in Detroit after-school programs from 20% to over 50% in the past few years.

The Youth Connection focuses on data and best practices. The Youth Connection has the only community based tracking system that ties participation in after-school programs to specific outcomes including school data (i.e. national Terra Nova math and reading scores), attendance, grade point average, and student code of conduct violations. Expanding our data and information system will help improve quality programming and demonstrate how after-school opportunities can improve academic performance of students.

Increased Academic Achievement

  • Michigan State University‚Äôs analysis of The Youth Connection after-school participation showed that students who participated 30 or more days in after-school programs had significantly higher reading and math scores.

  • Students who participated in 10-29 days had significantly higher grade point averages.

Increased Participation in After-School Programs

  • Since 2002 The Youth Connection has filled over 120,000 vacant after-school slots at our Fair.

  • After-school programs listed on our program locator have grown from 300 in 2002 to over 1,000 programs. The website is averaging approximately 65,000 hits per month.

  • The Youth Connection has helped to influence over 50 million dollars of public and private funds to support after-school programming in the tri-county area since 2001.

Decrease in Negative Behavior

  • Since 1997 we have seen a decrease in Juvenile Violence Incidents from 7.3% per 1,000 youth 10-17 to 5.9%

For more information about The Youth Connection, please call our offices at 313-826-7099.




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